If there’s one thing in Mumbai that’s more important than cricket and food, it is Bollywood. The Hindi film industry, colloquially known as Bollywood, churns out more than 1,000 movies annually. The fascinating glamour world also attracts many newcomers each year, however, a few burn bright while the rest sizzle out.
Behold, a list of female Bollywood actors who were one film wonders, that we noticed and expected a lot from, but soon disappeared after a brief romance with stardom.
Joshi left the audience impressed with her simplicity in her debut Bollywood film Swades (2004), starring alongside Shah Rukh Khan. Joshi’s character Gita in Ashutosh Gowarikar’s film is a teacher by profession. She studied in New Delhi but soon returns to her village Charanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Gita is ambitious, determined by nature and wants to make the nation a better place by championing a movement to educate young children.
Gita is also an active advocate of feminism who rejects a marriage alliance that requires her to let go of her passion. “Hatheliyaan sirf mehendi keliye nahi hoti,” she rightfully states during an arranged marriage meeting.
After Swades, Joshi got married to Vikas Oberoi, Chairman and Managing Director of Oberoi Realty Ltd. and bid farewell to the film world.
Ayesha Jhulka is best known for Aamir Khan’s coming-of-age tale Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. She also starred in films like Kurbaan, Khiladi, Waqt Humaara Hai and Masoom. She recently made a comeback to the movies with Anil Sharma’s 2018 release Genius.
Gracy Singh, who made her Bollywood debut opposite Aamir Khan in Ashutosh Gowariker’s critically-acclaimed Lagaan, admitted to having ‘apprehensions’ about being a part of the film industry.
“I had some apprehensions; which is why I didn’t want to get into films. However, it’s such a beautiful world and I am very proud to be a part of the film industry,” the actor mentioned in her earlier interviews.
After Lagaan, Gracy was seen in films such as Gangaajal, Munna Bhai MBBS and Deshdrohi.
Preeti Jhangiani first appeared in Rajshri Productions’ music album Yeh Hai Prem in 1997 before making her Bollywood debut with the multi-starrer film Mohabbatein in 2000. She moved away from mainstream Bollywood films after starring in Awara Paagal Deewana, LOC Kargil, Aan: Men at Work.
In March 2022, Jhangiani, along with her husband Pravin Dabas, founded India’s first professional arm wrestling championship, Pro Panja League.
Suggested Reading: From Anu Aggarwal To Asin, Famous Women Actors Who Quit Bollywood
Sneha Ullal, who is perhaps widely known for her uncanny resemblance to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, occupied a hotspot when she made her debut in Salman Khan-starrer film Lucky – No Time For Love. Soon after her debut, Ullal moved to the Telugu film scene, hardly returning to Bollywood for a few projects here and there.
Sonal Chauhan made her debut in Kunal Deshmukh’s Jannat opposite Emraan Hashmi. While the film and its soundtrack were well received by critics and audiences, Sonal received a Filmfare Award nomination for Best Female Debut. Since then she has appeared in several Telugu, Kannada films and made her OTT debut with the 2019 sci-fi web show Skyfire.