Best Bollywood Villains All Time: TOP 5

By Archit Mishra

If there was an Encyclopedia on Bollywood, the most searched words would have been: hero, heroine, romance, songs, action/stunt and last but not the least, villain. Though things are changing radically in B-town, a typical Bollywood saga is incomplete without a happy ending where the makers ensure that the hero gives a good dosage of bashing to the villain before the end credits start rolling. Villains have always existed and frankly speaking, a hero is nothing without his arch-nemesis. The theory holds true in real life as well, as even Shri Ram couldn’t have given us the Ramayana, had there been no Ravana. With this write up, we give a tribute to the most hated antagonists of B-town. who have worked endlessly to make the protagonists outshine and make the scripts memorable.

Amrish Puri1. Amrish Puri: Though the Indian film industry spans over 100 years, it is still not too difficult to choose the villain who can be crowned as Numero Uno. It is none other than Amrish Puri a.k.a Mogambo who has starred in over 400 films. His portrayal of Mogambo in Shekhar kapoor’s Mr. India (1987) and his dialogue “Mogambo khush hua” have become epic for Indian audiences. Karan Arjun, Ghayal, Badshah, Koyla and Gadar are some of his other films where his villaneous acts were applauded. His persona is not restricted inside Indian borders only and thanks to Steven Spielberg Puri was cast as the main villain “Mola Ram” in his Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). Such was his charisma that Spielberg was forced to quote that “Amrish is my favourite villain – the best the world has ever produced and ever will!”


Amjad Khan2. Amjad Khan: If there is a contest to pick the most famous negative character from Indian films, it has to be Gabbar Singh from Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay (1975). Yes, we are taking about Amjad Khan. Can you believe, Sholay was only the fifth film of Amjad’s career (and the first three starring him only as child artist). Danny Denzongpa was the original choice for Gabbar’s role which eventually went to Amjad and got him a Filmfare Nomination for Best Supporting Actor. While preparing for the role of Gabbar Singh, Amjad read Abhishapth Chambal, a book on Chambal dacoits written by Taroon Kumar Bhaduri (Jaya Bhaduri’s father). His famous dialogues from the film include “kitne aadmi the”, “ye hath humko dede thakur”, “yaha se pachas pachas kos door gaaon me jab bachcha raat ko rota hai to maa kahti hai beta soja, soja nahi to gabbar singh aa jaayega”. His other notable acts are from Khoon Pasina, Parvarish, Muqaddar ka sikandar (as Dilawar), Suhag, Kaalia, Laawaris etc. Interestingly he starred in many flicks with Amitabh Bachchan.


Danny Denzongpa3. Danny Denzongpa: The next to feature in our list is Danny Denzongpa who is also a Padma Shri recipient. He has played several memorable baddies like Kancha Chinna (Agneepath – 1990), Bakhtawar (Hum – 1992), Chatur Singh Chitah (Krantiveer – 1995), Dilawar Ujagar Singh (Vijaypath – 1995), ACP Negi (Barsat – 1996) and Katya (Ghatak – 1997). He was nominated in Filmfare awards for Best Supporting Actor – Agneepath and Best Villain for all other films mentioned. Danny has also starred in a few international projects, ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ being the biggest amongst these where he shared screen-space with Brad Pitt. His next upcoming film is ‘Boss’ with Akshay Kumar which hits screens on October 18 2013.



Prem Chopra4. Prem Chopra: “Prem naam hai mera, Prem Chopra”. Chopra is one of those few artists who had a great combination of viciousness and comedy. “Nanga nahayega kya aur nichorega kya” is in accordance with this image of his. There was a time when Pran was moving from negative to more mature and positive roles. Prem Chopra took full advantage of this and established himself as the smart villain of that era. Teesri Manzil, Woh Kaun Thi, Do Raaste and Kati Patang had a key role in recognising a villain in him. Chopra also tends to be those rarest villains who got to trouble stars of all eras: Manoj Kumar (Kraanti) ; Rajesh Khanna (Kati Patang, Do Raaste) ; Amitabh Bachchan (Kala Pathar, Do Anjaane, The Great Gambler and Trishul) ; Jeetendra (Mawaali, Maqsad, Majaal); Sunny Deol (Betaab, Arjun, Manzil Manzil) ; Salman Khan (Jagriti) ; Akshay Kumar (Khiladi, Aflatoon), Shahrukh Khan (Zamana Diwana), Govinda (Raja Babu, Anari no. 1, Dulhe Raja) and Ajay Devgan (Hindustan Ki Kasam).


Gulshan Grover5. Gulshan Grover: “Bad Man”. Just these two words are enough for any bollywood lover to identify that the last baddie in our list is Gulshan Grover. His accomplished performances include Kesariya Vilayati/ ‘Bad Man’ (Ram Lakhan), Natwar Shah (Aankhen), Tapaswi Gunjal (Vishwatma), Chhapan ‘Jimmy’ Tikle (Sir), Banke (Raja Babu), Tyson (Mohra), Shakti (Vijaypath), Kabira (Hera Pheri series) and Jamwal (Dus). Gulshan was one of the first Indian actors to have made successful transition from Bollywood to Hollywood. Grover has won the BBC Award in 2001, for contribution to Indian Cinema. He was part of 5 out of 8 films in the biggest Indian action franchise Khiladi starring Akshay Kumar – Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995), Khiladiyo Ka Khiladi (1996), Mr. & Mrs. Khiladi (1997), International Khiladi (1999) and Khiladi 420 (2000). Forthcoming films: Baat Ban Gayi & Bullet Raja opposite Saif Ali Khan (Bollywood) / Nephilim & Prisoners of the Sun (Hollywood)

Other notable actors who deserve a mention in this article are Pran, Jeevan, Ajit (Lion), Ranjit, Kulbhushan Kharbanda (Shakaal), Shakti Kapoor, Kader Khan, Anupam Kher, Om Puri, Nana Patekar and Mukesh Rishi.

