Hindi Films : Fine Character Actors till the Seventies and Beyond -- Part 2
In this Part two we shall pay tribute to a few more character actors till the seventies and beyond in the centenary year of Hindi films.
The Bollybood's most famous police officer was the character actor Iftekhar. Born in 1920 in Sialkot, he had the distinction of acting in over 400 films, in a career spanning over four decades. He acted in his first film Qazzak ki Ladki, in 1937. In the 40's and 50's he came as a lead actor in a number of films. He was not only handsome but was suave and dignified in the portrayals of various characters on the screen.
He however made a mark for himself as a righteous police inspector in a large number of films. He rose to further heights of acting in the Yash Chopra film Deewar as the one who initiates and mentors Amitabh Bachchan into the world of crime. With Amitabh he played powerful police inspector roles in Zanjeer and Don bith hit films of their times.
He was also a Dev Anand favourite acting with him in hit films like Johnny Mera Naam, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and The Gambler. He also played the inspector's role in the iconic Sholay. Some of his popular films are Mirza Ghalib, Devdas, Shree 420, Jagte Raho, Dilli ka Thug, Professor, Bandini, Meri SooratTeri Aankhen, Sangam,Shaheed, Khamoshi, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Intiquam, Safar,The Train, Sharmeelee, Joshila, Dharmatma, Vishwanath, Karz, Dostana, Mashaal, City of Joy, Meri Jung etc.
He was liked for his sophisticated looks and soft dialogue deliveries. He passed away in 1995.
Another actor who became famous for playing the character roles of father, uncle, police inspector and even villainous roles was Satyen Kappu. born in 1931, he started his filmy journey from the famous film Kabuliwala in 1961. He went on to act in nearly 270 films in a four decade career. He came to films from the theatre and brought a sense of pathos in his acting. He became famous for playing the role of Ramlal in the now iconic Sholay. He got an opportunity to act in many Amitabh films. Some of the films he acted in are Deewar, Kati Patang, Mausam, Mr Natwarlal, Zanjeer, Don, Ek Duje Ke Liye, Dharam Kanta, Bidaai, Red Rose, The Burning Train, Kudrat, Naseeb, Sharabi etc. He passed away in 2007 in Mumbai.
A freedom fighter coming to the silver screen at a late age and going on to win the hearts of the audiences is a very rare phenomenon. That was the brief story of Avtar Kishen Hangal, born in 1917 in Sialkot. He was a freedom fighter from 1929 till 1947. He loved acting and was a stage actor from 1936 till 1965. At the age of 49 in 1966 he became a character actor in Hindi films and continued till 2005. Of kashmiri origin he saw in his life many periods of poverty. A tailor by profession he had to be financially supported by outsiders during his later age as he suffered from medical problems. He was a convincing character actor and brought a rare finesse into his roles. He is remembered for the role of Imam in the iconic movie Sholay and his one dialogue in the film "Itna sannataa kyu hai bhai-- " has also become equally iconic. Even though he came very late into films he got to act in around 225 films. Some of his notable flms are Aaina, Namak Haram, Manzil, Prem Bhandan, Guddi, Bawarchi, Mere Apne, Abhiman, Chichor, Des Pardes, Judaai, Thodisi Bewafaii, Kalyug, Kudrat, Khalnayak and Lagaan. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 95 in Mumbai.
The civil engineer turned character actor was born in 1935 in Balochistan now in Pakistan. The Pathan moved with his family to Mumbai when he was only a year old.He was named Kader Khan. He went on to graduate as a civil engineer and for five years was employed as a professor in a college in Mumbai. It was Dilip Kumar who saw him act in a college play and offered him roles in his two films Sagina Mahato and Bairaag .He never looked back and went on to act in a phenomenal 450 plus films. Besides acting he was equally a famous film dialogue writer and has written dialogues for nearly 250 films. He is known as a legend in Hindi films. His acting was simple but it was the punch dialogues which he deliverd with a fantastic sense of timing. He got to act with all the leading stars of his time including Amitabh, Jeetendra,Govinda and Firoze Khan. He was especially a favourite of the director David Dhawan. Besides plaaying character roles he was also an accomplished commedian. Some of his dialogues have become very famous. Some of his notable films are Sharabi, Coolie, Lawaaris, Muqqaddar Ka Sikandar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Karma, Sarfarrosh, Himmatwala, Coolie No 1,Khoon Bari Maang,Satte Pe Satta, Mujse Shaadi Karogi, Raja Babu,Dhanwaan, Badi Behen, Khoon Pasina,Jhoru ka Ghulam etc. He is presently staying in Mumbai and occassionally acts in films /TV serials. He has contributred a great to Hindi cinema.
Remaining character actors of note will be covered in Part three.
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