Thursday, May 17, 2012

Missing Actresses and actors

Reena Roy
Reena Roy She married a Pakistani cricketer and left Bollywood, only to return a few years later. In her prime, she and Shatrugan were the equivalent of Amitabh and Rekha – inseparable on the screen. Her lead roles in Rocky (with Sanjay Dutt) and Naseeb and Nagin made her a top-ranking actress in ‘80s Bollywood. Her return was lacklustre, even though she did attempt an innings with TV, which bombed, and as an instructress, by opening a film school. That shut shop too. When one things of Reena Roy, one of the songs that comes to mind is “Geet Sunoge Huzoor” from Rocky. If there is any hint of KJo picking her up for one of his family sagas or any other update, do buzz us at


Sonam was known as Raza Murad’s niece when she first entered Bollywood, togged in a red bikini in Vijay. It wasn’t Yash Chopra’s best film, even though Mitti aur Sona, in which Chunkey Pandey and Sonam played a doomed couple had a cult following for three months, before even fans jettisoned the idea of having a Chunkey Pandey flick in their repertoire.
Then Tridev happened and Sonam was a star on the rise without a doubt. Despite her hoarse voice, she had a buxom appeal that endeared her to the masses. Her urbane appeal, on the other hand, endeared her to VHS-owning gentry as well.
Circa 1989, Sonam was an ‘Oye Oye’ girl, a chartbuster plagiarized from Gloria Estefan’s ‘Rhythm’s Gonna Get You’. She married producer Rajiv Rai, who was transforming into the Feroz Khan of the new decade with his hip leanings and street smart productions that looked classier than they actually were. And after Gupt, Rajiv Rai’s biggest hit from the 1990s, a suspense thriller that had Kajol playing a Michael Myers from Halloween, Sonam and Rajiv Rai fled the nation, after receiving extortion threats. The late 1990s saw a spate of industry murders at the hands of the underworld. It was a nexus that went horribly wrong. There was genuine fear, and so Rajiv Rai and Sonam, being the sweet, no-nonsense that was raising a family fled to the UK. They have been planning to return to showbiz, but the details remain sketchy. For a full-on report on their latest activities, mail us at

Helen Brodie

Helen Brodie She was known as the Jaanam Samjha Karo girl, thanks to the Asha Bhosale chartbuster in which she was paired opposite the equally dishy Milind Soman. Helen Brodie was one of the models who burst onto the scene in post-liberalization India, the only era in which a model could sustain without necessarily crossing over to Bollywood. Yet, Helen Brodie did do a cameo in the Govinda-starrer Hadh Kar Di Aapne. However, it was her role in Jug Mundhra’s soft-porn flick Monsoon that raised many eyebrows. It was a raunchy role. It was her only role. And then she went missing. We hear that Helen is a homemaker now with a loving husband and two children. However, we’d love to know if she has any plans to come back to music videos that get cult status thanks to her gorgeous looks or movies that don’t get cult status despite her pushing the carnal pedal. Either way, we need a hot, sizzling telegram delivered to
Meenakshi Sheshadri

At 17, she was the youngest contestant to ever win the Miss India contest. In 1982, she made her debut with Rajiv Goswami (Manoj Kumar’s son) in Painter Babu. Rajiv Goswami didn’t make enough films to qualify as ‘Missing’ though. In 1983, she became a household name with Hero, a film that also made Jackie Shroff the reigning stud of Bollywood. She acted in innumerable films from the 1980s well until her last film, Ghatak, in 1997, and her reputation remains spotless. No mention of an affair, no married men, no nasty rumours, ever. At the peak of her career, she was second only to Sridevi, whom she infamously dissed once by proclaiming, “I don’t believe acting is making faces.” Sridevi made a lot of faces in all her films, especially Chandni. We know that Ms Sheshadri is happily married and living in Texas. But what prompts this ‘missing’ alert is the return of yet another NRI from the United States, Madhuri Dixit. If Madhuri is back in the game, what’s keeping Meenakshi? She needs to tell us at
Ruby Bhatia
Ruby Bhatia Her name became synonymous with the tangy appeal of post-liberalization India. She was the face of its pop culture revolution, epitomized by Channel [V], the zany music station that brought us the Michael Jacksons and Madonnas that much closer than grainy Doordarshan telecasts of Grammy Award nights. She entered people’s home and hung out with them, sometimes even poking fun at the traditional India. For a nation that was still grappling with the brash new codes of globalization, one must say that they embraced the Alabama-born former Miss India Canada (1993) with open arms. In fact, so popular was Ruby Bhatia that she even hosted the Filmfare Awards towards the end of the 1990s. She married Indipop singer Nitin Bali for a short spell; it ended amicably. She even tried her luck at television serials after the music television bubble burst. And then one fine day, Ruby Bhatia – or rather that smile that came to represent the tang of youth for an entire generation – faded. Five years ago, it was reported that Ruby had given up on all forms of ‘materialism’, Ruby, a report said, had given away all her personal belongings, including her furniture and DVD players and had entered a more mystical zone of meditation and yoga. In a brash city like Bombay, it sounded impossible. But within months of this update, we heard she had married another yogi, Ajit Dutta. If you happen 
Dan Dhanoa

