Who is the most adored villain of Indian cinema?

In the colorful world of cinema, it is not just the protagonists (heroes/lead actors) who are loved and adored, there are many antagonists (villains) who are equally idolized by the masses. Here is a list of some of the actors who will forever remain in the hearts of movie buffs through their evil grins, terrifying laughs, and heart shivering one-liners.

Here are some of the famous Indian movie villains of all time.

Amrish Puri
Amrish Puri was one of the most versatile actors of Indian cinema who started his career in the late 1960s and has acted in over 400 films in his career of over three decades. Even though he has played positive supporting roles in a number of films, he was more popular for his negative roles like Mogambo in Mr. India (1987) or the corrupt politician Balraj Chauhan in Nayak (2001). Shahenshah (1988), Tridev (1989), Karan Arjun (1995) are some of his other notable films. He is also a recipient of 2 film fare awards and innumerable other accolades.

Pran is considered to be one of the legendary actors of Indian cinema and was prominently known for playing negative roles in the early half of his film career. He started his career in 1940 with the film Yamla Jat and has acted in over 350 films in his six-decade-long career winning 4 film fare awards and innumerable other accolades. Madhumati (1958), Ram Aur Shyam (1967) are some of the films in which his portrayal of the main antagonist was widely acclaimed.

Prem Chopra
One of the prominent actors of Hindi cinema who’s popular for his negative roles is Prem Chopra. In his six decades-long careers, he has acted in over 380 films including films like Gehri Chaal (1973), Trishul (1978), and The Great Gambler (1979). Even though he was more popular for playing negative roles, he has also played roles in comedy films like Dulhe Raja (1998).

villain of Indian cinema

Hamid Ali Khan popularly known by his stage name Ajit was one of Indian cinema’s acclaimed actors who was famous for his on-screen portrayal of the characters of Teja in Yaadon ki Baarat (1973) and Lion in Kaalicharan (1976). Some of his other notable films include Zanjeer (1973), Jeevan Mrityu (1969), Mr. Natwarlal. In his career of almost 50 years, he has acted in over 200 films.

Gulshan Grover
Known as the Badman of Bollywood, Gulshan Grover is one of the eminent actors in Bollywood, who has acted in over 400 films in his career which spans almost four decades. He is prominently known for playing negative roles, some of his notable films include Kurbaan (1991), Mohra (1994), 16 December (2001), Hera Pheri (2000).

Muddu Babu Shetty (1938–23 January 1982), aka M. B. Shetty or Shetty, was a stuntman and action choreographer cum actor in 1970s Hindi cinema. He had a towering personality with a bald head & had the reputation of getting beaten up as a villain by film heroes half his size.
He has acted in villainous roles and composed stunts for numerous Hindi and Kannada cinema in the 1970s. He ruled as an action director, doing over 700 films, including cult films like Don, The Great Gambler, Trishul, and Deewar.

K.N. Singh
His style included expressive eyes and sarcastic remarks as a ruthless but articulate villain, often playing roles of evil genius; mafia dons who have a double persona to the rest of the world. He also played positive roles in C I D (starring Dev Anand-Shakila), Woh Kaun Thi, and Agent Vinod starring Mahendra Sandhu. His career spanned six decades and included over 200 films.

Mac Mohan
Born as Mohan Makhijaney in Karachi, Macmohan’s roots as an actor were in the theater. He forayed into the film industry as an assistant to Chetan Anand following which he made his debut in the 1964 film “Haqeeqat ”. He acted in nearly 200 films in a career spanning 46 years. The actor, who was mostly a part of the villain’s gang in the films that he worked, played the bad guy despite not having a physique that could look intimidating on screen.

That tiny bit of dialogue “Poore Pachaas Hazaar” shot Mac Mohan to fame and made him immortal. So famous was Sambha, that even an immigration officer in New York recognized him as Gabbar Singh’s sidekick.

Jeevan, born as Omkar Nath Dhar (October 24, 1915, in Srinagar – June 10, 1987), was an actor and was famous for playing the role of Narad Muni in mythological films of the 1950s. He has played the role of Narad Muni in more than 60 films. Later he played the role of a villain in many films of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. His son Kiran Kumar is also an actor.

Amjad Khan
Lacking total empathy in his character ‘Gabbar Singh’ from Sholay (1975), Amjad Khan’s fantastic performance as the dacoit leader shot him to overnight fame.
Khan outplayed many other baddies with roles such as ‘Zoravar’ in Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978).

Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Inspired by the James Bond movies, Kulbhushan Kharbanda played the westernized villain ‘Shakaal’ in Shaan (1980).
With a cheeky on-screen smile; Kulbhushan delivered sophisticated dialogues such as “Yeh zahreeli gas dheere dheere mehfil ko aur rangeen banati rahegi.”
He also performed villainous roles in Bulandi (1981) and Prem Rog (1982).

Shakti Kapoor
Shakti Kapoor was recognized for portraying the evil rapist in Bollywood films. Kapoor turned into a star overnight after a remarkable performance in Feroz Khan’s Qurbani (1980).

