Meet 9 Yesteryear Bollywood Actresses Who Found A New Career!

9 yesteryear Bollywood actresses have shown that they are much more than showbiz divas, and are now following their passions today!

These 9 yesteryear Bollywood actresses have shown how showbiz is just the tip of the iceberg, and they’re much more than & are following their passions today!

What is a film without the female protagonists charming their way into our hearts? Female actresses have been the backbone of all the movies we’ve seen.

These actresses sometimes inspire us, and sometimes make us angry over the roles they participate in. But, what makes me the happiest is that they are not just actresses—they are much more.

Who are these 9 yesteryear Bollywood actresses?

So, let’s have a look at these yesteryear Bollywood actresses who found their calling outside the acting career, and are thriving on that path.

When it comes to yesteryear Bollywood actresses, we cannot forget Meenakshi Seshadri

Meenakshi Seshadriyesteryear Bollywood actresses

Meenakshi debuted in 1983 with the film Painter Babu. After entering mainstream Bollywood, she bagged several now-successful movies and attained the title of ‘ice maiden‘ famously because of her lack of scandals.

Over a decade of a successful film career was enough for Meenakshi, as she ended her career in 1996 with the film, Gathak: Lethal. After ending her career, she moved to the USA with her family and began learning dance-something she always wanted.

At present, Meenakshi lives in Plano, Texas and teaches Indian classical dance forms like Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Odissi. She is an inspiration to me and everyone for starting right from scratch. 

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Mayuri Kango

Mayuri Kangoyesteryear Bollywood actresses

Do you remember the song ‘Ghar Se Nikalte Hi’? No, not the new rendition by Armaan Malik but the original one, from the film ‘Papa Kehte Hain.’

Mayuri Kango was famously known as the ‘Girl from the song Ghar Se Nikalte Hi.’ Mayuri Kango debuted with an art film called Naseem in 1995.

However, in 2003, she left Bollywood to go to the USA after getting married. There, in the USA, she completed her MBA from the City University of New York.

Later, she moved back to India with her family, and now she is the Industry Head at Google! Isn’t that impressive?

Twinkle Khanna

Twinkle Khanna

Twinkle Khanna is a former actress who has worked in several movies like Mela, Baadhshah, etc. She was actively a part of the film industry until 2001. Khanna started her journey as an interior designer.

Now, apart from being an interior designer, she’s an author, a columnist and recently- a film producer. Oh and, her husband is the actor Akshay Kumar.

One of our favourite yesteryear Bollywood actresses is Renuka Shahane

renuka shahane

Renuka Shahane was a part of the movie, Hum Aapke Hai Kaun. Her famous fall has been a source of a meme in recent times.

But, she’s more than that – she acted in numerous movies before leaving the Hindi film industry in 2004. Shahane recently directed her first Hindi film- Tribhanga, in 2021, starring Kajol, Tanvi Azmi and Mithila Palkar.

Her directorial debut was back in 2009 with the Marathi film Rita. Tribhanga stirred a lot of success – needless to say- Shahane found her calling!


Neelam Kothari

Neelam Kothari, popularly known as Neelam, was a sensation back in the 80s. She made the debut in 1984 with the film Jawaani. Since then, her career took off.

Neelam was one of the popular actresses before she took a leave from Bollywood in 2001.  In 2011, Neelam opened her jewellery store in Bandra, Mumbai, under Neelam Kothari Fine Jewels.

Recently, in 2020, Neelam starred in a reality show—The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives; in the show, Neelam talked about her jewellery line, acting career and many other things too!

Swaroop Sampat

Dr Swaroop Sampat

Dr Swaroop Sampat is not just an actress, she’s a costume designer, a model and now a life skills educator and a teacher’s trainer too.

Sampat has acted in movies like Namak Garam, Nakhuda and one of the most famous sitcoms—Ye Jo Hai Zindagi. Sampat started her journey to fame in 1979 when she became Miss India at 16.

But, she found her true calling as an educator. In an interview, she said:

“Being Miss India was beautiful, and maybe a part of growing up. That was short. But being an educator and a trainer, this is my life. That feeling when you see your work is changing lives has no parallel. It is truly gratifying.”

Swaroop Sampat quit her fame to do something extremely beautiful and meaningful to the country- she gave back!

Anu Aggarwal

Anu Aggarwal

Anu Aggarwal’s story may maybe a little tragic but has inspired several people to start over. While Anu always wanted to be a social worker, her life changed overnight after her role in the 1990s Aashiqui.

A few years after Aashiqui’s release, she quit the industry to study yoga. Unfortunately, one morning in 1999, the car she was driving toppled and crashed in Mumbai—leaving her in a coma for 29 days with a memory loss of her life before the accident.

But Anu didn’t lose hope, eventually, in 2001 she became a monk and started practising Yoga. Now, she is a Yoga therapist in Bihar and the author of the memoir named Anusual: Memoir of a Girl Who Came Back from the Dead.

Waheeda Rehman

Waheeda Rehmanyesteryear Bollywood actresses

Legendary actress Waheeda Rehman has acted in numerous movies like Guide, Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, etc.

But she’s not just one of the best actresses in India; apart from her reel role, her real role adheres to philanthropy. Apart from that, she is an advocate for education and the ambassador of Rang De.

Rang De empowers and supports rural investees from across India. It is an organization that battles poverty in the country. Truly, Rehman is a legend.

Somy Ali

Somy Aliyesteryear Bollywood actresses

Somy Ali has worked in various Bollywood movies like Anth, Andolan, Yaar Gaddar, etc back in the 1990s.

She briefly had a relationship with Salman Khan, and after they parted ways, she moved to the USA in 1999 to pursue her degree in psychology. Now, she is away from all the showbiz and runs a non-profit organization called No More Tears.

Her organization- No More Tears is inspired by the injustices and violence she faced back in Pakistan during her teenage years and in India as well when she was in the spotlight.

Her organization helps people who have faced injustice and/or are survivors of violence. 

These 9 yesteryear Bollywood actresses have shown how showbiz is just the tip of the iceberg, and they’re much more than the haughty actresses they’re described. 

Recommended read:

5 Leading Indian Female Producers Are Ruling Entertainment Industry

7 Indian Female Directors From The Last Century That You Should Know!

5 Reasons To Avoid Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives Season 2

Image source: CanvaPro

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About the Author

Pranjali Hasotkar

I am a journalism student with a penchant for writing about women and social issues. I am an intersectional feminist and an aspiring journalist. I identify as she/her. read more...

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