We have to admit that in the heavenly abode of nepotism where the Khans and Kapoors rarely ever run out of business, Bollywood has been privileged in a way of its own. There have been actors who made it to Bollywood without the use of their last names and given the film industry a gift of good acting, something it usually lacks. These actors are the secrets of success of a good film. Mostly given the sidekick roles, they hardly ever make it to the poster and remain underrated. These talented yet underrated Indian actors deserve more than what they now get.
These 26 underrated Indian actors with a flair of acting have always done justice to their characters:
1. Arshad Warsi
Your very favorite Circuit from Munna Bhai M.B.B.S, Arshad Warsi has featured in comic roles over the last 17 years. Salaam Namaste, Golmaal series, Dhamaal, F.A.L.T.U, and Jolly LLB have been well-received in terms of Arshad’s performance. Born in Mumbai, Warsi is more than just an actor-singer, choreographer, and producer.
2. Johnny Lever
Having acted in more than 300 Bollywood films by now, Johnny was one of the first Indian stand-up comics. He has received awards for his performances in Raja Hindustani, Dulhe Raja, and Deewana Mastana apart from being a thirteen-time nominee for Filmfare.
3. Anu Kapoor
Another underrated Indian actor Anu Kapoor is noted for his performance in Mr. India, Vicky Donor, and Johny LLB 2. A fun fact: he was born with the name Anil Kapoor.
4. Sanjay Mishra
An alumnus of the National School of Drama, Sanjay Mishra has over 170 credits to his name. Best remembered for his work in Golmaal Returns, Aankhon Dekhi and Phas Gaye Re Obama, Mishra has a soft corner in our hearts.
5. Deepak Dobriyal
A movie and theater actor, you will remember Deepak from his role in Tanu Weds Manu (2011, 2015), Hindi Medium and Angrezi Medium. Dobriyal is one of the finest actors in the industry.
6. Vikrant Massey
This chocolate boy is a movie and television actor who started out with TV hits like Dharam Veer and Balika Vadhu. His Bollywood debut was in Lootera, followed by supporting roles in Dil Dhadakne Do, Half Girlfriend, and Chhapak. He has done some phenomenal work in web-series like Mirzapur.
7. Adil Hussain
Known for his exceptional acting skills in Indian and International Cinema, Adil has had the chance of being featured in films of almost 10 different languages. You must remember this Assamese boy from either Life of Pi or Hindi Medium.
8. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub
Making his Bollywood debut in a negative role, Ayyub earned a nomination at the Filmfare for No One Killed Jessica. Since then, he has been a part of commercial successes like Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Jannat 2, Raanjhanaa, Tubelight, Raess, Article 15 and Mission Mangal.
9. Divya Dutta
Ludhiana born Divya has appeared in Hindi, Punjabi, Malayalam and English films. She established herself with movies like Delhi-6, Stanley Ka Dabba, Heroine, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Divya has been a proud recipient of many honours to her name.
10. Kay Kay Menon
Predominantly a Bollywood actor, Menon has also acted in Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi and Telugu cinema. He has worked in some critically acclaimed movies like Haider, Life in a Metro, Black Friday. For his most recent work, watch him in Special Ops, a web-series.
11. Vinay Pathak
A remarkable film and theatre artist, Vinay has starred in movies like Khosla Ka Ghosla, Bheja Fry, Aaja Nachle and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. With a small role on a big screen, Pathak manages to have our hearts every time.
12. Ranvir Shorey
Former VJ turned actor, Ranvir is from Punjab. You have seen him in Bollywood movies like Fashion, Singh is King, Lakshya, Khosla ka Ghosla, Chandni Chowk to China, Happy Ending and English Medium.
13. Saurabh Shukla
Remember the hilarious and uber cute judge from Johny LLB? Yes, it’s him. He has been a part of high-profile films like PK, Kick, Johny LLB (1, 2) and Barfi!
14. Radhika Apte
The woman who featured in Padman and Andhadun alongside great actors also happens to have critical acclaim to her name. She has starred in three Netflix originals including Lust Stories and Sacred Games. These two series have made the Indian audience shower her their love.
15. Manav Kaul
A charming actor, playwright, author, director and filmmaker, Manav stole our hearts with his absolutely stunning work in Tumhari Sulu. He has played parts in Haider, Thappad, Wazir, Citylights and Kai Po Che. We wish to see more of him, right?
16. Ayesha Raza
Known for playing the part of a mother in TV shows, web-series and movies, Ayesha Raza has been a great actor all this while. She played her roles well in Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety, Veere Di Wedding, Dil Dhadakne Do, Band Baaja Baaraat and Bharat.
17. Saqib Saleem
Saqib Qureshi is a model turned actor who has done movies like Mere Dad ki Maruti, Hawaa Hawaii and Bombay Talkies. We wish to see him more often on the screen with the face that drips of innocence.
18. Amrita Puri
Featured in films like Aisha and Kai Pi Che, Amrita has proved her acting skills well. She is also a TV actress and a part of two very popular web-series- Made in Heaven and Four More Shots Please!
19. Yashpal Sharma
A phenomenal Indian actor Yashpal is known for his characters in movies like Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Lagaan, Gangaajal, Singh is Kinng and Rowdy Rathore.
20. Seema Pahwa
A woman who is famous for playing the mother’s part has been featured in films like Bareilly Ki Barfi, Wazir, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan and Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga.
21. Siddhant Karnick
Recently seen in Thappad, Siddhant Karnick is a face the audience would love to see more. He has starred in several TV shows and serials and a few movies too.
22. Maanvi Gagroo
Having played a few parts in commercial Bollywood films, Maanvi still gets the most love from her web-series’ fans. She has acted in Made In Heaven, Four More Shots Please!, TVF Pitchers, TVF Tripling, and Permanent Roommates.
23. Rasika Duggal
Another TV and film actor Rasika Duggal, she too has received more fan-following for her work in web-series like Mirzapur, Made in Heaven, and Delhi Crime. The audience craves to watch this chhota-packet-bada-dhamaka explode more often on screen!
24. Kirti Kulhari
Kirti stunned the audience with her acting in the recent web-series Four More Shots Please! after her performances in Bollywood’s some of the highest-grossing films like Pink, Mission Mangal, and Uri: The surgical strike.
25. Jitendra Kumar
The recent heartthrob of India’s adult-teenage population, Jeetu Bhaiya has been giving his audience some good content for them to follow. From Kota Factory to Panchayat and Pitchers, he also starred in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhaan.
26. Isha Talwar
We’ve seen her in supporting roles in movies like Tubelight and Article 15 and we absolutely loved her. She majorly works with the south-Indian film industries and the Hindi film industry. She is also a model.
These underrated Indian actors deserve much more roles to prove their talents and entertain the viewers. Sometimes it is heart-wrenching to see when they don’t get their due credit.
I hope you found your favorite underrated Indian actor in the list above. If we missed out on him or her, let us know in the comments below!