His dialogue: “Abhi hamari ek mulaqat aur hogi, aur woh tumhare liye aakhri hogi,” still echoes in the ears of audiences.
The drug-induced psychopath role of ‘Raja’ in Janbaaz (1986) was perfectly tailor-made for Kapoor.

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher played the lethal and esoteric ‘Dr. Dang’ in Subhash Ghai’s Karma (1986). The deadly combination of scientist and terrorist made his dialogues more chilling.
With eyes of wrath, he mercilessly conversed with Dilip Kumar saying: “Iss thappad ki goonj suni tumne? Ab iss goonj ki goonj tumhe zindagi bhar sunai degi.”
The ruthless Anupam Kher performed brilliantly in Chaalbaaz (1989).

Danny Denzongpa
Danny Denzongpa made his mark as a villain in movies such as Hum (1991) and Ghatak (1996). However, it was the role of ‘Kancha Cheena’ in Agneepath (1990), which defined his fashionable villainous persona.

With his slick back hair and cool sunglasses in Agneepath, Danny recited the stylish dialogue: “Bohat dino baad ek Hindustani machli hamare samundar mein dikhai diya.”

Sadashiv Amrapurkar
Sadashiv Amrapurkar played many different roles, varying from a corrupt politician to an evil landlord. His portrayal of the sarcasm-spewing eunuch ‘Maharani’ in Sadak (1990) earned him rave reviews for delivering dialogues like: “Top ki Veshya banaugi.” Sadashiv’s other credible baddie roles came in movies such as Farishtay (1991) and Ishq (1997).

Ashutosh Rana
Ashutosh Rana played the gruesome psychotic serial killer ‘Gokul Pandit’ in Dushman (1998).
Addressing Kajal with the dialogue: “Maine tumhari behan ko issi jaga maara tha,” impressively summed up how heartless his character was.
Rana confidently expressed fanaticism when playing the role of ‘Lajja Shankar Pandey’ in Sangharsh (1999).

Prakash Raj
Prakash Raj acted as a villain in quite a few films, including Wanted (2009).
The superb ‘Jaikant’ in Singham (2012) is by far his most celebrated performance. In the Rohit Shetty directorial, he entertained as a cunning villain famously quoting: “Aali re alai…. maajhi bar alai.”

Prakash Raj is the screen name of Prakash Rai a National Film Award-winning Indian method actor and producer National Film Award for Best Actor in 2009 for his role in Kanchivaram, a Tamil film directed by Priyadarshan, and won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1998 for the Mani Ratnam film Iruvar.

Ranjeet was the resident sexual assaulter of Bollywood movies. In fact, Ranjeet has shot for almost 350 rapes on screen, which also puts a big question mark on the quality of cinema in those days. It does however take a lot of courage for an actor to play a rapist, a role that could have a long-term impact on their personal life.

PS Veerappa
PS Veerappa was a famous villain actor of yesteryears and a producer of Tamil Cinema. Some of his films were Raj Mahal, Sivagangai Seemai, Nadodi Mannan, Chakravarthi Thirumagal, Mahadevi, Alibabavum Narpadhu Thirudargalum, Vanjikottai Valiban.

MN Nambiar
MN Nambiar was a film actor in Tamil cinema and had been in the film industry for more than 50 years.

He became interested in acting when he was 13 and he joined Nawab Rajamanikkam’s troupe. From then on acting became the only thing that occupied him. His first film was ‘Bhaktha Ramadoss’, shot in 1935 in Hindi and Tamil, where he played a villain.

Radha Ravi
Radha Ravi is a Tamil film and television actor, who played supporting roles throughout his career. He is the son of yesteryear actor, M. R. Radha and the brother of Vasu Vikram and stepbrother of Raadhika Sarathkumar. He is a chief member of the South Indian Film Artistes’ Association. He is known for his role as an antagonist in TamilChellamae. He is also known for his controversial criticism and conspiracy theories of other film personalities. films and his current role in the television serial

Nassar is a Tamil actor, producer, writer, director, lyricist, and singer. He has appeared in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, and English films.

He is often cited as part of India’s specialist character actors, along with the likes of Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, and Nana Patekar. He is proficient in Urdu, English, Hindi, Arabic, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam.

Ashish Vidyarthi
Ashish Vidyarthi is a National Film Award-winning actor in India. He won the Best Supporting Actor for film Drohkaal in 1995, who has worked in all the regional film industries.

Even though he typically acts in Hindi movies, he has also acted in several South Indian hit films, including ‘AK 47’, Aa Dinagalu, Jothegara in Kannada, Ghilli in Tamil, CID Moosa in Malayalam, Pokiri in Telugu, and Bombaiyer Bombete in Bengali. He is presently playing a major role in the Zee TV serial Varis.

Raghuvaran was an Indian actor who predominantly acted in movies made in South India. He became famous for his portrayal of villain and character roles in Tamil films. He has acted in more than 150 Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi films. According to the Hindustan Times, ‘the actor had carved a niche for himself with his special style and voice modulation.

M R Radha
He got the title “Nadigavel” for excelling in acting; by E.V.R. Periyar. He was doing well in stage performance, from where he came to Kollywood and had a successful career and went back to the stage acts. MR Radha got arrested on 30 January for shooting on MGR.

