Success breeds success. Often, star-sons and star-daughters have everything handed out to them on a platter. Despite that they do not meet with success. In this brief write-up, let us look at some of the prominent examples of children of Bollywood failures who have done well. I also offer my views on the reasons for the failure.
If parents are hugely successful, the children do not flourish much. This seems to be the general trend. There are very few exceptions to the rule. Besides acting, even in playback singing the trend holds good.
1. Kumar Gaurav (son of actor Rajendra Kumar, called as the Jubilee Star) never made it in films despite a super hit debut in “Love Story”. I do believe wrong selection of films paved the path for his failure. In reality, Kumar is a good actor if you watch his movies like “Dil Tujhko Diya”, “Beganah”,”Nam”,”Janam”. How I wish we could see more of him in the current crop of movies. He has the potential to become an excellent character actor like Sanjeev Kumar, Balraj Sahni.
2. Aamir Khan’s brother Faizal, Jeetendra’s son Tushar, Rajesh Khanna-Dimple Kapadia’s daughters, Nishi-Rajkumar Kohli’s son Arman Kohli, Manoj Kumar’s son Kunal Goswami, Manoj Kumar’s brother Rajiv Goswami, Sunil Dutt’s brother Som Dutt – all were resounding failures in Bollywood.
3. The eccentric star Rajkumar’s sons never made it in Bollywood. Dara Singh’s son was a failure (though he can be a good character actor).
4. Mahendra Kapoor’s son Rohan was launched by Yash Chopra, but ended up as a disaster. He has now attempted playback singing.
5. Dev Anand’s son Suneil Anand did not achieve even 1% of his father’s success. Ditto Vyjayanthimala’s son Suchindra Bali.
6. Raj Babbar achieved modest success – but his son Arya and daughter Juhi could not make any headway.
7. IS Johar’s daughter Ambica Johar, Kishore Sahu’s daughter Naina Sahu, Meera Joshi (daughter of Vasant Joglekar who debuted in Ek Kali muskayi her first and last film) also did not make the grade.
8. Though Sunny Deol, Dharmendra’s son did achieve modest success, his second son Bobby Deol couldn’t achieve prominence. But the fact is that Bobby Deol is a damn good actor. It is really sad to see his failure as a superstar.
9. Hema Malini’s daughter Esha, Mala Sinha’s daughter Pratibha Sinha, Sharmila Tagore’s daughter Soha Ali Khan all have not achieved even 1% of the success that their mothers achieved. Some children are intelligent enough to shun the arclights and move in a different direction. Do watch “Just married” by Meghna Gulzar (daughter of Rakhee and Gulzar) and you can realize how intelligent a director she is. But she is not a prolific film maker, which is indeed sad. Saif ali Khan, son of Sharmila Tagore, is an exception however.
10. Tanuja wasn’t a success in Bollywood; though Kajol succeeded, her sister Tanisha faded into oblivion.
11. We all know about Harman Baweja, son of a famous producer who starred in the bomb – Love Story 2050.
12. The Kapoor family is an enigma. Prithviraj Kapoor was a great actor, but not a star. His sons achieved super success. But with the honorable exception of Rishi Kapoor, Raj Kapoor’s other sons never made the mark. However, his grandchildren are doing him proud.
13. Sanjay Dutt is another exception of a star-son who has done reasonably well.
14. Shobana Samarth wasn’t a great star but her daughter Nutan become one of the most renowned actresses in Bollywood winning numerous awards for her best performances. Nutan’s son Mohnish intelligently made the transition from a hero to a character actor.
15. In the field of playback singing, Kishore Kumar’s son Amit, Moti Sagar’s daughter Preeti, Rafi’s son, Mukesh’s son could never make it in the industry.
16. It is really ironical that Lata Mangeshkar could do nothing to promote her brother – music director Hridayanth Mangeshkar.
17. Anil Kapoor’s daughter Sonam - though talented, is not making the progress the way she should have made. One will have to wait and watch if Sonakshi Sinha (daughter of Shatrughan Sinha and Komal) moves ahead of her brother in Bollywood.
18. Veteran Ashok Kumar’s brother Anoop Kumar never made it, while his daughter Preeti Ganguly ended up doing sidey roles and then faded into oblivion. Suchitra Sen was a legend, but her daughter Moonmoon Sen did not achieve even a modicum of success.....But, her granddaughter Raima does show promise.
19. Biswajit’s son, Prasenjit, though a big success in Bengali movies, did not make his grade as an actor in Bollywood.
20. Akbar Khan, the younger brother of Feroz Khan too did not achieve success. Fardeen Khan, son of Feroze Khan is another exception – he has potential and if he selects the right roles, then he will last a longer term. I liked his performance in “Just Married”.
21. Though Vinod Khanna’s elder son Rahul did not succeed in Bollywood, I feel his younger son – Akshaye has done him proud. Eccentric and aloof like veteran actor Rajkumar, Akshaye is one of my favourite actors. His voice modulation and diction are excellent. I liked him immensely in ’36 China Town’ ‘Race’ and ‘Humraaz’. Why can’t Bollywood give him meatier roles that do justice to his talent ?
22. Rakesh Roshan wasn’t a successful actor but he became a great director. Of course, with his son’s (Hrithik Roshan’s) success, he more than made up for his failure as an actor. Sanjay Khan’s son Zayed doesn’t show much promise though he was watchable in “Main Hoon Na”.
23. Uday Chopra – there is nothing much to comment on his acting skills.
24. While Zarina Wahab is an actress who still commands a fantastic screen presence, her daughter has not even been able to get a decent debut.
25. The list goes on endlessly. Shashi Kapoor’s children also quit the scene gracefully when they realised that Bollywood was not for them. Gulshan Kumar’s brother Kishan Kumar made an unsuccessful debut, but cleverly switched sides. Saira Banu (one of the most dignified actresses in Bollywood) also could not do anything to promote her niece Shaheen. Digressing a bit, how I wish Sairaji could don one of those memorable mother roles in a new movie ! Her last movie was Yash Johar’s Duniya.
My comments are :
1. Bollywood is a fickle world. Where success matters. So, if the starsons/daughters realize that they can’t make it, they should bow down gracefully and move in a different direction. No point in forcing yourself on the audience.
2. Luck also has a crucial role to play. One has to be in the right place at the right time.
3. If an actor/actress is talented, it doesn’t mean that their progeny is also talented. I wonder why, some starsons, with their international business qualifications, do not think differently and venture into business. Look at Suneil Anand (Dev Anand’s son) who is successfully managing a studio.
4. One does feel sorry for them because as they grow up in an environment filled with gossip and glamour, they are unable to devote quality time for education. So, most of the time, they have no choice but to turn to acting. The irony is that their family wealth is so much that the income that they earn from movies is peanuts compared to the riches that they have.
5. Ultimately it is left to the individual to decide. Rather than staying on in a field where success is constantly eluding them, it is better to move to green pastures and affix their stamp of success in that area. Twinkle Khanna as an interior designer, Rinke Khanna as a writer, Shobana (niece of veteran actress Padmini who acted in “Dance Like a Man”, “Mitr”) as a dance teacher, Usha Kiron's son as a hotelier are good role models.