Aamir Khan's Taare Zameen Par is a sensitive story about a child, Darsheel Safary and his simple life. The boy already has a fan following, as his mother tries to fend off girls who seem desperate to meet him.
Like Darsheel, there have been quite a few child artistes in the Hindi film industry. Like Aamir Khan, himself.
Many of the stars who have reigned in the film industry have started their careers as child artistes. We decided to go back to that time, and showcase the children who became stars.
Aamir first acted at the age of eight in his uncle Nasir Hussain's film, Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973). He played the younger Ratan, while the older version was played by his cousin, Tariq.
In 1974, he acted in another film called in Madhosh, produced by his father, Tahir Hussain. Aamir then gave up acting and concentrated on his studies.
He returned to the movies at the age of 19 with Ketan Mehta's Holi. But it was in 1988 when Aamir -- who was 23 then -- got his first big role in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, a huge hit.
Aamir since has consistenly given us hits, and now is ready with his directorial debut, Taare Zameen Par.
Hrithik debuted with Aap Ke Deewane Hai when he was six. The film starred his father Rakesh Roshan.
The same year, he also danced in a song from the film, Aasha, which was directed by his grandfather, J Om Prakakash. At 12, he did another film for his grandfather, Bhagwan Dada, starring Rajnikanth.
Hrithik made his adult debut in the movies with Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai at the age of 26. The film made him a star overnight.
Sanjay acted at the age of 12 in his father Sunil Dutt's directorial venture, Reshma Aur Shera. But this was coincidental, as he just happened to be on the sets when a qawwali song was being picturised, and his father asked him to join in. This was his only film as a child.
The next time Sanjay acted in a film was when he told his father that he was not interested in studies and wanted to be an actor. The senior Dutt launched him in style with Rocky. Sanjay was only 22 then. Tragically, his mother Nargis died only a few weeks before Rocky released.
Urmila had a tiny role in the Marathi film, Zaakol. She did her second film, Kalyug, when she was only six.
At the age of nine, she got a fairly big role in Shekhar Kapur's Masoom (1983). Urmila did quite a few films as a child artist, before she made her adult debut in N Chandra's Narshima. Her first full-fledged role as a heroine arrived with Chamatkar (1992), opposite Shah Rukh Khan.
But luck smiled on her only when she worked with Ram Gopal Varma in films like Rangeela, Satya, Kaun and Bhoot.
Neetu started her career with Dus Lakh (1966) at the age of eight. She was credited as Baby Sonia then.
Her biggest role as a child artist was in Do Kaliyaan (1968), where she played a double role. The film is inspired by 1961's The Parent Trap.
She was launched as a heroine in 1973 in Rickshawala. The film bombed. It was the hit, Yaadon Ki Baarat, which got her recognition, and she was flooded with offers.
Neetu retired from the movies at the young age of 21.
Farhan Akhtar's mother, Honey Irani, started acting at the age of two. She did about 70 movies, including Qaidi No 911 (1959), Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan (1959), Chandi Ki Deewar (1964), Soorat Aur Seerat (1962) and Bombay Ka Chor (1962).
She returned to the movies when she was 16 years old, and starred in Seeta Aur Geeta, Amar Prem and Kati Patang. She was just 18 when she retired and married Javed Akhtar.
When Honey's marriaged to Akhtar failed, she took up writing. She has penned scripts for Lamhe and Darr, and tried her hand with direction with Armaan (Anil Kapoor, Preity Zinta) as well.
Honey's elder sister, Daisy, was more popular as a child artiste than Honey.
The sisters were so sort-after that sometimes, scripts were written keeping them in mind. Some of Daisy's popular films were Bandish (1955), Ek Hi Raasta (1956), Naya Daur (1957), Hum Panchhi Ek Dal Ke (1957), Jailor (1958), Qaidi No 911 (1959) and Do Ustad (1959).
Daisy now makes television serials.
Sridevi made her debut in the Tamil film, Kandhan Karunai (1967) when she was four.
At the age of 13, she starred opposite Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth's Moondru Mudichu (1976), directed by K Balachander. She went on to give many hits with Haasan and Rajnikanth between 1979 and 1983, and emerged as a popular Telugu actress as well.
She made her Hindi film debut with Solvaa Sawan (1978) but her first hits were Himmatwala and Sadma, both in 1983. After that, there was no stopping this beautiful actress, who married producer Boney Kapoor in 1996 and had two daughters.
She started as a chorus singer for her aunts, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. She was especially close to Ashatai and bagged a role on her recommendation in Dev Anand's Ishq Ishq Ishq (1975). She was only 10 then.
Padmini went on to star in movies like Dreamgirl, Satyam Shivam Sundaram and Insaaf Ka Tarazu (1980). She was only 17 when she made her adult debut in Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai (1981), directed by Nasir Hussain and starring Rishi Kapoor. But it was Prem Rog, which released the next year, that made her a star.
At the age of 22, she fell in love with producer Tutu Sharma and quit acting.
He was 11 when he acted in Shekhar Kapur's touching film, Masoom. He went on to do more films like Sultanat, Karma and Loha.
In 1994, he made his adult debut with Aa Gale Lag Jaa, opposite his Masoom co-star, Urmila Matondkar. In 2000, he made another comeback in Aditya Chopra's Mohabbatein.
Now, the actor is trying his hand in direction with the animated film, Roadside Romeo, under the Yash Raj banner.
Hansika became a popular child actress thanks to her television shows, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Des Main Nikla Hoga Chand and Hum 2 Hain Na. Later, she was offered a role in the Hrithik Roshan-starrer Koi... Mil Gaya.
At 16, she made her adult debut with Himesh Reshammiya's Aap Ka Suroor - The Moviee-The Real Luv Story. She also bagged a few films in regional languages like Desamuduru (Telugu) and Sarvam (Tamil).