From a Child to a Star: The journey of child actors in Bollywood

Many famous film stars had been discovered when they were barely out of kindergarten. While some child actors made it big, others went unnoticed in this glitzy world of Bollywood. Below is a list of some stars who ruled the silver screen from a very young age.

Kamal Hassan: He started his journey into films when he was just 6 years old. He bagged a role in A. Bhimsingh’s movie Kalathur Kannamma which won the President’s Gold Medal award. Thereafter he starred in five more films as a child actor and had the opportunity to work with noted Tamil actors of that time. Kamala Hassan, who is now 57 years old, has over 50 South Indian films to his credit and has even left quite a mark in the Hindi film industry with his memorable performances in ‘Ek duje ke liye’ and ‘Chachi 420’.
Kamal Hasan

Sri Devi: This diva was born in Sivakashi, a place in Tamil Nadu and her real name is Shree Amma Yanger. Sri Devi’s started her career as a lead child artist in a Tamil flick named ‘Kandan’. She stormed into Bollywood with her 1979 hit debut film ‘Solvaa Sawan’. After that she was seen in many films like ‘Chandni’, ‘Sadma’ and ‘Judaai’ to name a few. Her role in Sadma had been critically acclaimed. In Judaai she shared screen space with Urmila Matondkar, another diva who had started her career as a child artist in the movie Masoom.
Urmila Matondkar
: Her first child artist debut was in the movie Kalyug (1981). After that she was cast as Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah’s  elder daughter in Shekhar Kapoor’s Masoom . Her first film as an adult was  Bade ‘Ghar Ki Beti’ which was followed by ‘Chamatkar’ where Naseeruddin Shah played the role of her father yet again. She has won a number of awards for her spectacular performance in movies like Bhoot, Kaun, Ek Haseena Thi and Naina.
Urmila Matondkar
Shashi Kapoor
: Being the youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, acting was in his blood. As a child actor he starred in mythological films initially and then went on to act in a number of main stream Hindi films like Meena and Bachpan. He debuted in the movie Dharmaputra in 1961 as the lead actor. He has acted in more than 160 films since then including some foreign movies as well.

Kunal Khemu: He played a notorious brat in the Amir Khan starrer Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke, a child abandoned by his father in Zakhm and a loving brother in Bhai. Kunal Khemu is the most recent success story of the ‘child actor turned star’ league. Now dating the gorgeous Soha Ali Khan, Khemu made his debut with the runaway hit Kalyug directed by Mohit Suri. He was recently seen in the movies Golmaal3 and Blood Money.

Neetu Singh
: She acted in the film ‘Do Kaliyan’ when she was only 8 years old. She was known as Sonia back then. She was also seen in movies like Waaris and Pavitra Paapi as a child. Her innocent looks and natural acting made her the casting choice of many directors. She was offered the lead role in the film Rickshawala in 1972 which was the stepping stone of her career as a main stream Hindi film actress. There was no looking back after that and she had already acted in 60 films before getting married to Rishi Kapoor and settling down as a house wife. Recently she was seen in her come back movie ‘Do Dooni Chaar’ which had her husband in the lead.