4. Javed Akhtar
One of the most accomplished lyricists India ever had, Javed Akhtar is among the out-of-closet Bollywood celebrities who used to drink regularly. His phase on the dependence of alcohol lasted for more than 15 years. But drinking could never take over his career and is perhaps also responsible for those beautiful compositions we get to hear so often. He has also been one of the best screenwriters in Bollywood, and along with Salim Khan, has penned scripts for films like Andaz (1971), Seeta Aur Geeta (1972), Yaadon Ki Baarat (1973), Deewaar (1975), Sholay (1975), and others.
The Jatt from Punjab, popularly known as the He-Man of Bollywood for the action films he acted in during the late seventies and eighties, was a confessed alcoholic for a good decade and a half. So much so, he even looked dreary eyed in many of his films. His drinking habit, in fact, almost ruined his career. It is widely rumoured that it was Dharmendra who introduced Meena Kumari to alcohol. Dharmendra, however, has managed to kick the bottle since he took up writing.
6. Rakhee Gulzar
Image: Hindustan Times
One of the most ethereal looking actresses in Bollywood, Rakhee Gulzar was a leading heroine of her time and has several blockbuster films to her credit. But two failed marriages, the first with director Ajay Biswas at the age of 16 and the next with poet Gulzar, led her to drinking. She soon became an alcoholic but was able to give all up and resume her career. Rakhee has since acted in many popular and critically acclaimed films like Paroma (1984), Rudaali (1993), and Shubho Mahurat (2003).