A few A-List superstars have also tried their hands in turning negative like Shahrukh Khan (Darr, Baazigar, and Anjaam); Sanjay Dutt (Khalnayak and Agneepath) and Akshay Kumar (Ajnabee). With time changing, hardcore villainous roles are decreasing. Still Prakash Raj (Khakee, Wanted, Singham and Dabangg 2) and Boman Irani (Don Series, 3 Idiots, Munnabhai Series) have not let hope fade away for the goons of Bollywood.

Favorite Villain in Bollywood

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  • yes,Amrish puri is the Best..
    The poll conducted by you is not needed,No one comes Puri,but you should have included Pran Saheb

  • Great article, Archit. I agree with all the names. Amrish Puri is by far the Best Bollywood Villain of All-time, and Gabbar Singh is the Best Villainous Character ever. RIP, Amrish Puri and Amjad Khan.
    Cannot forget to give props to Pran and Anupan Kher, too.
    I also agree that Prakash Raj is the best in this business today.

  • Where is the legendary Pran? He was most popular villain in Dilip Kumar, Raj Kumar, Dev Anand times’ and even later.

  • I would add – Pran [50s and 60s was dominated by him], Kanhaiya Lal [40s and 50s was dominated by him, remember the portrayal in Mother India] to the list. They are iconic villains.

  • Aap galat ho?How u have not mentioned Pran Sahab in Top5????Do u know something….Pran itne popular villain the ki koi bhi parents apne bachche ka naam pran nhi rakhte the…..check it out…..

  • Pran was the best.


    When he started doing villian roles, for more than a decade no kid in the country was named ‘Pran’. That’s the effect of his performance.

  • okay, just since i wrote the above comment, thought of reading on Pran from wiki, and here is the best example of why he was head and shoulders above others…….as this simply doesn’t happen in bollywood, except it had for Pran’

    “Pran was at the peak of his career in the 1969-1982, when he was paid more than his co-stars who played lead hero of the films like Vinod Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha, Navin Nishchol, Randhir Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor.”

    Now that is ridiculous, who will pay villians more than hero, and this is where Pran shines than others.

    Good health to you sir.

    The others as per me who comes behind are – as rightly said by @Nilesh – Kanhailal (you have to see mother india, to hate, then Amrish Puri, Prem Chopra, Danny and Amjad Khan.

    Amjad Khan’s problem was that he never gave a performance like Sholay, hence all his other villian roles were always overshadowed by it, while Amrish, Prem and Danny had solid consistent and famous villian roles.

  • Pran was a good villian but he is damn in good in positive role like in zanjeer, don etc. I think his villianious role has been overshadowed by positive roles he did later.

  • archit i think you should have a good knoweldge of indian cinema if you want to post artical og this kind
    Pran is by far the best Villian of Indian Cinema followed by Amrish Puri, Prem Chopra, Danny, Amzad Khan and Ranjeet.
    pran is the only actor of indian cinema who did villianious act from 1950-70 with great performance and he earned more than hero in the film in early 80’s he started to do positive roles too but it doesn’t mean he wan not the most hated villian. the biggest example of that he himself started a challenge that a he will give award t those parents who named their kids name Pran and result is that only 1-2 pran were find in India.
    that itself shows how great his persona in the film industry as a villian
    so next time when you post this kind of article be aware with ur fact…….

  • Prakash Raj in the current era is the best Villain according to me. But the oldies Like Amrish and Amjat still impress me when I watch those movies. I think Sholay is as famous as it is today because of Amjad Khan rather than Bachan or Daramendra

  • Wrong list, where is legendary pran who was crowned as villian of the villians or villian of the century.

    How u ignore the legends of golden era.

  • Pran, Kahnaiyya Lal, Ranjit, Rahman, Jeevan and many more.
    This list is incomplete. In fact it is totally wrong. The writer need to polish his memory.

  • It’s not a bad list. I actually do agree with it. However, Gulshan Grover was mostly a comedic villain. Even so, Pran should have been right on top with Amresh Puri and Amjad Khan. Another really underrated actor who plays one of the best villain roles is Ashutosh Rana. You guys need to watch the movies Sangharsh and Dushman. His villainous roles scared me as a child, and still scare me to this day.

  • TOP 3 villains according to me are
    1. Amrish Puri – Undoubtedly the best Villain ever and his baritone had a great contribution in it.
    2. Prem Chopra – His way of dialogue delivery which constituted his evil short laughs directly coming out from his throats.
    3. Pran – The legendary villain. He is the original villain of film industry.

  • You can add the name of K N singh also as also Ran In the Fifties & sixties HumayunAwaara Howra bridge Funtoosh Chalti ka naam gadi Mere Huzoor

  • pran should be there…infact he should top the list
    i heard from ma father that people hated him so much that when he appeared on screen people literally abused…such was the hatred against him…havnt seen any of the movies of 50s or60s but if this is the case um damn sure his acting cant just be tagged as good or excellent.its beyond words… unexplainable

  • I think Amrish puri,Amjad khan and Danny are in top 5 but no.1 is Pran and I want to remind you that Pran was most paid actor during 70 and 80 decade,Amitabh bachchan was the no.2 at the time

  • Amrish Puri is the best villian in bollywwod. his big eyes makes very frightened

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