10 Famous Bollywood Actresses Who Chose To Live As Second Wives

10 Famous Bollywood Actresses Who Chose To Live As Second Wives View All Articles

Posted On: 01 Jul 2021 | Last Updated: 20 Aug 2021

Sometimes Bollywood may not be the right place to set an example for its fans. Whenever it has come to affairs and relationships, Bollywood has often seen receiving a lot of flak for the way a number of celebrities have been caught in secret extramarital affairs or illegal marriages. One wonders what makes these celebrities' lives and relationships so complicated that they break all legal barriers and take extreme steps without thinking about what sort of an example they might be setting for others. Instances of affairs, live-ins, and divorces are so common that it doesn’t spring as a surprise to anyone anymore. What was termed once upon as taboo in our society has become ‘cool’ now with actresses to a large extent ready to stay even as second wives despite their husbands not taking a divorce from their first wives. Yes, you read it right, a few known female celebs in Bollywood accepted to remain as second wives. Check out these female celebs who chose to live as second wives and went on to authenticate it!


(Note: We haven't taken into account a few well-known short-lived marriages like that of Asma Sahiba and Dilip Kumar, Zeenat Aman and Sanjay Khan and Sridevi and Mithun Chakraborty's but only those famous actresses who lived or continue to live as second wives for a long duration.)

1. Hema Malini - Dharmendra

The dream girl of Bollywood, Hema Malini who was known to have starred in many movies with Dharmendra in the 70s and 80s had a publicized affair till they got married in 1980. Dharmendra who was already married to Prakash Kaur and had four children, including Sunny and Bobby Deol, got converted to Islam to marry Hema Malini. Though Hema Malini was termed as a husband snatcher by the media those days when she married Dharmendra but things slowly and steadily mellowed down as the former didn’t interfere with the latter’s first family and had a house of her own. Prakash Kaur continues to be Dharmendra’s first legally wedded wife while Hema became his second wife and had two daughters, Esha Deol and Ahana Deol.

Hema Malini - Dharmendra

2. Helen - Salim Khan

Another famous actress who chose to stay as the second wife was the 60s and 70s item girl and actress Helen who married actor turned writer Salim Khan in 1981. Helen who was earlier married to producer-director Prem Narayan Arora in 1957 and got divorced in 1974, grew closer to Salim Khan who was already married to Salma Khan (aka Sushila Charak) with whom he had 4 children, Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Sohail Khan and Alvira Khan. Despite facing opposition from Salma Khan and his children, Salim Khan went ahead and married Helen. The couple later adopted Arpita Khan as their daughter.

Helen - Salim Khan

3. Smita Patil - Raj Babbar

Actor Raj Babbar who formed a formidable on-screen pair with Smita Patil in the 80s and did many films including Bheegi Palkein, Tajurba, Aaj Ki Awaaz, Awam, etc. had an extra-marital affair before getting married in 1985. Raj Babbar who was already married to Nadira Babbar and had two children namely Juhi Babbar and Arya Babbar hadn’t divorced the latter before marrying Smita Patil. Despite Smita facing severe criticism from her fans and the media went ahead getting married to her co-star. After giving birth to their son Prateik Babbar in 1986 Smita died from childbirth complications after which Raj Babbar went back to Nadira.

Smita Patil - Raj Babbar

4. Meena Kumari - Kamal Amrohi

Tragedy queen of the silver screen, Meena Kumari figures in the list of top Bollywood actresses who married a married man. The actress met writer-director Kamal Amrohi during the filming of the movie Tamasha in 1951 which starred Ashok Kumar & Dev Anand too. Taking a liking to each other, on 14 February 1952, Meena Kumari (18) and Kamal Amrohi (34), secretly got married in a simple ‘Nikah’ ceremony. Despite already having two wives, Kamal Amrohi went ahead by marrying Meena Kumari while allowing her to continue her acting career. Things turned bitter between the two while Kamal found it hard to manage his family along with his profession. The couple went for a separation in 1964 after 12 years of union. Meena Kumari died in 1972 while Kamal Amrohi died in 1993.

