Bollywood is a tough world. It is a dicey one too. There are instances when a newbie has turned into a star overnight with just one hit movie. Also, there are examples when a superstar or a film producer has come on roads with a flop movie. We have always been fascinated with the glamorous world and have always heard about the rags to riches stories. But everyone is that fortunate. There are many Bollywood celebrities who were flocked by fans, media and Bollywood fraternity in their success days but were left alone and were gradually faded into oblivion in their last days. Here is a list of Bollywood celebrities who turned from riches to rags and witnessed the infinite depths of darkness.
The sex-symbol of the 70s and 80s, Parveen Babi graced the cover of Time magazine and had several hit movies to her credit. Known for her bold and bohemian looks, the actress developed paranoid schizophrenia and accused several popular personalities like Amitabh Bachchan and Bill Clinton to try to kill her. She lived alone in her Mumbai flat and died a lonely death. People came to know about her death only after three days after she had not picked up milk and newspapers from her door. Unfortunately, no one came forward to claim her body for two days. Later, Mahesh Bhatt performed her last rites.
Bhagwan Abhaji Palav, popularly known as Bhagwan Dada made his Bollywood debut with the film ‘Criminal’. His film ‘Albela’ with Geeta Bali was a super hit. The song ‘Sholajo bhadke’ is still popular. He lived his life like a king. But films like ‘Jhamela’ and ‘Labela’ shattered his dreams and he had to sell his Juhu bungalow and seven cars, which he used one for each day of the week. He was forced to live in a chawl and died of a massive heart attack at his residence in 2002.
Before making it big in Bollywood, actor Bharat Bhushan had to struggle for about a decade. After his movie ‘Baiju Bawra’ he became an established actor. He earned a lot of name, fame and money. He had numerous flats in Mumbai but his habit of not saving money led to his downfall. In his last days, he was forced to live in a chawl and had to work as a watchman in a movie studio. He breathed his last in 1992.
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear the name AK Hangal is ‘Itna sannata kyu hai bhai?’ The actor has 225 films to his credit. In his last days, he battled acute poverty and went bankrupt. His condition was so pathetic that he couldn’t even pay his medical bills. After Amitabh Bachchan came to know about his condition he gave Rs 20 lakh for his treatment. In 2012, he breathed his last at the age of 95.
Vimi made her Bollywood debut with BR Chopra’s ‘Humraaz’ in 1967 and became a star overnight. She was already married to a high profile businessman before entering Bollywood. She met Director Ravi at a party in Calcutta who later introduced her to BR Chopra and this is how she bagged her first film. But due to her husband’s dictating nature she divorced him. But the damage was already done. Due to previous issues created by her husband she did not get any work. This led her to alcoholism and in her early 30s, she breathed her last on August 22, 1977, in Nanavati Hospital.
Once a successful model and daughter of a Navy Officer, Geetanjali Nagpal walked the ramp for many popular designers. Soon she was addicted to drugs and in 2007 she was found begging on the streets of South Delhi and spending her nights in parks and temples. The model also worked as a maid to quell her cravings for drugs and alcohol. There was also a report that after one of the photographer spotted her and took her photographs she slid her t-shirt down her shoulders and posed like a model. Later, after the reports were published she was approached by Delhi Commission for Women and was taken to police station and later to a mental asylum.
Known for his role in Subhash Ghai’s ‘Karz’ where he played Rishi Kapoor’s pre-incarnation, Raj Kiran was at the peak of his career in the 1970s and 80s. He made the song ‘Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho’ a legendary hit. He went missing for almost a decade and was assumed dead. While his co-star Rishi Kapoor didn’t lose hopes and got in touch with Raj Kiran’s brother who informed him that Raj Kiran is alive and lives in Atlanta. In 2010, on his trip to the USA, Rishi Kapoor searched for him and found him confined to an institution in Atlanta due to health problems.
Music composer and singer-songwriter OP Nayyar contributed several hit tunes to Bollywood but lost everything due to alcoholism. He was abandoned by his family and spent his last days at a fan’s home. It is also said that when he was approached by someone for interviews he would demand alcohol and money. He breathed his last on January 28, 2007.
Achala Sachdev started her career as a child actor and is popular for her roles in ‘Waqt’ (1965) and ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ (1995). Five years before her death, she donated her flat in Pune to a charitable organization Janseva Foundation on a condition that they should take care of her until her death. In 2011, she slipped and fell in her kitchen and sustained a fracture in her leg. Later, she was diagnosed with multiple embolisms in her brain that resulted in total paralysis and complete loss of vision. In 2012, at the age of 91, she died a painful death in a hospital in Pune.
25-year-old aspiring actress Mitali Sharma was caught by Oshiwara Police when she was trying to break a car window. She was a resident of Delhi and ran away from her home to pursue her career in Bollywood. Her parents abandoned her. She worked in some lesser known Bhojpuri films but her career did not take off. She went into depression and turned to begging and stealing to make a living. She was often seen roaming the streets of Mumbai. She has now been admitted to a mental rehabilitation centre.