Aamir Khan and Salman Khan won the Filmfare Best Actor Debut award in 1989, Ajay Devgn won in 1992 and Shahrukh Khan won the same award in 1993. These four actors, along with Hrithik Roshan (2001) and Ranbir Kapoor (2008) continue to dominate the industry even today.
The film industry desperately needs more bankable stars and even though the likes of Sidharth Malhotra, Shahid Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Ranveer Singh have given the industry some hope, it remains to be seen if they can go on to match the super-stardom of the Khans, Hrithik, Akshay and others.
Meanwhile, it will be interesting to look back at winners of the Filmfare Best Debut awards from 1989 to 2014, to see how many have survived the test of time in the industry.
Note: Akshay Kumar did not win the Filmfare Best Debut award, it went to Ajay Devgn that year. Abhishek Bachchan’s much-hyped debut in 2000 was literally swept away by the Hrithik tsunami.
Filmfare Best Debut Award Winners year-wise:
- 1989: Aamir Khan (Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak) – Did a few good films in the 90s including a few blockbuster, but only got better with age. Currently, the most bankable star in the industry, a man that most people look up to. The trust that the audience have in Aamir films is something that most actors can only dream of.
- 1989: Salman Khan (Maine Pyaar Kiya) – It has been a roller coaster ride for Salman. Unprecedented craze, extreme lows during the mid-2000s when his films didn’t even get a initial. More because of bad choices and favours that he regularly did for his friends in the industry. He could have so easily continued to do the same and fizzled away. But the biggest test for any actor is bouncing back from failures. Even his biggest of fans wouldn’t have predicted the kind of comeback that he has made. 6 of his last 7 films have been blockbusters. Enough said.
- 1990: Not awarded
- 1991: Not awarded
- 1992: Ajay Devgn (Phool Aur Kaante) – Until he decided to do commercially viable films, Ajay was never really the biggest draw at the box office. Golmaal onwards, Ajay has consistently delivered 100 crore grossers. Most importantly, he has survived in the industry for 24 years now.
- 1993: Shahrukh Khan (Deewana) – Shahrukh Khan is the biggest success story in the industry. Period. Not only did SRK rule the box office for years, he was the only attraction for the overseas audience for more than a decade. Only 5 outsiders without a godfather have won the Filmfare Best Award and amongst those only Shahrukh Khan has made it big!
- 1994: Saif Ali Khan (Aashiq Awara) – The man who famously rejected Diwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Saif has been fairly successful in the industry, but could never make it big as a solo star.
- 1995: Not awarded
- 1996: Bobby Deol (Barsaat) – Bobby’s first few films did fairly well and he looked promising as an actor too, but completely faded away in the early 2000s.
- 1997: Chandrachur Singh (Maachis) – He didn’t have the looks, yet managed to romance Aishwarya Rai in Josh. His performances were received well in films like Kya Kehna and Daag. However, in a mishap while holidaying in Goa, the actor suffered from multiple shoulder dislocations. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make a successful comeback.
- 1998: Akshaye Khanna (Himalay Putra) – A fantastic actor who did a few terrific films. Couldn’t make it big. He hasn’t had a release since 2012.
- 1999: Fardeen Khan (Prem Aggan) – Super looks, bad actor. Not good enough to make it big in the industry.
- 2000: Rahul Khanna (1947 Earth) – Never appeared in conventional universally appealing Bollywood film in the first half of his career. When he did, it was too late.
- 2001: Hrithik Roshan (Kaho Naa.. Pyaar Hai) – The only actor to win both the ‘Best Actor Debut’ and ‘Best Actor in a Lead Role’ in his debut year, Hrithik Roshan took the nation by storm in what will be remembered as the biggest debut in the history of Indian Cinema. After a dream debut, Hrithik had to go through the toughest phase of his career with back-to-back failures. But the fact that he never gave, worked harder after every failure, finally resulted in a huge comeback. After Koi Mil Gaya he hasn’t looked back.
- 2002: Tusshar Kapoor (Mujhe Kuch Kehnaa Hai) – His debut film with Kareena Kapoor was the biggest surprise hit of 2001. All his solo films after that sunk without a trace at the box office.
- 2003: Vivek Oberoi (Company) – Promising career. Aishwarya Rai. Press Conference. Salman Khan. End of the story.
- 2004: Shahid Kapoor (Ishq Vishq) – A terrific actor with almost everything going for him, Shahid has probably suffered from being extremely choosy and the films that he did pick haven’t worked at the box office. But since he started so young, he still could make it big.
- 2005: No awards
- 2006: Shiney Ahuja (Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi) – His personal life has affected his profession. Did he have it in him to make it big as a solo hero? Probably not.
- 2007: No awards
- 2008: Ranbir Kapoor (Saawariya) – Regarded by many as one of the best actors in the industry today, Ranbir has a promising future ahead of him. Currently, he has the best line-up of films and will be working with directors like Rajkumar Hirani, Imtiaz Ali, Anurag Basu. Has the potential to challenge the Khans and Hrithik in the near future.
- 2009: Farhan Akhtar (Rock On!!) and Imran Khan (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na) – The multi-talented Farhan Akhtar has done well so far. His solo-films have fared better than expected. On the other hand, Imran Khan has completed faded away. The disastrous response to Gori Tere Pyaar Mein was the biggest blow to his career.
- 2010: No awards
- 2011: Ranveer Singh (Band Baaja Baarat) – Too early to judge his career. Talented and has the screen presence needed to make it big.
- 2012: Vidyut Jamwal (Force) – He out-shined John Abraham in Force. His next film was a solo-starrer Commando, which did reasonably well too. However, for some unknown reason, the industry hasn’t accepted him.
- 2013: Ayushmann Khurana (Vicky Donor) – Delivered a super performance in 2013’s best film Vicky Donor, but has suffered major setbacks in Nautanki Saala and Bewakoofiyaan. He is young, has the talented and also has a few promising films lined up.
- 2014: Dhanush (Raanjhanaa) – National winning Tamil actor Dhanush delivered a fantastic performance in his debut Hindi film Raanjhanaa. He will be seen in Shamitabh next.