Dan Dhanoa
His heyday was between 1985-1995 and Dan was as bad as they came. He had light eyes (or at least donned grey-coloured eye lenses to look evil) and a really mean moustache. He was either lunging at an actress finding her way to the village from the woods or stabbing the hapless father of a child who would eventually grow up to become the hero of an absurd multi-starrer. Dan Dhanoa has acted in 30 odd films and his legacy is something we cherish. His filmography is indeed colourful: Sasti Dulhan Mehenga Dulha, Aaj Ka Gunda Raaj, Mard. His belle époque though coincided with the meteoric rise of director Rajiv Rai, who introduced an urbane cool-th to Bollywood in the 1980s and 1990s. But Dan, in his prime, also acted with pretty much all the big names. We hear that he married an actress-cum-kathak dance instructor called Nandita Puri in 2007. The news delights us. But if anyone has plans to convince Mr Dhanoa to put on cat eye lenses, get out of a red Maruti van and massacre an entire family with his AK-47 (on screen, guys. relax), we would like to be informed on
Shilpa Shirdorkar

Shilpa Shirodkar
Her waterfall sequence in Kishen Kanhaiya was the most rewound sequence of 1990. An equally exploitative role in Ramesh Sippy’s Bhrashtachar was her debut flick. But it delighted her fans, even though critics tore their hair wondering what Ramesh Sippy was thinking in creating his tackiest film ever and who in heaven’s name had convinced Rekha and Mithun to act in it? It was a cult film for all the wrong reasons. But these two films did put Shilpa Shirodkar , a buxom Maharashtrian girl firmly on the Bollywood map. Shilpa had the leanings to be a babe in a bikini, come to think of it. Her grandmother was the pioneering actress, Meenakshi Shirodkar, who was the first Indian woman to don a bikini on the Indian screen for Brahmachari, a film from the 1930s. For someone who started with such masala flicks, Shilpa matured into an art house actress with powerhouse performances in Mrityudand and Gaja Gamini by the end of the 1990s. And then she got married and vanished into the UK. If Ms Shirodkar has any plans to act in a British indie or return to Bollywood, she needs to slip us a cyber note at
Salma Agha
Salma Agha
VITAL STATS: She became a household name in Pakistan thanks to the album AGHA, which was essentially ABBA hits sung in Urdu. Salma Agha came into our lives because the producers of Nikaah were on the lookout for a Muslim actress for their lead role. Even though Zeenat Aman had given them a blockbuster with Insaf Ka Tarazu and was half-Muslim, her persona they felt was too urbane for the role. So in stepped Salma Agha in a film that remains the quintessential flick about a Muslim woman’s angst against a male-dominated society. So much so that the film had to await clearance from clerics and had to be rechristened Nikaah. Its songs, especially ‘Fazaa Bhi Hain Jawaan Jawaan’, remain moody classics. She also boogied to Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki, in which she played Mithun’s love interest. A video from the film features her and Mithun in delightfully Michael Jackson-inspired choreography. Smita Patil plays the mother who doesn’t quite approve of his son’s choice. Salma Agha, like the late Nazia Hassan, were artistes from our troubled neighbour, Pakistan, who delighted us with their nasal, stereophonic voices, a twang that somehow works rather beautifully with Urdu. She was even nominated for a Filmfare award for her “Jhoom Jhoom Baba” from the same film. Then a disastrous pairing opposite Rajesh Khanna in a film titled Ooche Log (ostensibly about high society) bombed miserably and Agha vanished. If you hear of her latest album, email us at
Hemant Birje
VITAL STATS: He debuted as Tarzan in B Subhash’s film of the same name. Then, after some inconsequential films, he has been missing. He made a return to the silver screen with B Subhash’s Divine Lovers in the late '90s, a soft porn flick, in which he enjoyed a flash nude scene. But that didn’t shore up his fortunes any. There was some news of him being asked to leave from Abhishek Bachchan’s birthday party three-four years ago for having gate-crashed it, but aside from that nobody heard from this hunk. They still say he has a body to die for. Bodybuilders, gym rats, strugglers, if you notice this desi Tarzan and his whereabouts, give us a holler at
Ayesha Jhulka
VITAL STATS: Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander with Aamir Khan made her a national entity in 1992. In fact, the chartbuster, 'Pehla Nasha', to which she crooned alongside Aamir Khan remains a quintessential song for all die-hard romantics obsessed with Bollywood. When Armaan Kohli, a budding actor (who, ahem, is also Missing), dumped her around then, they say Ayesha lost the plot. She did some roles through the 1990s, but then completely fell off the radar. However, from what we hear she is happily married to a businessman in the construction industry. If Ms Jhulka has any plans of returning to the silver screen, she needs to inform
Guddi Maruti
She was a day-glo Tun Tun, though ostensibly minus the charm. Guddi Maruti was brasher, with many rough edges. In 1997, Dara Munawar Ali, Guddi Maruti's brother, was shot dead by members of the Chotta Shakeel gang in his Khar flat. Guddi Maruti has ceased to become as frequent a fatty as we would like (Sorry Meri Lorry on television fondly comes to mind). Mind you, an imdb search on her reveals no less than 125 films. But the gaps are increasing. So if you wish to inform us if you're casting Guddi Maruti in anything special, email us at We wanna help her get a fat, juicy role in your forthcoming flick.
Sonika Gill
Sonika Gill VITAL STATS: After a soft start (she acted in soft porn flicks with Brando Bakshi in the late ‘80s), she got her big break inSubhash Ghai's Ram Lakhan (in 1989) as Vivienne, the hooker with heart. Then she vanished. It turns out that she was ‘assisting' Kalpana Iyer in running a lounge called ‘Mehfil' in Dubai, an establishment that found some fond patronage via Subhash Ghai, Jackie Shroff and others when they flew down to the UAE for Bollywood events, premieres et al. Then in 2004, Sonika Gill returned to Bombay. But we haven't heard from her since. If you know of any mehfil she's visited recently, do let us know at
Deepak Malhotra aka Dino  …
6. Deepak Malhotra aka Dino Martelli VITAL STATS: Deepak Malhotra was the most sought-after male model in the late ‘80s. Then, in 1991, Lamhe happened, a Yash Chopra flick in which he was cast as Sridevi's ill-fated love interest. And ill-fated he indeed was. They say Deepak Malhotra's voice (not very different from Farhan Akhtar's but well before his time) was too raspy and everyone ended up laughing at him at Ghungroo, a popular discotheque in New Delhi. So Deepak Malhotra ran away to New York City and rechristened himself Dino Martelli. Dino Martelli because the glossies sometimes referred to his looks as Italian; Deepak took to this compliment a little too seriously, one might add. Then in 2004, he returned to Bombay and tied up with Sabeena Chopra to start Sesso, a short-lived restaurant in Deepak Malhotra/Dino Martelli's latest avatar as a chef. If you learn of anything cooking with this former model-cum-chef, inform us at


