In Indian cinema, it's not uncommon for actresses to have an expiry date for their acting careers. In contrast to their male counterparts, who continue to romance heroines well into their 50s or 60s, most female celebrities have careers that span between 10-15 years. Actresses often retire as their film offers decline; they marry and start families.

However, times have changed, and some norm-breaking actresses have continued to shine on-screen and stay relevant in today's cinema. These female superstars are constantly offered work that involves substantial and memorable roles that allows them to evolve as performers.

We'll look at five actresses who took the unconventional route and continued to live out their passion for acting despite their rising ages:

1. Tabu

Tabu is a renowned performer whose career has progressed from a heroine romancing male leads to an acclaimed actress of her time. She has received several awards and accolades to attest to her prowess as an actor. The 52-year-old has appeared in over 80 films in Hindi, English, and various other languages.

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Tabu is picky about her projects and prefers to avoid the glam and glitz of the film world. The actress will next be featured in Vishal Bhardwaj's spy thriller Drishyam 2, a Hindi remake of 'Kaithi,' and another film titled 'Kuttey.'

2. Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan is well-known for her female-led film performances, which revolutionized the way women were portrayed in Hindi cinema. Despite a few setbacks in her early career, Vidya persevered and challenged the traditional representation of heroines in Bollywood.

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The 43-year-old is authentic and natural, embraces her curves, and promotes body image positivity. She's an actress who followed her intuition and dared to fulfill her destiny by being herself and not altering herself to fit into any conventional mold.

Her performances have won several awards, including a National Film Award and six Filmfare Awards. In 2014, the Government of India presented her with the prestigious Padma Shri award.

3. Manju Warrier

Manju Warrier is undeniably Malayalam's Female Superstar, and her debut Tamil film, 'Asuran,' co-starring Dhanush, cemented her place in Kollywood. Manju began acting in her teens in the Malayalam film 'Sakshyam.' Within a short span of four years, the actress had already appeared in 20 films. She was honored with several awards and accolades for her work in Malayalam cinema.

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In 2014, Manju made a comeback to the film industry after her divorce with the award-winning film 'How Old Are You?'

The 44-year-old achieved immense fame and recognition in Malayalam and Tamil cinema as a result of her decision to pursue substantial roles and compelling scripts. Her second inning made her an even bigger star than before!

4. Jyothika

Jyotika made her Kollywood debut in a supporting role in 'Vaali,' and she became one of the most famous South Indian actresses. The actress, who made a reputation for herself in Tamil movies, fell in love and married actor Suriya in 2006. Years later, she returned to acting with the film '36 Vayadhinile.'

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Following her second stint, the actress has been selective in her roles, only embarking on female-centric films such as Magalir Mattum (2017), Naachiyaar (2018), Kaatrin Mozhi (2018), Raatchasi (2019), and Ponmagal Vandhal (2020).

The 45-year-old's final outing was Udanpirappe, directed by Era and produced by 2D Entertainment (owned by Jyothika and Suriya). According to the latest rumors, she may reunite on-screen with her husband Suriya after 16 years for director Bala's project. Fans of the pair are eagerly awaiting an official announcement!

5. Urvashi

Urvashi is unquestionably a legend in the South Indian film industry and has appeared in over 700 Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi films. She is a dubbing artist, television presenter, playwright, and producer, in addition to being an actor.

At the age of ten, she began her acting career as a child artist in the 1979 Malayalam film Kathirmandapam. Urvashi has acted in many award-winning films and is widely regarded as one of the most talented actors of her generation.

Urvashi remarked in an interview earlier this year that she has always been adamant that her role in a film be significant.

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"Though even today, when it comes to picking characters, my priority remains same. Even if it's for a scene, that should stand out!" she said.

Currently, the 53-year-old has at least ten films under her belt.

Photo Credit: Pinkvilla, Wikipedia, Times of India, OnManorama & Indiaglitz