COFFEE BREAK: Little known facts about your favorite Hollywood stars and films
* K.A. Abbas story, developed as Awara (1951) based on an uncle of his, who was a sessions judge and whose son was accused of theft -- was originally meant for Mehboob Khan. He wanted Prithviraj Kapoor or Dilp Kumar to play Raju. * Before entering films, Dilip Kumar used to sell fruit on Bombay's Mohammed Ali Road.
* Vyjayantimala was the original choice for Nirupa Roys role in Deewar (1975). Rajesh Khanna and Navin Nischol were to play Vijay and Ravi.
* Bimal Roy was skeptical about casting Balraj Sahni for the lead role in Do Bigha Zamin (1953). He thought Sahni was too educated and westernised for the role.
* Guru Dutts first choice for the young educated villager Bhoothnath in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) was Shashi Kapoor, then Biswajeet.
* Dilip Kumar was originally cast s Birju for Mother India (1957). But since he had played romantic leads with Nargis earlier, it was felt that the audience wouldnt accept the on-screen mother-son relationship.
* Aamir Khan refused to act in Lagaan (2001) when Ashutosh Gowariker first approached him with the script. But after it was reworked, Khan decided to produce it himself.
* The original ending of Sholay (1975) had the Thakur killing Gabbar Singh but Emergency censorship forced a tamer ending.
* Even though they portrayed a convincing romantic pair in Ek Duuje Ke Liye, off-screen Kamal Haasan and Rati Agnihotri were not on talking terms.
* Rahul Bose managed to rope in Carlos Santana to sing the title track for his directorial debut Everybody Says Im Fine.
* Ektaa Kapoor named her film Kucch To Hai because astrologer Sunita Menon predicted the letter K would be lucky for her. But the Tushaar Kapoor-starrer flopped. So wags started calling it Kucch Nahin Hai.
* The villages built for the shootings of Sholay, Lagaan and Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost were later donated to the locals.
* Asha Bhosles first movie song was composed by the late A R Qureishi, better known as Ustad Alla Rakha, the tabla maestro.
* Dev Anand first offered Mumtaz the sisters role in Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1972). But she argued that audiences would not accept the pairing since they had earlier played husband-wife in Tere Mere Sapne. Zaheeda, his second heroine in Prem Pujari, was then roped in for the sister's role. Overlooking the fact that the role was the lifeline of the film, Zaheeda wanted the heroine's role (eventually played by Mumtaz) and she opted out. Zeenat Aman, brought in as a last-minute replacement, went on to establish a career as a leading lady that would span 15 years.
* When he first started working in Bombay, music director Naushad used to walk from Colaba to Ranjit Movietone Studios in Dadar since he could not afford the 6 paisa tram fare.
* Sanjeev Kumar played Jaya Bhaduris husband in Koshish , father in Parichay  and her father-in-law in Sholay .
* Nirupa Roy was a Bombay housewife when she saw an ad in a Gujarati newspaper asking for a new lead pair for a movie. She and her husband applied. She was selected as the heroine of the Gujarati film.
* Subhash Ghai signed Akshaye Khanna for Taal (1999) but by the time the film was released, four of the actors films had flopped. He wanted to repeat Khanna in Yaadein (2001) but the distributors insisted on Hrithik Roshan.
* Awara has five Kapoors: Prithviraj, Raj, Shashi (as the young Raju), Randhir (the child with the dog in the credits) and Prithvirajs father Bisheshar Nath as a judge.
* Raakhee was born on 15 August, Independence Day.
* Tushaar Kapoor was horrified to see his father acting with a new heroine (Sridevi) during a preview of Himmatwalla. Why is he not with Rekha aunty or Hema aunty? demanded the five-year-old.
* On a visit to Moscow, Raj Kapoor discovered that his passport had been left behind at the immigration counter at Delhi. The pilot of the Air-India plane informed Moscow airport that the well-known film-maker would not be dis-embarking at the Soviet capital, But when the plane landed, a Soviet official bounded up the stairs to the first class section, grabbed Raj Kapoor by the hand and said Raj Kapoor does not need a visa or passport to enter the Soviet Union."
* Nirupa Roy actually wept for her scenes in Do Bigha Zamin. This is the only film for which I didnt use glycerin for tears, she said.
* Aishwariya Rai first modeled for Camlin pencils as a 9th standard student.
* Peshawar-born Yusuf Khan was first spotted by Devika Rani, the controlling figure of Bombay Talkies. From amongst suggestions like Jehangir and Vasudev, a new screen name was chosen for him: Dilip Kumar.
* Three greatest singers of Bollywood died in their 50s Mukesh (53), Kishore Kumar (58) and Mohammad Rafi (55).
* Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Abhimaan was influenced by real life couple Kishore Kumar and his first wife Ruma.
* Character actor Rahman was with the Indian Air Force before entering the movies.
* Helen is an Anglo-Indian refugee from Burma. She came to India with her mother to escape the perils of World War II.
* Raj Kapoor used to be Ranbhir Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor was Shamsher Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor used to be Balbir Raj Kapoor.
* Sunil Dutt started as radio show host and celebrity interviewer at All India Radio. Wife-to-be Nargis was one of the celebrities he met in the course of his work.
* A.R. Rahman and Javed Akhtar work only at night.
* In his youth, Dharmendra was such a big fan of Suraiya that he walked miles to watch her film Dillagi, over 40 times.
* While shooting for the underwater scene in Kaho Na Pyar Hai, Hrithik Roshan's foot got stuck in a rocky crevice and he nearly drowned.
* During his lifetime Kishore Kumar was married to four different women (at different times). All of them were Bandra residents. He used to affectionately call them bandariya.
* Harikishen Goswami re-christened himself Manoj after his idol Dilip Kumar's character in Shabnam.
* Asha Bhosle has named one of her sons Hemant as a tribute to the late composer-singer Hemant Kumar.
* Mother India was the first Hindi movie to be nominated for the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category.
* Prem Chopra was in the Circulation Department of the Times of India, Bombay before making it big as the Bad Man of Hindi Movies.
* In Mughal-E-Azam, for one of the songs, Ae Mohabbat Zindabad, a chorus of 100 singers used!
* Jeetendra, who had started life in a chawl, moved into a palatial house in Colaba in south Mumbai. His thrilled mother, surprised by the huge hall of her new flat, had said, 'One can play football here.
* It was Chetan Anand who was to originally direct his younger brother Dev Anand's Guide. But then he got the clearance from the Punjab government to shoot Haqueeqat and the project thus fell in the lap of the youngest Anand brother, Vijay.
* Do Bigha Zamin is based on a short story by Salil Chowdhury, The music director agreed to Roy taking his idea but on the condition that he would score the music.
* Born in Maharashtra, Rajnikant (real name Shivajirao Gaekwad) migrated to Karnataka in search of a job and became a bus conductor. He then moved to Tamil Nadu for better prospects and ended up being one of the superstars of Indian cinema.
* Aishwariya Rai has a No Kissing clause in all her film contracts.
* Till Kaante, Amitabh Bachchan had used the screen name Vijay in 17 films.
* During his struggling days, lyricist Anand Bakshi once walked from Dadar to Andheri in pouring rain for an interview.
* When he began his career, Rajendra Kumar benefited because producers wanted a tragedian in the Dilip Kumar mould at an affordable price.
* Govinda turned down an offer from Subhash Ghai to act in Taal. The role was then played by Anil Kapoor. He also rejected Sanjay Leela Bhansalis proposal to be Chunilal in Devdas. The character was eventually assayed by Jackie Shroff.
* In 1987, Kishore Kumar passed away on 13 October. It was his brother Ashok Kumar's birthday.
* Director Ramesh Sippy had played Achla Sachdev's son in Shahenshah.
* In Navketan's Guide, all the male songs were sung by Mohammad Rafi save one (Gaata rahe mera dil), which went to Kishore Kumar. For Jewel Thief, Rafi had only one song in the score.
* In 1964, Tamil director Sridhar had thrown Hema Malini out of her first film, saying she had no star appeal.
* Shatrughan Sinha was the original choice for Amitabh Bachchan's role in Sholay.
* For many years, Dev Anand was the only film personality allowed to throw parties at the Taj Bombay -- he was the only Bollywood resident whose payments always came on time.
* Of the 990 songs that Mukesh recorded, 900 were hits.
* Dilip Kumar and Naushad suggested the name Tun Tun for singer Uma Devi when she switched over to acting.
* Gabbar Singh was killed in the original climax of Sholay but the Censor Board asked director Ramesh Sippy to change the ending.
* Designed as a launch pad for Sunil's brother, Som Dutt, Man Ka Meet (1968), ironically, made stars of its heroine Leena Chandarvarkar and its tall and hunky anti-hero, Vinod Khanna.
* Amitabh Bachchan had been turned away by All India Radio for a job.
* Sholay was a major flop -- in the first two and half weeks of its run.
* Producer Arjun Hingorani gave Dharmendra his first break in Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere (1960) for a paltry sum of Rs 51 and a daily breakfast of tea and toast at a local restaurant.
* Before entering films, Jeetendra used to hawk imitation jewelry from studio to studio.
* Hrithik Roshan carries two thumbs on his right hand. The additional thumb is a small extension which curves inwards towards his main thumb.
* Raj Kapoors first brush with the cinema world was as an assistant on the sets of Dilip Kumar's first film, Jwar Bhatta.
* S.D. Burman was a bit of a late bloomer, achieving success in Hindi films only when he was well into his forties.
* Nanda played Dev Anands sister in Kaala Bazaar (1960) but was his heroine the next year in Hum Dono. Similarly, she was the second lead in B.R. Chopras Dhool Ka Phool (1959) but the heroine of his next release, Kanoon (1960).
* R.D. Burman scored the music for the Amol Palekar comedy Golmaal. He was accompanied on the title song by his associate Sapan Chakroborty, who went on to become a music director in his own right.
* Salim-Javed had originally approached Manmohan Desai to direct Sholay with Baldev Pushkarna as the producer.
* For Mughal-E-Azam, made on a budget of Rs. 1.5 crore in 1960, tailors from Delhi, Hyderabadi jewelers and ironsmiths from Rajasthan were brought to Bombay. Shoes came from Agra. The main stars went to London to be fitted with wigs.
* The original choice for Vijays role in Pyaasa (1957) was Dilip Kumar who refused thinking it would be too similar to Devdas. Madhubala was to play Meena but Mala Sinha finally did.
* A steel box containing Awara was air-dropped on a group of Soviet scientists on a Polar expedition.
* On her very first day of shooting for Anjaana Safar, Rekha was made to kiss Biswajeet. The shot, though censored, made it to the cover of Life magazine.