For over sixty years, the Bombay film industry was dominated with only male actors from the Kapoor fraternity. This however all changed in 1991 when Karisma Kapoor (1974- ) became the first female from the dynasty to enter the industry and made her debut in Prem Qaidi (1991). She went on to become one of the most successful actresses of the nineties and dished out memorable hits such as Raja Hindustani (1996) and Dil To Pagal Hai (1997). Citing Meena Kumari as one of her major influences, this is definitely visible in some of Karisma’s performances like in Fiza (2000) or Zubeidaa (2001), where she released a lot of emotion and sorrow through her characters. She has recently made a comeback with the film Dangerous Ishhq (2012) after having taken a sabbatical from acting.
The emergence of the twenty-first century saw another female Kapoor enter the Bollywood scene with the debut of Kareena Kapoor (1980- ) in the film Refugee (2000). With the exception of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), Kareena initially did not have many box office hits and struggled to prove herself to the mass audience, as did Karisma during her early years. However, this all changed for Kareena following the release of Chameli (2004), where she delivered a very strong performance in her role as a prostitute and won a lot of critical acclaim for it. Since then, Kareena has established herself as one of the top actresses in Bollywood today and continues to impress the audience with an assortment of performances.
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