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Happy Birthday to Dimple Kapadia, the Queen of Oomph

A throwback at some of Dimple Kapadia’s most popular films.

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Dimple Kapadia turns a year older today, but the actor’s life had changed forever at 16. That’s when she not only debuted with the title role in Raj Kapoor’s Bobby but soon after bid good-bye to the movies, having tied the knot with India’s biggest superstar at the time - Rajesh Khanna. Over the years, Dimple has given power-packed performances in films like Drishti, Lekin, Rudaali and Finding Fanny. Her performance in Christopher Nolan's Tenet has also been highly appreciated.

We revisit five of Dimple Kapadia’s popular outings on the big screen over the decades.

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Bobby (1973)

A throwback at some of Dimple Kapadia’s most popular films.
Dimple Kapadia and Rishi Kapoor in Bobby 

Dimple Kapadia started early, having been discovered by Raj Kapoor when she was just 16. The actor made her debut in the title role as Bobby Braganza, the middle-class Goan Christian girl who Raj (Rishi Kapoor) falls for. Dimple made a splash in her first film, her orange bikini sure grabbed eye-balls and songs like ‘Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Bandh Ho...’ and ‘Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate...’ made her an instant favourite. Dimple also took home the Filmfare award for Best Actress for Bobby.

Manzil Manzil (1984)

A throwback at some of Dimple Kapadia’s most popular films.
Dimple Kapadia and Sunny Deol in Manzil Manzil

One of Dimple’s lesser known films, Manzil Manzil, was the actor’s second release after an 11 year gap post Bobby. The film is significant since it was the first time that she was paired opposite Sunny Deol. Dimple called Manzil Manzil as one of her most memorable experiences and called the entire shoot ‘one big picnic’. The Sunny-Dimple chemistry seemed to work more off-screen and the two were reportedly inseparable. Gossip columns in the 80s had a field day speculating about their relationship, though both of them have till date never admitted to being anything more than just ‘good friends’.

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Saagar (1985)

A throwback at some of Dimple Kapadia’s most popular films.
Dimple Kapadia in Saagar 

Ramesh Sippy announced a casting coup of sorts by reuniting the hit jodi of Bobby after 12 years in Saagar. This would be Dimple’s biggest film after her sabbatical post her marriage with Rajesh Khanna. The actor won the Filmfare award once again for her powerful performance as a woman emotionally caught between two men. Dimple again dazzled in a swimsuit scene, where she emerges out of the water and is seen by Rishi Kapoor for the first time. Kishore Kumar’s popular song ‘Chehra Hai Ya Chand Khila Hai...’ could just be an ode to this beautiful actor.

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Zakhmi Aurat (1988)

A throwback at some of Dimple Kapadia’s most popular films.
Dimple Kapadia in Zakhmi Aurat

In this 1988 pot boiler, Dimple Kapadia plays the tough cop Kiran Dutt who goes on a rampage to take revenge on her rapists. Dutt, along with a group of women, slices, dices and delivers justice by castrating their assaulters. One of Bollywood’s early films with a female protagonist on a mission to avenge her enemies, Zakhmi Aurat was a box-office success and spawned several wannabes.

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Janbaaz (1986)

A throwback at some of Dimple Kapadia’s most popular films.
Dimple Kapadia in Janbaaz 

From her early days in Bobby at the age of 16, till Janbaaz when the actor hit 30, Dimple Kapadia’s oomph remained incomparable. Feroz Khan presented Dimple as the sexy and scorching Reshma in Janbaaz and the actor effortlessly carried off a whole wardrobe of denims, jackets, cowboy hats, boots, swimsuits - you name it! One of the film’s memorable scenes had Dimple taking a tumble in the hay with Anil Kapoor.

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(This story is from The Quint’s archives and is being republished to mark Dimple Kapadia’s birthday.)

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