Siblings in the television industry: All in the family!

While Bollywood has its Kapoor ‘khandan‘ and the Khan clan, the television industry is slowly waking up to family values.You may never have guessed it, but the television industry currently is fairly crawling with siblings.

There are some who have helped each other along the vicarious ways of the industry, and there are those who dissuaded the younger sibling in vain from entering the big bag world of showbiz. There are yet others who have together created empires from nothing and then those who are still on the first rung of success, ascending hand in hand.

For every generation of the Sagars who have harvested the fruits of the toils of the previous and continue to add their mite, there are the Roy brothers (Rohit and Ronit) who came from nowhere and today command an awesome (some say the highest) sum for their roles on the small screen.

Paintal - no sibling rivalry here

For every Raju Kher who had to struggle to prove his identity much after his illustrious sibling made himself a household name on the big screen, there‘s a Gufi Paintal who overshadowed his better known brother with a masterful performance in BR Chopra‘s Mahabharat.

Paintal, the well known comedian, presently acting in Zee‘s Pyar Zindagi Hai says brother Gufi, best remembered as the infamous ‘Shakuni mama‘ of Mahabharat, is more like a father to him.

"We have never had any rivalry whatsoever because as a principle we don‘t discuss business at all. He knows that I am there for him when he needs me and vice versa. We take the roles and projects that come our way as luck and destiny. If I had to rate my brother as an actor, I would definitely give him an eight on ten."

Ratna Pathak Shah

Avers Gufi, "Though I am four years elder to Paintal, I am four years younger to him in the entertainment industry (laughs). Actually, my father sent me for engineering and my brother to FTII. Both of us landed in Bombay in 1969 and I took up modeling, worked as an assistant director for movies and acted in various movies and serials. I have also directed my brother. He is an emotional actor who can do intense roles. People have not been able to tap his tremendous talent. Unfortunately for him, he got typecast as a comedian."

For some, showbiz runs in the family. For sisters Ratna Pathak Shah and Supriya Pathak, it was a legacy handed down by mum Dina, herself a theatre veteran.

The two set the small screen afire with their hilarious acts in Doordarshan‘s Idhar Udhar way back in the 1980s, but somehow the magic didn‘t work with the sequel a decade later.

Supriya Pathak

Today, Supriya is back in Star Plus‘ Khichdi, but Ratna seems content with theatre.

Amongst the siblings, a class apart are the industry‘s first family of horror - the Ramsay clan. The patriarch producer FU Ramsay, who was constantly harassed by the crew‘s tantrums, decided to create a complete film-making unit right in the family. With each of the brothers playing a distinct role in the film making process (that of director, producer, cameraman, screen writer, sound recorder, editor or make up artiste), making a film or serial is truely a family affair!

Shrishti Arya and brother Goldie Behl got into software production when their father Ramesh Behl passed away. "I am the older one, but we take turns at playing the older sibling," laughs Shrishti. "It helps to have the same value system when you are running a company together," she reasons, "Goldie‘s the more creative type and since I trained in production even outside our set up, I handle the day to day functioning."

Goldie Behl

Apart from this brother-sister duo, there is a brother duo making their mark in televison production - the Singh brothers of Contiloe Films (Kashmeer, Jubilee Plus and Shhh... koi hai fame). With elder brother Chandrachud Singh struggling to make a ripple on the big screen, the younger siblings carved their niche on the small screen. "Though our parents never really thought that either one of us would be in the media, all of us landed up there," says Aditya. "While Chandrachud came to Mumbai to make his career, we came down to make our careers here just because we wanted the family to be together," he adds. While Aditya, the second son, worked his way from being an EP to being producer, younger sibling Abhimanyu just joined the business after it was established.

Deepak Shourie

For others who have made their mark in the fickle industry, it has been a shared passion that overrode the family genes. Nalini Singh, the force behind Nepal One and well known software producer is Discovery India head Deepak Shourie‘s sister. The other sibling, intrepid journalist Arun Shourie, has since moved out of media to grace the hallowed corridors of power in New Delhi.

Nikhil and Niret Alva

Siblings Nikhil and Niret Alva moved out of mum Margaret‘s shadow to etch out a career in software production, away from politics, to float their own company, Miditech. The streak of genius has always been there, only it manifested in different media in the case of siblings Ila Arun, Piyush and Prasoon Pandey.

All three have made their mark, one in the field of music, one in advertising and the other in copywriting. For the Mahendrus, it was a matter of passion overriding family business sense that drove Anand to film and serial direction while sister Anju made her mark as an actor.

Sister bonding- Sameera and Sushma

Closer to Generation Next, there are the Reddy sisters, Meghna, Sushma and Sameera Reddy who veejay and act with equal finesse and are raring for more.

