Jackie Shroff lived in a single room in a chawl at Teen Batti, Walkeshwar in South Mumbai. His mother used to sell utensils and sarees to make a living. To support his mother, Jackie left education after class X and did many odd jobs like a salesman, a waiter at Taj Hotel and even a flight attended at Air India. But it was modelling that won him success. Filmmaker Dev Anand gave him break in his film Swami Dada (1982) but the film flopped and Jackie was back to zero. Eventually, he was discovered by Subhash Ghai who re-introduced him in his film Hero (1983) and rest is history!!
The rise of actor Anil Kapoor from a Mumbai’s suburban town Chembur to his palatial Bungalow in Juhu is awesome. After his father expired, suddenly his family was brought to a standstill. Anil had to quit college and hunt for the job for the survival of the family. He did many tit and bit roles in both Bollywood and South films from 1979 till 1982 to make ends meet. Finally, his hard work yielded result when with Woh Saat Din (1983), Anil Kapoor won reorganization and was signed by Yash Chopra to play a supporting role opposite thespian Dilip Kumar in the film Mashaal (1983). Anil did a fantastic job and earned the Best Supporting Actor Filmfare Award. Later with Subhash Ghai‘s Meri Jung, Karma and Ram Lakhan, Anil Kapoor became a star overnight!
Better known as ‘Virar Ka Chokra’, Govinda hailed from a lower middle class ‘chawl’ in Mumbai’s distant suburb Virar. He struggled tooth and nail and kept roaming from one production house to other carrying a video cassette depicting his dance. He started to struggle from the age of 15 and after a long spell, filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani recognized his dancing genius and gave him a big break in the multi starer Ilzaam (1986) amidst stars like Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Hema Malini, etc. later his combination with David Dhawan worked wonders as soon the ordinary ‘Virar Ka Chokra’ turned into ‘Bollywood ka Badshah’
Actor Anupam Kher, an alumnus of NSD (National School of Drama) came to Mumbai with the hope of becoming an actor. After a hectic struggle, he was offered a lead role in the film Saaransh. The film was directed by Mahesh Bhatt and produced by Rajshri Production house. However, before the shooting commenced, Rajshri Production decided to drop the newcomer Anupam Kher and hire Sanjeev Kumar, a more commercial hero. But when Mahesh Bhatt conveyed this news to Kher he was so angry that he cursed Bhatt! Kher spend many days on the railway platform as he was jobless! Fortunately, Bhatt realized the agony of Anupam Kher and confronted Rajshri films that he will make the film only with Kher! Rajshri films agreed. Kher proved his potential by winning the Best Actor Filmfare award and became a star!
True Stories from rags to riches