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Bollywood’s 10 Hottest Actresses Of All Times

Subhash K . Jha

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Madhubala: It was in her smile — the flirtatious half-smile that
hinted at more stormy secrets within. Madhubala is still considered
by many connoisseurs to be the most complete woman to have ever
tiptoed across the screen. Whether bantering with Kishore Kumar in
“Jhumroo” and with Guru Dutt in “Mr & Mrs 55” or oozing oomph as a
nightclub dancer in “Howrah Bridge”, she was the epitome of
unvarnished erotica. Madhubala’s highpoint as the Venus of Hindi
cinema was “Mughal-e-Azam”, where she exuded a lethal and potent
sensuality.

Zeenat Aman: Frisky and packed with attitude, Zeenat Aman ushered in
the age of a hip and trendy heroine in Hindi cinema. As Janice the
devil-may-care flower child in “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”, Zeenie
Baby (as she was labelled by tabloids) blew the screen apart with
her no-holds-barred sexuality. Knowing she wasn’t much of an
actress, filmmakers played on her oomph. While, it was often said,
that her cleavage did the acting, Zeenat’s stature as a pinup girl
grew through a large part of the 1970s until Raj Kapoor overdid the
oomph in “Satyam Shivam Sundaram”. But while she lasted, Zeenat
drove men wild with her unabashed sexuality.

Parveen Babi: She first came into Hindi cinema in “Charitra” as the
poor man’s Zeenat Aman. But soon Parveen Babi had an identity
beyond a cool clone. In films like “Deewaar” and “Shaan”, she
epitomised the new age eroticism in the late seventies. Babi’s sex
appeal wasn’t so much about cleavage and thighs, as hair and lips.
One shake of the hair and a quiver of the lips ignited the screen.

Sharmila Tagore: Though she gained recognition as an actress through
her series of “serious” roles in the 1970s, throughout the 60s
Sharmila Tagore held her own as the curve queen. Petite and
provocative, Sharmila shocked purists by getting into a two-piece
bathing costume on the cover of Filmfare magazine. In “An Evening
In Paris” she insisted on wearing a bikini. Director Shakti Samanta
convinced her to wear a one-piece. In “Talaash”, Tagore clad
herself simultaneously in titillating furs and a skimpy
ghagra-choli to seduce Rajendra Kumar. Sharmila was always ahead of
her times.

Helen: One cabaret item by her was enough to send hordes of viewers
into a collective swoon. Helen was the conservative queen of
coquetry. A simple refugee from Myanmar (formerly Burma) with a
large family to feed, she donned the furs only to make a living.
Who was to know that within no time a cabaret item by Helen would
add so much weigh at the box-office? Helen virtually ruled the
roost from the mid-1960s to the end of the 1980s. Her most
memorable dance numbers are part of Bollywood folklore.

Urmila Matondkar: She came out of the blue to bathe the screen in
purple desires. The minute Urmila Matondkar got on a rock
“Rangeela” in a fabulously cut Manish Malhotra dress, a new sex
symbol was born. For the first time since Zeenat Aman, oomph was no
longer the vamp’s domain. Never confusing vulgarity with
sensuality, Urmila has virtually revolutionised the way sensuality
is projected in Indian cinema — never cheap, forever chic. She
showed the way on how a heroine should project herself on screen
without apologising about her sex appeal.

Mumtaz: If Zeenat Aman was the chic queen, Mumtaz was the maharani
of operatic oomph. Loud, in-your-face earthy and seductive, her
big-built charisma saw many films cross the finish line. From the
time she was a starlet, Mumtaz had a certain quality that generated
hit films. While other sex symbols down the years were reserved,
aloof and unattainable, Mumtaz was the voluptuous girl next door
getting into beach-wear with Feroz Khan for torrid clinches in
“Apradh” or joining Rajesh Khanna for a romp in the rain in “Do
Raaste”.

Bindu: Bindu epitomised the raunchy spirit. Her wide mouth, ample
bust line and Amazonian hips swayed to R.D. Burman’s hip-hop in the
1970s and 1980s to such volcanic effect that distributors would
actually ask for one of her dances as part of the perfect
formulistic package. Whether she played Ajit’s Mona Darling or Prem
Chopra’s Shabbo, Bindu’s appeal was undeniable.

Rekha: There are two sides to Rekha’s sex appeal: the post-“Sawan
Bhadon” sensuality of oozing oomph and uncontrollable appetites and
the post-“Umrao Jaan” seductiveness of restrained emotions
trickling out in a poetic tumble. Both the Rekhas are cultivated
products. And yet many of her diehard admirers swear by her husky
appeal, her almond eyes and chocolate demeanour.

Priyanka Chopra: As one of her favourite direcrtors says, ‘Priyanka just can’t help being sexy. Even when she’s playing Bajirao’s wife she’s seductive to the core.”

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