Real-life RJs who became famous actors

In old times radio used to be a faceless medium where you wouldn’t recognize most of the RJs if you see them on a street. But times have changed and RJs have become recognizable both by their voice and face.

They have created a cult following with listeners tuning in to the station just for their program. Some of the RJs have leveraged their radio success to move even higher in their career. Here are a few who had made it big –

Ayushmann Khurana – RJ (Big FM)

RJ Ayushmann Khurana

Ayushmann’s first job was as an RJ at BIG FM, Delhi. He hosted the show Big Chai – Maan Na MaanMain Tera Ayushmann. He then moved on to TV by becoming VJ on MTV. Ayushmann made his Bollywood debut with Vicky Donor in which his performance as a sperm donor earned him fans and Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut.

He has also acted in Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Badhaai Ho, Andhahun, Dream Girl, Article 15 and Bala. He has shown a knack for selecting offbeat roles that resonate with moviegoers.

Neil Bhoopalam – RJ (Radio Mirchi)

RJ Neil Bhoopalam

Neil Bhoopalam is an actor, an RJ and a stage artist. Neil worked as a Radio Jockey for ‘Radio Mirchi’ where he hosted weekly shows: ‘College Se Canteen Tak’, ‘Baat Banjaye’ and also the Sunday morning show. He signed his first film at the age of 21 called ‘Mera Dil Leke Dekho’, produced by Shotgun Films.

He is a very active stage artist but he also has a good list of movies under his belt including NH10, Kaalakandi, Ungli, No one killed Jessica, Shaitan, etc

Maniesh Paul – RJ (Radio City)

RJ Maniesh Paul

This Delhi boy started his career in Mumbai as a radio jockey with Radio City’s morning drive time show “Kasakai Mumbai” before making it big on TV. He gained recognition after he hosted singing and dance reality shows, however, he has acted in many serials.

He made his Bollywood debut with Mickey Virus in the lead role and has acted in ‘Tere bin laden’, Ranbanka’, ‘ABCD and ‘Baa Baaa Black Sheep’, etc

Sunil Dutt – RJ (Radio Celon)

RJ Sunil Dutt

Sunil Dutt, the father of Sunjay Dutt, started with Radio Ceylon. His command over the Urdu language made Sunil Dutt hugely popular. He later joined Bollywood, acting in movies like Mother India, Sadhna, Mujhe Jeene Do, Waqt, Padosan, etc. He married his costar Nargis.

Later in his life, he joined politics and was elected 5 times from Mumbai NorthWest. His last movie role was as the father of his son Sanjay in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.

Aparshakti Khurana – RJ (Big FM)

RJ Aparshakti Khurana

Just like his brother Ayushmann, Aparshakti Khurana started as an RJ with BIG FM in Delhi. Like his brother, he is also a man with multiple talents as during schooling he not only played under 19 cricket for Haryana, he was also active in theatre.

He has hosted various television shows including Discovery Channel India’s ‘You Have Been Warned’. He made his debut as an actor in ‘Dangal’ and later on acted in ‘Stree’, ‘Luka Chuppi’, ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’, ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya’, ‘Street Dancer’, etc

Saeed Jaffrey – RJ (All India Radio)

RJ Saeed Jaffrey

The veteran actor started his career as an announcer on All India Radio. He went on to act in classics like Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Gandhi, A Passage to India, Chashme Buddoor, My Beautiful Launderette.

He is the first Asian to have received British and Canadian Academy Award nominations for acting. He is also the first-ever Asian to be awarded the Order of the British Empire for his services to drama. He also has been conferred Padma Shri posthumously.

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