10 Bollywood Celebrities Who Tragically Went From Riches To Rags

Posted On: 09 Feb 2022 | Last Updated : 09 Mar 2022 | Views : 25

Indian Film Industry is one of the biggest film industries in the world, with Bollywood maintaining its dominance over the Indian Film Industry. Filled with glamour and controversial dramas, this showbiz promises fame to everyone who becomes a part of it. Bollywood had surely given overnight stardom to many people who were once known to none. After becoming a part of Bollywood, many climb the ladder of success and become the most notable in their field, while for some things don’t go as smoothly. Despite receiving immense fame and success, sometimes everything backfires and things go horribly wrong. People often land from where they started or even worse. Today we’re going to talk about such Bollywood celebrities, who despite being successful lost everything tragically and went from riches to rags. These actors saw the dizzying heights and peaks of their stardom, only to have it crash down to nothing. Here, we present to you the top 10 Bollywood celebrities who went from riches to rags.


1. Bhagwan Dada

One of the most versatile actors of Bollywood, Bhagwan Dada, was born to a textile-mill worker. Initially, he too worked as a labourer, but always dreamt of being in films. Soon came the time when his dreams were realized. He started with small roles in the silent era films in the 1930s but soon started getting lengthy supporting roles and even lead roles in the movies. He then learned filmmaking and started making low-budget films. In the career span of over six decades, he acted in around 370 films including Bachke Rahna (1949), Albela (1951), Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje (1955), Bhagam Bhag (1956), and many more. During the 1940s, he saw the peak of his career and was declared one of the richest Bollywood actors. However, his career started to go downhill after he produced and directed the 1953 film Jhamela, which saw little success. He did not have many hits since then and had to give up directing and producing films. Soon, he had to sell his 25-room waterfront bungalow in Juhu and all of his seven cars, one for each day of the week. Later in his career, he took whatever roles were offered to him, and his love for Bollywood and films was evident as he continued to be in the industry till the very end of his life.

Bhagwan Dada
Bhagwan Dada
2. Achala Sachdev

The Indian actress Achala Sachdev was born in Peshawar in British India and started her career as a radio jockey. She made her debut in Bollywood with the 1938 film Fashionable Wife. In the career span of over seven decades, she acted in over 130 films, including Waqt (1965), Daag: A Poem of Love (1973), Julie (1975), Chandni (1989), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001). The actress married Clifford Douglas Peters, a mechanical engineer, whom she met on the sets of a movie. The couple moved to Pune, where Peters had a factory and lived in a bungalow close to the factory. Things changed for Achala after the death of her husband. She gave away her flat to a charitable association, who took care of her during her last days. In an accident in 2011, she sustained a fracture and was diagnosed with multiple embolisms in her brain that resulted in paralysis and loss of vision. Almost a year later, she breathed her last and is survived by her son Jyotin.

Achala Sachdev
Achala Sachdev
3. A. K. Hangal

A. K. Hangal was an Indian actor, who started his career as a stage actor and later, at the age of 52, he started appearing in films. He surely was one of the most endearing old men in the Indian film industry, who is most remembered for his one-liner from Sholay (1975) – ‘Itna Sannata Kyon Hai Bhai’. He mostly appeared in supporting and character roles and has acted in around 225 Hindi films in a career that spanned over four decades, which includes Guddi (1971), Namak Haraam (1973), Sholay (1975), Aaina (1977), Prem Bandhan (1979), Avtaar (1983), Lagaan (2001), etc. Due to his old age, it became difficult for the actor to bear his medical expenses, which forced him to continue taking up roles that were offered to him despite his age-related illness. He made his last appearance in Amol Palekar’s film Paheli (2005). He breathed his last at Asha Parekh Hospital in Mumbai in 2012 at the age of 97. The fact that no biggie from Bollywood attended the veteran actor’s funeral was heart-breaking to see.

A. K. Hangal
A. K. Hangal
4. Nalini Jaywant

Nalini Jaywant was a prominent Indian actress, who was active in Bollywood during the 1940s and 1950s. She was the first cousin of actress Shobhna Samarth, mother of actresses Nutan and Tanuja. The actress gained popularity with her role in Mehboob Khan’s Bahen (1941). Some important movies of her career include Samadhi (1950), Sangram (1950), Rahi (1953), Shikast (1953), Railway Platform (1955), Nastik (1954), Munimji (1955), Hum Sab Chor Hain (1956), Milan (1958) and many more. In 1983, she started living solitarily and cut down all connections from the outer world. At the age of 84, she died in 2010 and her death was noticed by none. She had shut herself away from everyone after the death of her husband Prabhu Dayal in 2001. Neither her neighbours nor her relatives were in touch with her and after 3 days of her demise, her body was carried by ambulance.

Nalini Jaywant
Nalini Jaywant
5. Vimi / Vimmi

The 1960s actress Vimi started her career in Bollywood with B.R. Chopra’s 1967 film Hamraaz, alongside Sunil Dutt. The film was successful at the box office, and Vimi's charm mesmerized everyone and gave her well-deserved fame. Other movies featuring Vimi include Aabroo (1968), Patanga (1971), Kahani Hum Sab Ki (1973), etc. However, eventually her acting career started to go downhill and soon, she disappeared from Bollywood. Her personal life was also bombarded with troubles, as shown in the obituary released after her death, Vimi was physically abused by her husband. Troubles in her personal and professional life forced her to take refuge in alcohol. Finally, after a tragic life Vimi breathed her last on 22nd August 1977 due to a liver disease, which marked the end of the story of this Bollywood actress who went from riches to rags.

