• Aishwarya Rai BachchanVarinder Chawla
  • Deepika PadukoneVarinder Chawla
  • Vidya BalanVarinder Chawla
  • RekhaVarinder Chawla
  • Ileana D'CruzVarinder Chawla
  • Tamannaah BhatiaWikipedia/Pavithrasri
  • AsinVarinder Chawla
  • SrideviVarinder Chawla
  • Hema MaliniVarider chawla
  • Genelia D’SouzaReuters

The trend of South Indian actresses migrating to Hindi film industry is not new; Bollywood has always welcomed film stars from down south.

Southern film actresses (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada) have made their mark in Bollywood over the years and went on become the leading ladies of B-town. They continue to dominate Bollywood even today. From Hema Malini to Deepika Padukone, these actresses have worked in many Bollywood blockbusters and impressed fans and critics alike. 

Here are some of the popular South Indian divas in Bollywood:

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who is from Mangalore, Karnataka made her acting debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil film "Iruvar." After winning the crown in 1993, she established her career in modelling and then appeared in south Indian films before entering into Bollywood. The 1998's Tamil romantic drama "Jeans" was a turning point in her career, which got her the role in Bollywood's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" the following year.

Deepika Padukone

"Happy New Year" actress Deepika Padukone, who has been living in Bangalore since childhood, made her debut in a successful Kannada film "Aishwarya" in 2006. Though daughter of badminton player Prakash Padukone, she chose a different path and opted for a career in acting and modelling. Her first Bollywood film was Farah Khan's directorial "Om Shanti Om" opposite Shah Rukh Khan.

Vidya Balan

This Southie girl was born in Puthur, a town in Palakkad, Kerala. She wanted to be in films since childhood but had to face many difficulties to make it to cinema. Balan has been replaced and rejected in several Tamil, Malayalam films. Her debut was in a Bengali film and then she made her first Hindi film appearance in Pradeep Sarkar's Bollywood drama "Parineeta."


The beautiful Rekha is half-Tamil and half-Telugu, born in Chennai. Her debut film was as a child actor in Telugu film "Rangula Ratnam" and then in Kannada film "Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999" as an actress.

Ileana D'Cruz

Ileana D'Cruz made her debut in Telugu film "Devadasu" with Ram Pothineni, which fetched her the Filmfare Best Female Debut award in 2006. After working in the Telugu film industry for nearly six years, Ileana made her Bollywood debut with "Barfi", co-starring with Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra.

Tamannaah Bhatia

Few people know that Tamannaah Bhatia made her debut in 2005 in Bollywood film "Chand Sa Roshan Chehra." Though not a southie in the true sense, she tasted success only in south Indian cinema and has been working there for long. It was only last year that she returned to Bollywood in the film "Himmatwala" opposite Ajay Devgn.


Asin, who made her debut in Hindi films with "Ghajini", appeared first on the silver screen in 2001 in the Malayalam film "Narendran Makan Jayakanthan Vaka." She then worked in the Telugu film "Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi" in 2003 and won the Filmfare Best Telugu Actress Award for her performance. 


Sridevi, who is known as the first female superstar of Hindi cinema, worked in several Tamil, Telugu Malayam, and Kannada films before stepping into Bollywood.

Hema Malini

This graceful actress and dancer started her career in South Indian film industry and later became the dream girl in Bollywood.

Genelia D'Souza

New mommy Genelia D'Souza has done more South Indian films than Hindi movies. The wife of actor Riteish Deshmukh is born into a Mangalorean Catholic family.

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