Anu Agarwal VITAL STATS: Her Aashiqui (1990) was the biggest hit of the year. Her later filmography was flimsy. She did a nude scene in art house guru Mani Kaul's short film and some steamy films in the South film industry, but it did nothing to resuscitate her career. Then in 1999, she was at a diplomat's farewell party in Cuffe Parade and met with a terrible accident on the way back. Anu was in coma for 29 days, and was even said to have nearly died. She recovered, went to the Bihar School of Yoga and now is a yoga instructress in Breach Candy, a posh neighbourhood in south Bombay. For further updates on the Aashiqui girl, email us at

3. Kimi Katkar VITAL STATS: She had headlines for her diaphanous top in Tarzan (1985). Then after a couple of B-grade films, she peaked with her zenith, starring opposite no less than the Big B (Hum, 1990). She then become a society figure of sorts, marrying a top-notch fashion photographer, Shantanu Sheorey. And one fine day she vanished. However, with good reason. Her son (now 16) was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and the couple moved to Melbourne for some years before moving back to Pune. Kimmy (as she spells her name now) lives in Pune and had a brief brush with fame some years ago, when Shantaram, Gregory David Robert's quintessential Bombay book, mentioned her as a star who was unpretentious and was chatting up everyone on the sets while a sidey like Chunkey Pandey was strutting about the sets like the star he never was. We like, we like. Kimmy, if you want to get in touchwith us, our email is
Sonu Walia

Sonu Walia VITAL STATS: She won the Miss India in 1985. In 1988, she was in a swimming pool with a Speedo-clad KabirBedi, crooning to a plagiarized version of Vangelis's Chariots of Fire theme track. The film was Rakesh Roshan's blockbuster Khoon Bhari Maang, stolen from Australian mini-TV series Return to Eden. Then after some random roles in television serials (mainly Cinevista productions) Sonu Walia has gone Missing. We'd like to know why and if she's planning on making a comeback as a producer or a fashion designer or any format that she deems fit. She was also known for her resemblance to Parveen Babi and Zeenat Aman, yesteryear sex symbols from the late ‘70s. Fax us details on this ‘sax'y lady at

Mamta Kulkarni

VITAL STATS: She created a storm with her topless cover shoot for Stardust magazine in 1993. For someone who was branded as déclassé, Mamta managed to score leading roles with all of Bollywood's top actors in the 1990s: Salman Khan-SRK (Karan Arjun), Aamir Khan (Baazi), Akshay Kumar (Sabse Bada Khiladi), Saif Ali Khan (Aashiq Awara). There were whispers of her being secretly married to fight master-turned-director Tinu Verma. There were also whispers of her being attached to the underworld, a nexus that allegedly brought her back to the sets of Raj Kumar Santoshi's China Gate after being thrown out. And then at the cusp of the millennium, Miss Kulkarni just disappeared. So much so, that to make a court appearance for an obscenity lawsuit, to evade photographers she came in a burqa, something that elicited the ire of the Islamic community in India. Which makes us wonder, what's up with those rumours of her belonging to a harem in Dubai or thereabouts? If anyone has any information on this missing celeb, please email us at

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