For many years, we have seen several sons of famous Bollywood actors being launched. Though a handful has been unsuccessful, there are also quite a few who have tasted success.

In an ode to the fathers, Asian Style takes a look at a selected Bollywood father-son duo and how the sons have exceeded the legacy of their dads through a triumphant acting career!

Sunil & Sanjay Dutt

Sunil Dutt was one of the major stars of Hindi cinema during the late 1950s and 1960s. He created a record of sorts by directing and starring in the unique film Yaadein (1964) in which he was the only actor in the cast.

Sanjay Dutt, his son, was launched into Bollywood in 1981 with Rocky. In a career which spans over more than 38 years, Dutt has enjoyed great success as a lead actor in genres ranging from romance to comedy, it has been the roles of gangsters (Vaastav: The Reality, Munna Bhai MBBS), thugs (Khal Nayak) and police officers (Kurukshetra) in the drama and action genres that have won him much appreciation.

His characters are so iconic and famous that even the former US-President Barack Obama addressed Sanjay as ‘Munna Bhai’ at an event in Chicago. Over time, Sanju baba has truly proven his mettle as an actor.

Dutt is also the recipient two Filmfare Awards, two IIFA Awards, two Bollywood Movie Awards, three Screen Awards, three Stardust Awards, a Global Indian Film Award and a Bengal Film Journalist’s Association Award.

Dharmendra & Sunny Deol

Dharmendra is known as the ‘He-man’ and ‘action man’ of Bollywood. His most notable roles were in Sholay (1975).

After Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh, the third hero with highest grossing films to his name, in Hindi film industry is Dharmendra while the fourth and fifth being Jeetendra and Dev Anand.

Dharam Ji has given 107 box office hit films in his career which is second only to Jeetendra who delivered 113 box office hits.

Sunny has continued the legacy of being this brawny persona who acts in action-related and formidable roles – especially in films like Ghayal, Jeet, Darr, Damini and Gadar.

If Dharmendra is cited as the ‘He-Man’, then Sunny Deol is recognised for his catchy dialogues. Remember, “Yeh Dhai Kilo Ka Haath Jab Kisi Par Padta Hai Na, Toh Woh Aadmi Uth Nahin, Udh Jaata Hai”?

In a career which spans over thirty years, Deol has won two National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards. Box Office India has listed the actor as the overall star of the nineties. Even now, with the success of Ghayal Returns, Sunny has proven that his films are appreciated even today.

Rakesh & Hrithik Roshan

In his acting career, Rakesh Roshan appeared in 84 films throughout the 1970s and 1980s till 1989. As an actor, he is mostly known for his supporting roles in big-budget films starring Sanjeev Kumar and Rajesh Khanna in the lead role.

He began directing films in 1987 with titles beginning with the letter “K”, for which he also received immense recognition.

It was in the winter of the year 2000 when Bollywood got an overnight superstar through Hrithik Roshan post the success of Kaho Na Pyaar Hai and since then, Hrithik aka Duggu has not looked back. He gained further recognition in Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.

Hrithik is one of the highest paid actors in Bollywood. Despite facing a series of unsuccessful films, the turning point in his career was with the 2003 science fiction film Koi… Mil Gaya, for which Roshan won two Filmfare Awards.

He also appeared in its sequels: Krrish (2006) and Krrish 3 (2013).

Roshan earned praise for his portrayal of a thief in the 2006 adventure film Dhoom 2, Mughal emperor Akbar in the 2008 historical romance Jodhaa Akbar and a quadriplegic in the 2010 drama Guzaarish.

He played the lead in the 2011 drama Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, the 2012 revenge film Agneepath and the 2014 action comedy Bang Bang! Which rank among the highest-grossing Indian films.

Pankaj Kapur & Shahid Kapoor

Pankaj Kapur’s career evolved from theatre and television. His character as Mussadi Lal in Office Office is known as a classic comedy show. But besides that, Mr Kapur is also recognised for his Abbaji character in Maqbool. His notable works also include Roja and Dus.

Unlike other Bollywood actors, Shahid Kapoor did not really use his father’s name to launch himself into the industry. On the contrary, he began from scratch. He was a dancer at Shiamak Davar’s institute before he was established in the industry with the sleeper-hit Ishq Vishk.

It took time for Shahid to reach the peaks of stardom until Rajshri Productions’ Vivah and received a further positive response with Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met. Initially, he began with baby-faced and chocolate-boy roles.

But over the past nine years or so, Shahid Kapoor has completely turned himself around. With superb performances in movies like Kaminey, Haider and Padmaavat, Kapoor is continuously proving his mettle as an actor.

Shahid has truly established himself without the tag of being Pankaj Kapur’s son.

Rishi & Ranbir Kapoor

The legendary Rishi Kapoor began his career as a child artist in Raj Kapoor’s Mera Naam Joker and post that, we saw him prominently in chocolate boy roles following movies like Bobby, Chandni and Prem Rog, to name a few.

Of recent, we have seen the veteran actor performances explore characters of various shades – especially as an antagonist in ventures like Agneepath and D-Day. But overall, it seems like Rishi’s charisma and talent is inherent in Ranbir Kapoor.

It has been just over a decade since RK Jr made his Bollywood debut and he has never failed to impress us. Whether it is the ambitious Kabir in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, the Casanova in Bachna Ae Haseeno or the love-torn Janardhan Jakhar in Rockstar, Ranbir has always expressed and impressed.

It is also interesting how many of his films revolve around the theme of self-discovery. With each venture, Ranbir always surpasses his last performance. Oh, and if that’s not enough to prove how talented he is, then watch him play football like a pro!

Jackie & Tiger Shroff

From living in a chawl to residing in a Bungalow in Mumbai, the story of how Jackie Shroff rose to fame is inspiring.

Before becoming an actor, Jackie went to a hotel to become a chef and then tried becoming a flight attendant but no one took him on. His father, who was an astrologer said he is destined for big things in life and that is what happened.

Since then, we have seen Jackie Shroff in numerous shades – be it the rough n tough Hero or the Gangster with a heart in Parinda, he has always proven his tremendous capabilities as an actor.

With martial-arts trained Tiger Shroff, however, it has been a different story. His initial Bollywood debut with Heropanti was a bit of a struggle as he was panned for his looks.

Furthermore, he was even criticised in films like Baaghi and Munna Michael – though these proved to be profitable ventures.

But since then and with the super-success of Baaghi 2, he has proved the haters wrong. Tiger’s success proves that talent can be nurtured and matured for it to make an impact!

On the whole, it is great to see that several sons are graciously carrying on their fathers’ legacies through their supreme talent of acting.

Stars like Ranbir and Shahid Kapoor have proven that they too can succeed in the industry without the tag of their fathers. But of course, this isn’t the case with everyone. Therefore, it is sheer talent and hard-work which truly drives a person to success.