Famous Punjabi Actors are countless and virtually household names; from Late KL Sehgal, Balraj Sahni, Prithvi Raj, Raj Kapoor, Madan Puri to evergreen Dev Anand, Dharmendra, Jeetendra (Ravi Kapoor), Rajender Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Pran, Sunil Dutt, Rajesh Khanna, Om Puri, Amrish Puri, to other top acting names like Raj Babbar, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Akshaya Khanna, Dharmendra's sons, Karishma & Kareena Kapoor, Shakti kapoor, Ranjit, Kabir Bedi, and many more Punjabi actors. Superstar Amitabh Bachchan's mother Mrs. Teji Bachchan is from a known Punjabi Family.
Among the actors of the 90s there are many Punjabi faces including Juhi Chawla, Raveena Tandon, Poonam Dhillon, Hritik Roshan, now the uprising Shiney Ahuja and Ranbir Kapoor & Sonam Kapoor (children of Rishi Kapoor & Anil Kapoor, respectively) are going to be the faces of the new generation.
India's topmost Punjabi singers and legends include Late Mohammed Rafi, Mahendra Kapoor and lyricists like Sahir Ludhianwi, Anand Bakshi and many Music Directors like Ravi and many more. Though these singers have left this world, they have surely been path breakers and trailblazers for the coming music lovers.
India's principal and top selling Hindi Movies industry have been dominated by Punjabis in such a way that without them the industry will be absolutely colourless. One may notice the presence of at least one Punjabi song in every film, which surely hints us the way how Punjabi language and its singers are creating a niche for themselves in this fraternity. Singers like Gurdas Mann, Daler Mehndi, Mika Mehndi, Hans Raaj Hans and so many new comers have been a part of this industry that are on a progressive path for themselves and for the Punjabi culture. Though, some unheard names they are yet successful in taking the Punjabi culture to a great heights like never before.
However the Punjabi language regional cinema did not reach the heights of success it deserved for lack of funds and enough markets In the 80s yearly, an average of 8 Punjabi movies, per year were produced as most didn't make any money. Despite the small number of movies in Punjabi some of them are still worth watching. Most of the movies were set in rural background and usually the stories were not very solid. Most Punjabi talented artists and producers preferred to make movies in Hindustani - a blend of Hindi and Urdu - which were sold rather easy and had enormous markets.
Punjabi Films like Nanak Naam Jahaz hai, Chann Pardesi did very good business. In recent times too, movies like Jee Aiya Nu and Yaran Naal Baharan have been produced by T-Series and have been accepted well by the audience. New actors like Harbhajan Mann, Jimmy Shergil, Priya Gilland Juhi Babbar are all actors who have contributed in the recent Punjabi regional films.
The future for Punjabi films is not grim and seems to be improving with time. If India and Pakistani governments allow more interaction, a great future for Punjabi cinema can be foreseen, as top class Punjabi films could be produced as with the help of top class film techniques used in Bombay (Mumbai).
Popular Stars in Punjabi Cinema
Amrinder Gill, Anupam Kher, Daljeet Kaur, Divya Dutta, Babbu Mann, Bhavana Bhatt, Diljit Dosanjh, Gugu Gill, Gurdas Maan, Gavie Chahal, Gippy Grewal, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Harbhajan Mann, Kanwaljit Singh, Kimi Verma, Kulraj Randhawa, Jaspal BhattiMustafa Qureshi, Parmeet Sethi, Raj Babbar, Raza Murad, Saima Noor, Satish Kaul, Shaan Shahid, Shafqat Cheema, Syed Noor, Tulip Joshi, Upasana Singh, Veerendra, Vishal Singh, Vivek Shauq, Yograj Singh, Harinder Gill (writer & Director), Neeru Bajwa, noor jehan, Om Puri, Shashi Puri, Shivendra Mahal, Sultan Rahi, Madan Puri, Manjeet Kullar, Manmohan Singh (Director), Jimmy Shergill, Juhi ChawlaMeher Mittal