They sing. They dance. They play our hero's arm candy in all earnestness. They do it. And they do it really well.
It is not too frequently that the Hindi film heroine gets the chance to come into her own and dominate the scene. But 'man', when she does, she makes history.
So, Nargis became Mother India, while Meena Kumari ruled Pakeezah. Madhubala defied royalty in Mughal-e-Azam as Nutan had her series of Sujata and Seema. Vyjanthimala played the bewitching spook of Madhumati whereas Waheeda Rehman shone in Khamoshi.
Even stylish divas like Asha Parekh and Sadhana couldn't miss the opportunity of having a Kati Patang and Woh Kaun Thi in their kitty.
Feisty beauties like Hema Malini, Rekha and Dimple Kapadia conveyed intelligence, modernity, vulnerability and integrity with Úlan in a number of films.
The art of acting was authentically conveyed by actresses like Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi and Deepti Naval.
Superstars like Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit not just towered the scripts of Army and Mrityudand but commanded hefty fees as well. Even now, their comebacks evoke infectious excitement.
The newcomers of the 1990s--Karisma Kapoor (Zubeidaa, Fiza), Raveena Tandon (Daman, Satta), Tabu (Astitva, Chandni Bar), Urmila Matondkar (Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, Ek Haseena Thi) and Manisha Koirala (Khamoshi, Agnisakshi) have done enough memorable roles to do their resume proud.
And on International Women's Day, it only seems appropriate to celebrate these fine actresses. Cheers to them! Let's take a look at the current crop and their contribution.
Text: Sukanya Verma
Also Read: Best Actresses. Ever.