R. S. Manohar
This man is known for his versatility, he can be a hero, a comedian, and even a villain. He did everything with perfection. From MGR he got the famous award ‘Nadaka Kavalar’ in 1970.

S A Ashokan
He was successful for his negative roles as well as a hero, and he also worked as a singer. He has worked in many successful movies.

Sonu Sood
Sonu Sood is not only a popular villain in Bollywood but also in South Indian films. He has starred in several Telugu and Kannada movies. His performance in Arundathi is a notable one.

Sayaji Shinde
Sayaji Shinde is a popular villain in Tamil and Telugu and he has also played the antagonist in Bollywood movies. He is one of the most famous Tollywood and Bollywood actor who made his career in most Hindi movies. He had also acted in Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada movies.

Sadananda Sagar better known by his stage name Vajramuni was an Indian actor who appeared in Kannada films. He portrayed negative characters during most of his career and was considered one of Kannada cinema’s finest actors.
Vajramuni has worked in popular movies like Appaji, Yama Kinkara. Vajramuni’s previous film to hit the theatres was Appaji in the year 1996. He is referred to as Nata Bhayankara.

Kota Srinivasa Rao
Kota Srinivasa Rao is one of the most sought after villains in Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada. Kota Srinivasa Rao is an Indian film actor, known for his excellent work primarily in Telugu cinema and Telugu theatre. He has also starred in a few films in Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, and Malayalam.

Charan Raj
Charan Raj has played villain roles in many Kannada and Tamil movies. Soorappa and Tirupati are some of his notable films. Charan Raj is an Indian film actor, director, film producer, and writer who primarily works in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Odia, and Hindi movies. Charan Raj became an instant hit for his performance as a villain in the 1985 movie Pratighatana.

Shobhraj is known for his villain role in Kannada movies. He is the most sought-after actor for the villain role in the early 90s.

Actor Ajay is famous for his antagonist role in Telugu and Kannada. He is also one of the most sought after villains in South India. Ajay became very famous after doing Title role in director SS Rajamouli’s Vikramarkudu.

Thoogudeepa Srinivas
Mysore Srinivas, known by his stage name Thoogudeepa Srinivas was an Indian film actor who acted in Kannada films. He is remembered for having played negative roles in Kannada films. He is the father of another popular Kannada film actor, Darshan.

Lokesh was an Indian stage actor turned film actor, who appeared in Kannada feature films.

Sudheer was an Indian film actor in the Kannada film industry. Some of the notable films of Sudheer as an actor include SP Sangliyana 2, Nee Nanna Gellalare, Rama Lakshmana. He is one of the top villains of Kannada film industry

Tiger Prabhakar
Tiger Prabhakar, also known as Kannada Prabhakar, was an Indian film actor known for his works predominantly in Kannada and Telugu cinema, with a few Malayalam, Tamil, and Bollywood films.

Sundar Krishna Urs
Sundar Krishna Urs was an Indian film actor in the Kannada film industry, as well as in many South Indian language films. He has also worked as a dubbing artist providing voices to many actors.

Keerthiraj is an Indian film actor in the Kannada film industry. Some of the notable films of Keerthiraj as an actor include Gajanura Gandu, Bhanda Nanna Ganda, and S. P. Bhargavi. Keerthiraj has been part of more than 55 Kannada feature films.

Devaraj is an Indian actor and theatre actor who works in the South Indian film industry. He has largely featured in Kannada films performing various roles as a lead character, supporting character, and villainous character.

Anand Raj
Anandaraj is an Indian actor and politician. He has acted in villain roles in several Tamil films and has appeared in over two hundred films in different languages including Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam.

M.N. Nambiar
Manjeri Narayanan Nambiar was an Indian actor who worked predominantly in Tamil cinema, known mostly for his villain roles in an eight-decade long career.

Jaya Prakash Reddy
Jaya Prakash Reddy was an Indian actor who predominantly appeared in Telugu films. Fondly called JP, he went on to act as an antagonist in several successful films such as Jayam Manade Raa and Chennakesava Reddy.

Paresh Rawal
Paresh Rawal is a versatile Indian actor who has enjoyed immense success in the Bollywood film industry. The actor has played many memorable roles as a villain.

Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah is an Indian film and stage actor and director in the Hindi language film industry. Naseeruddin Shah has worked in a number of films that were loved by the critics. he has played enough negative characters in his acting career. He had also expressed how he feels it is much more fun to play these negative roles.
Best negative roles by Naseeruddin Shah Mirch Masala, Omkara, Sarfarosh.

Kalabhavan Mani
Kunnisseri Veettil Raman Mani was famous for his super-bad villain roles, but he was much more than that. He grabbed everyone’s attention as the super-villain in the movie Gemini, which featured Vikram in the lead role. But long before that, he was famous in the Malayalam film industry for many avatars.

As an actor, he was equally comfortable in slipping into character roles, donning both the villainous and the underdog ones with consummate ease.

Sai Kumar
Pudipeddi Sai Kumar is an Indian film actor, dubbing artist, and television presenter who works predominantly in Telugu and Kannada films.

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And the list goes on……


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