Shah Rukh Khan birthday special: Actresses the king of romance launched during his career

A career spanning 25 glorious years in Bollywood takes not just blood and sweat but an undying love and dedication to the craft. Such is the enigma and brand power of Shah Rukh Khan, a Delhi boy who dreamt of achieving the pinnacle of success when he first stepped in the mayanagri – Mumbai. It wasn’t a cake walk, but years and years of hits and misses that led to ultimate superstardom. While the actor was carving his own niche in showbiz, he also gave a number of actresses the biggest break of their careers.

First on our list is the gorgeous leggy lass Deepika Padukone who has now gone international with her unparallel talent and acting chops. The actress was launched in a Farah Khan directorial opposite none other than Shah Rukh Khan himself. Set against the backdrop of the Hindi film industry, ‘Om Shanti Om’ tells the story of a struggling actor in the 1970s who dies soon after witnessing the murder of the woman he loved and is reincarnated to avenge her death. Deepika essayed a double role of Shantipriya and Sandy in the 2007 flick. The two went on to star opposite each other once again in the comic dance flick ‘Happy New Year’.

Not many would know about this, but dimpled beauty Preity Zinta got her big Bollywood break opposite Shah Rukh Khan in 1998 flick ‘Dil Se’. She was introduced as Preeti Nair, a middle-class Delhi girl and Khan’s fiancée. The film was considered an unusual launch for a newcomer, as her role called for only 20 minutes of screen time.
However, she was eventually noticed for her role, particularly for the forthright character she played. Her scene with SRK, in which she asked him, “Are you a virgin?”, became well-known, and her portrayal earned her a Filmfare Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Next, comes vivacious diva Anushka Sharma, whose debut is fairly recent than the others mentioned on the list. Anushka’s acting debut was in Aditya Chopra’s romantic comedy ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ in 2008, opposite Shah Rukh Khan. According to reports, she took a day to prepare for her screen test at the film studio and refused to do an impromptu one. She signed a three-film deal with the company and landed the leading role of Tani Sahni, a young bride to a middle-aged man, portrayed by King Khan.

The ‘thumka queen’ was also launched by Shah Rukh Khan in Bollywood. In the 1993 suspense-thriller ‘Baazigar’, inspired by the Hollywood film ‘A Kiss Before Dying’, the film featured Shetty in the supporting role of Seema Chopra, a girl who is murdered by her revenge-seeking boyfriend, played by Khan. ‘Baazigar’ proved to be a major box office hit and finished up as the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year. Both the film as well as Shetty’s performance received critical appreciation.

After her break in the critically acclaimed film ‘Swades’, Gayatri Joshi disappeared from the spotlight. However, her debut movie went on to become a cult film and paved way for her infinite success. ‘Swades’ received strong acclaim from Indian film critics and she received several citations as Best Female Newcomer at award functions for 2004.

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