Vimi / Vimmi
Vimi / Vimmi
6. Bharat Bhushan

Referred as the first chocolate-faced good-looking star of Bollywood, Bharat Bhushan is best remembered for his role in the 1952 film Baiju Bawra. Brought up in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, Bharat Bhushan left the city and moved to Calcutta and later to Bombay. He established himself as one of the greatest stars of Indian cinema with his versatile acting skills. Following the success of his film Baiju Bawra, the actor was often paired with top actresses of his time. His most notable works include Basant Bahar (1956), Gateway of India (1957), Phagun (1958), Sohni Mahiwal (1958), Barsaat Ki Raat (1960), Jahan Ara (1964), and many more. He also wrote scripts and stories for several films like Barsaat Ki Raat, Nayi Umar Ki Nayi Fasal, Basant Bahar, etc. Later in his career, he co-produced movies with his brother Ramesh Chandra, however, most of the films flopped which created the financial crisis for the actor. He had to sell his bungalow in Bandra, the fine collection of books and his cars in bad times. He continued to act in movies till the end and finally breathed his last in 1992.

Bharat Bhushan
Bharat Bhushan
7. Parveen Babi

The glamorous fashion icon and one of the highest-paid actresses of her time, Parveen Babi was one of the unfortunate Bollywood actresses who tragically lost everything. Parveen was one of the most successful actresses of her time, who received recognition for her works in successful movies like Majboor (1974), Deewaar (1975), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Suhaag (1979), Kaala Patthar (1979), The Burning Train (1980), Shaan (1980), Kaalia (1981) and Namak Halaal (1982). Her pairing with Amitabh Bachchan gained popularity after the two featured together in eight super-hit films. She acted in around 50 films in a career that spanned over a decade. After 1983, she mysteriously disappeared from Bollywood, informing nobody of her whereabouts, which raised the rumours of her connections with the underworld. She was also rumoured to have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but she denied it and claimed it to be the conspiracy of the media and film industry. She lived alone in her penthouse apartment in Mumbai and cut connections from everyone. On 22nd January 2005, the actress was found dead in her apartment after a local resident alerted police that she hadn’t collected her groceries for three days. After 72 hours of her death, the police found her body and post-mortem revealed total organ failure as the cause of death.

Parveen Babi
Parveen Babi
8. Raj Kiran

The former Indian actor Raj Kiran is the next to make to the list of Bollywood actors who went from riches to rags. The actor is most remembered for appearing in movies like Kaagaz Ki Nao (1975), Shikshaa (1979), Karz (1980), Baseraa (1981), Arth (1982), Raaj Tilak (1984), Ilzaam (1986), Waaris (1988), etc. Post 1980s, the actor’s career faced a setback, which became the reason for his acute depression. He also went through a domestic crisis and eventually disappeared from the film industry. Reportedly, the actor was also admitted to asylum and later went missing for a while. Many of his co-stars, including Deepti Naval and Rishi Kapoor, tried to track down the whereabouts of Raj Kiran, but found no accurate information. In 2011, his daughter Rishika issued a public statement that she and her family have been looking for Raj Kiran with the assistance of New York police and private detectives for many years, with not much success.

Raj Kiran
Raj Kiran
9. O. P. Nayyar

Omkar Prasad Nayyar, better known as O. P. Nayyar, was an Indian music composer, who was considered one of the most rhythmic and melodious music directors of Hindi cinema. He had given evergreen music for some super-hit movies like Aar Paar (1954), C.I.D. (1956), Naya Daur (1957), Raagini (1958), Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), Sambandh (1968), etc. He worked extensively with the leading singers of his time. However, despite being at the peak of his career, O. P. Nayyar saw a setback which was because of his alcohol addiction. He even left his family and made a request for them to be barred from his funeral. He moved out of Mumbai and stayed with his friends or fans until his death in 2007.

O. P. Nayyar
O. P. Nayyar
10. Jagdish Mali

Father of actress Antara Mali, Jagdish Mali was a fashion and film photographer, who had worked with celebrities like Rekha, Anupam Kher, Irrfan Khan, Manisha Koirala, Shabana Azmi, Neena Gupta, Manoj Bajpayee, Aamir Khan, etc. He worked with cine magazines and the pictures he took of actress Rekha are considered her best pictures and were also featured on the cover of magazines. However, out-of-luck, he had a downfall in his career and disappeared from the industry. In 2013, he was found semi-nude wandering on the streets of Mumbai. Later, he was helped by actor Salman Khan and model-actress Mink Brar. In the same year, on 13th May Jagdish Mali died at Nanavati hospital at the age of 59. He was reportedly suffering from liver cirrhosis, diabetes and high blood pressure, and due to lack of proper care, his condition worsened.

Jagdish Mali
Jagdish Mali
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