And of course one cannot forget the Arora sisters - Malaika and Amrita, popular veejays who have made a successful splash in Bollywood as well.

Gauhar Khan

The Khan sisters, Nigar and Gauhar, are stepping into showbiz without much backing but a liberal dose of self confidence.

Nigar Khan

After enjoying her share of the ramp model circuit, Nigar has currently donned a new avtaar - that of an actor paving the path for the younger sister Gauhar. While she is busy essaying the role of Sheetal, a character with negative shades in Zee‘s late night soap Lipstick, Gauhar making her presence felt as a rising model.

Niki Aneja

There are others like Niki Aneja (the Gharwali from Star Plus‘ ?Uparwali show) who have had a benign protective influence like cousin Parmeet Sethi to oversee their entry into showbiz.

Parmeet Sethi

Parmeet, who says he is as good as a real brother to Niki, had to coax Niki into getting her initial portfolio done. "We have acted together in Dastaan and Samundar, but although I have had a few offers to be paired opposite Niki, I haven‘t taken them up?I don‘t think I could handle that," he says. But as a proud elder sibling, Parmeet says Niki has handled her career quite efficiently and has rarely needed to turn to him for advice.

Ronit Roy

Ronit and Rohit Roy have just shot for a pilot for a show scripted by Shobhaa De, the first time the two will appear in one frame. Ronit, the elder sibling debuted on the big screen with hit film Jaan Tere Naam but subsequently faded, only to make a spectacular comeback on the small screen recently.

Rohit Roy

Currently he is wooing the audience with his performance in Kasautii... and Kyunkii... on Star Plus. Like a protective older brother, he says, "Rohit is like a son to me. I never really wanted him to join this industry. The industry is so full of jolts and I definitely did not want him to go through all the troubles that I have been through. I always knew that he would be a darn good actor but I constantly dissuaded him from taking it up. I wanted him to pursue his MBA or appear for civil services but stubborn that he is, he did exactly what he wanted to." But behind all that protectiveness there is a proud brother who is quick to declare that the younger one though full of surprises, is quite a level headed person. "One thing that I think he needs to check is his temper" advises big bro.

Rohit is just as full of praises for Ronit. "He is a fighter, I vividly remember one time during a cycle race when the chain broke off. He picked up the cycle and ran with it all the way to the finishing line? he missed the gold but he did bag the silver," says the proud brother. When asked what would their dream project be Rohit is prompt to respond, ‘something like Deewar‘. Wonder who will play Amitabh Bachchan.

Rajiv Paul

At the other extreme are the Paul brothers, Rajiv and Rakesh. While elder one Rajiv was made for the screen, the younger one was rather conned into it. Speaking about their childhood, Rakesh vividly remembers the elder brother as the writer director and lead actor of the plays and he the assistant.

While the elder one came to the city of dreams to work for the silver screen, the latter came armed with a law degree to join the army but soon ended up joining his brother. According to Rakesh, Rajiv is a go-getter while he is the laid back one.

Yet another brothers duo making their mark on the small screen is Quaid and Husain. With Husain being the baby, since Quaid is almost 12 years his senior, the relationship between the siblings is more like ‘father and son‘, as Hussain would put it.

Rakesh Paul

Good-looking Hussain started his career on the silver screen as a model. Of late, he is being noticed for his roles Star Plus shows such as Kyunkii..., Kumkum, Krishna Arjun, Kismey kitna hai dam and talent hunt show Kucch kar dikhana hai.

With the elder brother already having paved a way for him, entry to the industry was a pretty smooth sailing for Husain. But for the elder sibling, Quaid who managed to make his own in the industry as a director, it wasn‘t a cakewalk." He has an immense amount of patience and self-confidence, no matter how bad things were in the past he never gave up," said Hussain fondly. It seems to be impossible to get any amount of criticism from the younger brother who goes to the extent of saying: "Never would anybody in the industry even dare to play us against one another, coz‘ everybody knows that I love him a lot.


The list seems endless, amongst the siblings that we have not thus far included are the bigwigs of the industry. The information and broadcast minister RS Prasad and his ‘chotti behna‘ BAG films managing director Anurradha Prasad, the head honchos of SAB TV - the Adhikari brothers and Indian cable TV‘s first family, the Goel brothers. True to the idiom, blood is thicker than water, these sibilings have held on to each other in their leanest periods and rejoiced in their happiest hours.

While entry into the industry is not guaranteed if you have a sibling in the industry, the recognition, thanks to the family connection, is instant. From the industry‘s perspective, the star sibling is a ready-made star on their hands... complete with press relations.

Like they say, its all in the family!

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