Meena Kumari - Kamal Amrohi

5. Jayashree / Sandhya - V. Shantaram

Bollywood’s iconic filmmaker V. Shantaram married 12-year-old Vimalabai at the age of 20 who belonged to his own community, before joining films. After making it big as a director in Marathi as well as Bollywood Shantaram subsequently married actress Jayashree (alias Kamulkar) at the age of 40, with whom he fell in love during the shooting of Shakuntala (1942) which reportedly ran for 104 weeks in Mumbai. Jayashree became Shantaram's second wife and was gleefully accepted by his first wife Vimalabai. Jayashree and Shantaram had three children before getting divorced in 1956. The filmmaker yet again married another leading lady of his films named Sandhya who grew closer during the making of films like Do Aankhen Barah Haath, Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, Navrang, Sehra and Jal Bin Machhli Nritya Bin Bijli. Though Vimalabai accepted Sandhya as her little sister but often accused her of using Shantaram as a stepping stone to stardom. Shantaram married Sandhya within a month of his divorce to Jayashree in 1956. The legendary filmmaker breathed his last on 30 October 1990.

Jayashree / Sandhya - V. Shantaram

6. Jaya Prada - Srikanth Nahata

Southern siren Jaya Prada also is a part of the list of top Bollywood beauties who married a married man. Jaya Prada who made her Bollywood debut opposite Rishi Kapoor in K. Vishwanath’s Sargam in 1979 also qualifies to the list of Bollywood actresses who preferred to live as second wives. Jaya Prada who was one of Bollywood’s top-rated lead actresses of the 80s and 90s and appeared opposite heroes like Jeetendra, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, and Rajesh Khanna, went on to marry the already married Srikanth Nahata on 22 February 1989. Srikanth Nahata, who was a well-known producer was already married to Chandra and had 3 children, stirred a lot of controversy post-marriage to Jaya Prada, especially since he did not divorce his first wife. Jaya Prada and Srikanth have no children together while post quitting films the former took up a career in politics and adopted her sister's son.

Jaya Prada - Srikanth Nahata

7. Savitri - Gemini Ganesan

Actress Savitri who was more popular down south in Telugu and Tamil movies in the 50s and 60s than Bollywood had also acted in a few Hindi movies like Bahut Din Huye (1954), Ghar Basake Dekho (1963), Ganga Ki Lahren (1964), etc. In 1952 Savitri married famous actor Gemini Ganesan who was already married to Pushpavalli and Alamelu and was living with them and had six daughters (including actress Rekha from Pushpavalli). Despite not divorcing his first two wives Savitri continued staying with Gemini Ganesan as his third wife and went on to have two children from him - a daughter and a son. Savitri died on 26 December 1981 while still married to Gemini Ganesan, at the age of 46.

Savitri - Gemini Ganesan

8. Heena Kausar - Iqbal Mirchi

Daughter of the famous film-maker K. Asif (producer-director of the epic Mughal-e-Azam) and actress wife Nigar Sultana, Heena Kausar who made her debut in the movie Holi Ayee Re in 1970 and acted in films like Jeet, Dost, Nagin, Adaalat, Parvarish, Razia Sultan, etc., was married to alleged Indian underworld figure, Iqbal Mirchi. Iqbal Mirchi who was known as the right-hand man of India's most wanted criminal, Dawood Ibrahim, married Heena Kausar in 1991. Iqbal Mirchi was already married to Hajira Memon from whom he had two sons Asif and Junaid. Heena Kausar lived along with Iqbal in the United Kingdom as his second wife till the latter breathed his last in 2013.

Heena Kausar - Iqbal Mirchi

9. Aruna Irani - Kuku Kohli

From playing child artists to female leads and supporting roles, actress Aruna Irani has come a long way since making her acting debut in Shikwa in 1958 and Dilip Kumar’s Gunga Jumna in 1961. Though often linked to comedian Mehmood many times, she finally married then-upcoming director Kuku Kohli (Sandesh Kohli) in 1986 who was already married and had children from his first wife. Despite knowing his marital status, Aruna married Kuku Kohli at the age of 40 who later directed films like Phool Aur Kaante, Suhaag, Haqeeqat, Anari No.1, and Zulmi. In an interview, Aruna said that that they decided not to have children.

Aruna Irani - Kuku Kohli

10. Deepa Narayan - Udit Narayan

Deepa Narayan Jha may not qualify as the quintessential Bollywood actress for this list but has lent her vocals as a playback singer in movies like Anubhav: An Experience, Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat and Ghoonghat, etc. She married renowned playback singer Udit Narayan in 1985 who was already married before to Ranjana Narayan Jha in 1984. Deepa Narayan Jha was already in a relationship with Udit while he was still married to Ranjana. Years later Ranjana made her marriage public by inviting the press and making Udit accept her as his first wife. Udit currently stays with Deepa while they have a son Aditya Narayan who is also a playback singer in Bollywood.

Deepa Narayan - Udit Narayan