Many South Indian actresses have found their way to Bollywood and left their indelible footprints in the film industry. Let's take a look at top South Indian female actors that have made it big in Bollywood:

Hema Malini

Hema Malini is a veteran Tamil Nadu-born actress who debuted in cinema with the film 'Idhu Sathiyam.' Then, the trained Bharathanatyam dancer went on to star in 'Sapno Ka Saudagar' with the legendary actor Raj Kapoor. She was considered the 'dream girl' of the 1970s and has given many hits throughout her acting career.

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Rekha was born in Chennai to the renowned Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan and is a gifted actress and dancer. She made her acting debut with Rajkumar in the Kannada film 'Operation Jackpot Nalli CID 999,' although she has also made appearances in two Telugu films as a child star.

The actress shot to fame after appearing in her debut Bollywood movie, 'Sawan Bhadon.' She gained the title of 'ultimate diva' and is often regarded as one of the finest actresses in Indian cinema.

Her portrayal of a courtesan in the 1981 film 'Umrao Jaan' earned her the National Award for best film actress. In 2010, Rekha was bestowed the fourth highest civilian honor in India, the 'Padma Shri,' by the Indian government.

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Sridevi was most certainly one of Indian cinema's first female superstars. Her talent was evident when she began her acting career as a child artist. After creating waves in the South, the actress made her way to Bollywood, where she reigned for many years. She has worked with some of the biggest names in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Hindi industries.

In a CNN-IBN nationwide survey held in 2013, the multi-talented actress was voted 'India's Greatest Actress in 100 Years.' She received the prestigious 'Padma Shri' award the same year. Unfortunately, Sridevi died in 2018 from accidental drowning in her hotel room in Dubai.

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Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya Rai is often considered the most beautiful woman in the world. After winning Miss World, she started her acting career with the Tamil film 'Iruvar.' Following her launch in the South, Aishwarya started getting film offers from Bollywood.

The actress is not only stunning and has excellent dance capabilities; she has also demonstrated her acting abilities in films like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Devdas (2002), for which she got Filmfare Awards for Best Actress. Next, Aishwarya will be seen in Mani Ratnam's magnum opus 'Ponniyin Selvan' film franchise.

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Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan is well-known for her female-led film performances, revolutionizing how women were portrayed in Hindi cinema. The actress began her film career with the Bengali-language movie 'Bhalo Theko.'

Despite a few setbacks in her early career, Vidya persevered and challenged the traditional representation of heroines in Bollywood. 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.

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Tabu is undeniably one of Bollywood's most versatile actresses, but she made her acting debut in a Telugu film called 'Coolie No.1' (1991) with actor Venkatesh.

The award-winning actress went on to appear in many successful Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi films. She is not afraid to defy norms by portraying challenging and unique characters central to the story.

She has received two National Film Awards for Best Best Actress and six Filmfare Awards, including four for Best Actress (Critics). In 2011, the Government of India bestowed her with the 'Padma Shri' award.

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Illeana D'cruz

Ileana D'Cruz made her film debut in 2006 with the Telugu-language film Devadasu, which was a commercial success and earned her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debutant.

With a string of successful films, D'Cruz established herself as a leading actress in Telugu cinema and quickly ventured into Bollywood films. Her first film in Bollywood, 'Barfi!,' got her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.

The actress is most recognised for her roles in 'Main Tera Hero' (2014), 'Rustom' (2016), and 'Raid' (2018).

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Source: Corporate Citizen & India Times
Photo Credit: Telegraph India, The Other Brain Inc, Gossip Chimp & Pinkvilla