All hail the Queen of Bollywood
If, in the grand hierarchy of Bollywood
, Amitabh Bachchan
is its Emperor and Shah Rukh Khan
its King, then the title of Queen would go, without a doubt, to Madhuri Dixit (aka, the Dhak Dhak Girl, the Diva, and Madz).
Classically trained in the Kathak form of dance, her skills coupled with her ability to act and her 100-watt smile made her an all-rounder in an industry where most actresses excelled in only one or two (and perhaps none) of those catagories. When compared to Hollywood actresses, she is always compared to Julia Roberts, who has a similar smile and face.
Debuted in 1984, became famous in 1988, and ruled Bollywood until her retirement in 2002 to spend time with her then-newborn son, she continues to inspire new actresses today, and producers all over the Bollywood scene continue to look for the "next Madhuri", who herself is often compared to and placed at the same level as other legendary actresses of the yesteryear, including Nargis
Moved back to India in 2011 and has a couple of comeback roles in movies in the works.
She is an example of the following tropes:
- Dance Sensation: Her skills as a dancer, coupled with very good songs helped her launch more than her fair share of popular beats throughout India.
- Distressed Damsel: Due to how things were in the era of films when she was most active, she often got these roles. However, she was noted as being among the first to start actively subverting the trope.
- Pimped-Out Dress: In many a role, but especially in Devdas, where she plays the High-Class Call Girl Chandramukhi.
- Lately has taken to doing this in real life as well.
- Playing Against Type: Became famous in an era where all an actress had to do was look pretty and get saved by the hero. Played against the type by often ending up being the only thing the audience could remember about the film, either with her acting or with her dancing, showing up the Hero constantly. Codified many tropes in play with the Bollywood Heroines of today.
- She Really Can Act: Did the indie film Mrityurdand entirely to prove this.
- Those Two Guys: Often paired up with Shah Rukh Khan and Anil Kapoor in her movies, but also had the same chemistry even with leading men she worked less often with, such as Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt.