Villains have always held a significant place in storytelling, captivating audiences with their nefarious deeds, and chilling charisma. Few villains become immortalised in popular culture, leaving an indelible mark on our collective consciousness. Bollywood has witnessed numerous eras that have shaped its identity and one such era was the Villain Era, at the forefront of which was the iconic actor Amrish Puri, whose portrayal of villains elevated the art of antagonism to new heights. On his birth anniversary, we trace the most unforgettable villains across the entertainment industry who left their mark on the world.

One of The most iconics villains of all time is Amrish Puri


Amrish Puri and the Villain World

In the 1970s and 1980s, Indian cinema witnessed a shift in the portrayal of antagonists. This era challenged the hero-centric narratives and paved the way for multi-dimensional antagonistic characters. Amrish Puri, with his deep baritone voice and commanding presence, became the epitome of a villain during the era.

Amrish Puri plays the unforgettable villain Shakaal

Sanjay Sondhi

Amrish Puri’s portrayal of antagonists was characterised by a perfect balance of menace, intensity, and a certain magnetic charm. Be it the iconic Mogambo from Mr India or the unforgettable Shakaal from Karma, it showcased his ability to immerse himself in his roles. His versatility contributed to his immense popularity. Amrish Puri’s influence can still be felt in contemporary Bollywood films, with actors striving to replicate the impact he brought to the screen.

The 7 most unforgettable villains of all time

When it comes to iconic villains, there are numerous characters across different mediums that have left a lasting impact on popular culture. Here are some of the most iconic villains and villainous characters of all time-

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Darth Vader (Star Wars)

This Sith Lord from the Star Wars franchise is instantly recognisable with his black armour, deep voice, and signature breathing. Darth Vader’s journey begins as Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), who succumbs to the temptations of the dark side of the Force. Darth Vader is a symbol of power, darkness, and the ultimate villain. 

Darth Vader is the unforgettable villains of all time


The Joker (Batman)

Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker, is a chaotic and unpredictable criminal mastermind. His maniacal laughter, painted face, and twisted sense of humour have made him an enduring icon. As one of the most recognisable villains in popular culture, the Joker has left an indelible mark in the world of comics, films, and literature. 

Joker is the unforgettable villains of all time

Strange Harbors

Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter)

The primary antagonist in the Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort, is a dark wizard who seeks immortality and ultimate power. His snake-like appearance, lack of a nose, and hiss-like voice have become synonymous with evil. Born as Tom Marvolo Riddle, Voldemort’s journey begins with a troubled childhood and ends up establishing himself as the Dark Lord, initiating a reign of terror.

Voldemort is the unforgettable villains of all time



The infamous vampire created by Bram Stoker has become the quintessential representation of vampiric evil. He is one of the most iconic figures in gothic horror literature. Over the years, numerous adaptations in films and other mediums have showcased different interpretations of him. His supernatural abilities and insatiable thirst for blood have made him the greatest villain.

Dracula is the unforgettable villains of all time


Gabbar Singh (Sholay)

Played by Amjad Khan, Gabbar Singh from the film Sholay is one of the most iconic villains in Bollywood history. With his unforgettable dialogues and ruthless persona, he became a symbol of terror. Gabbar Singh is characterised by his unrelenting cruelty, which instils fear in both his subordinates and the villagers of Ramgarh.

Gabbar Singh is the unforgettable villains of all time

Anand Singh Rathor

Mogambo (Mr India)

Played by Amrish Puri, Mogambo from the film Mr India is a supervillain known for his distinctive catchphrase “Mogambo khush hua.” He had a commanding presence and is remembered for his portrayal of an evil genius. Amrish Puri’s portrayal of Mogambo in the film is widely considered one of the most memorable performances in Indian cinema

Mogambo is the unforgettable villains of all time


Gokul Pandit (Gangs of Wasseypur)

Played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Gokul Pandit from the film Gangs of Wasseypur is a cold-blooded gangster with a distinct personality. What makes this character iconic is it subverts traditional gangster archetypes. Unlike the stereotypical fearless and power-hungry gangsters, Gokul displays vulnerability and an inherent conflict within himself.

Gokul Pandit is the unforgettable villains of all time


Iconic villains stand as pillars of malevolence, etching themselves into our collective memory. They challenge our preconceived notions of good and evil, leaving us shaken by their complexities. As we delve into their dark realms, we are reminded of the profound impact these villains have, shaping our understanding of storytelling and human nature itself.