Remembering Bollywood’s Gabbar Singh on his 24th death anniversary today.454 views
Amjad Khan, the well known Indian actor and director was born on the 12th of November, in the year 1940 in the city of Hyderabad, India. The famous actor, Zakaria Khan, also known as Jayant, was Amjad’s father. Inayat Khan and Imtiaz Khan were his brothers. Khan did his schooling from the St. Theresa’s High School situated at Bandra in Mumbai. He then attended the prestigious R D National College where he was elected to be the general secretary.
Before Amjad started working in films, he used to be a theatre actor. In the year 1951, he was first given a chance to appear in films, his first film being ‘Nazneen’. This was soon followed by the 1957 film, ‘Ab Dilli Aur Nahin’ directed by Amar Kumar and starring Motilal in the lead. The time when Amjad did this film, he was only seventeen years old. Here he enacted the role of a character called Lachhu. He had even assisted director K. Asif in the film ‘Love and God’ (1986) and had made a brief appearance in it. ‘Love and God’ was based on the Arabic story of Kais and Laila. Although this film was bound to release much earlier, it was released in 1986 because of K. Asif’s death in 1971. In the year 1973, Khan starred in Chetan Anand’s war film ‘Hindustan Ki Kasam’ which was based on Operation Cactus Lily in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. The cast consisted of Amjad Khan, Parikshat Sahni, Raaj Kumar and Amrish Puri. However this film failed to make a firm hold in the commercial market.
In the 1975, he received the dream role which completely changed his image in the Indian Film industry. He signed up for the role of Gabbar Singh, the dacoit in Ramesh Sippy’s action-adventure film ‘Sholay’ starring Dharmendra, Amjad Khan, Jaya Bhaduri, Hema Malini, Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar in the lead roles. For playing the tough character role of dacoit Gabbar Singh, Khan had to take a lot of preparations. He had to read the book called Abhishapth Chambal written by Jaya Bhaduri’s father, Tarun Kumar Bhaduri. His role in the film was a huge success along with the film. He is considered by several people to be one of the very first depictions of pure evil in the history of Indian Cinema. All his dialogues and mannerisms in this film has become a very important part in the Bollywood vocabulary. He later appeared in television advertisements as dcoit Gabbar Singh endorsing brands such as Britannia Glucose Biscuits and it became the very first incident where a villain was used to sell a product.
Soon after the huge success of Sholay, Amjad Khan continued to do villainous roles in various subsequent films till the early 1990s. He continued gaining popularity with these roles raising the benchmark for negative roles, and in most of the films he starred as the villain, Amitabh Bachchan used to be the hero. Some of his other important films where he performed stupendously as a villain include ‘Inkaar’, ‘Naseeb’, ‘Ganga Ki Saugandh’, ‘Chambal Ki Kasam’, ‘Hum Kisise Kam Nahin’, ‘Dada’, ‘Des Pardes’, ‘Satte Pe Satta’ and ‘Nastik’.
Throughout his career he has also played a number of unconventional roles. In the 1977 film ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’ directed by Satyajit Ray, Khan donned the role of a helpless monarch called Wajid Ali Shah whose kingdom is targeted by British colonists from the British dominated East India Company. This became the only film in his career in which he had dubbed a song. Some of the films where he did positive roles are ‘Laawaris’ (1981), directed by Prakash Mehra, and ‘Yaarana’ (1981) directed by Rakesh Kumar. In these films he played the role of Amitabh Bachchan’s father and friend respectively. In the year 1984 he starred in Girish Karnad’s art film ‘Utsav’ starring Rekha, Shashi Kapoor and Shekhar Suman.
IN this film he had portrayed the author of Kama Sutra, Vatsayana. Seven years later in 1988, he acted in Zafar Hai’s English language Indian film, ‘The Perfect Murder’, starring Madhur Jaffrey, Ratna Pathak, Stellan Skarsgard and Naseeruddin Shah, where he donned the role of an underworld don. He had even played numerous comical roles in films such as ‘Chameli Ki Shaadi’ (1986), ‘Love Story’ (1981) and ‘Qurbani’ (1980). He once again played the character of Gabbar Singh, in the parody film ‘Ramgarh Ki Sholay’ starring Vijay Saxena and Kishore Bhanushali.
Some of the films which he had directed include the 1983 flick, ‘Chor Police’ and the 1985 film, ‘Ameer Aadmi Gareeb Aadmi’. In the former film, he had even acted in it and the film was a huge success, while the seconf film failed to create much of an impact at the box office.
In the year 1986, Amjad Khan had an accident on the Mumbai to Goa road where he drove is car into a tree in order to avoid a boulder. Soon after this he was given a lot of drugs, during which it caused a weight problem for the rest of his life, as a result of which he died in 1992. Till 1996, several of his completed films were released.
Some of the films in which he had worked are ‘Ab Dilli Aur Nahin’, ‘Maya’, ‘Hindustan Ki Kasam’, ‘Sholay’, ‘Charas’, ‘Ginny Aur Johnny’, ‘Aafat’, ‘Aakhri Goli’, ‘Chakkar Pe Chakkar’, ‘Hum Kisise Kam Naheen’, ‘Bhookh’, ‘Des Pardes’, ‘Muqaddar Ka Sikandar’, ‘Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan’, ‘Ahsaas’, ‘Chambal Ki Raani’, ‘Suhag’, ‘Bombay 405 Miles’, ‘Chambal Ki Kasam’, ‘Jwalamukhi’, ‘Khanjar’, ‘Naseeb’, ‘Plot NO. 5’, ‘Rocky’, ‘Shama’, ‘Yaarana’, ‘Daulat’, ‘Love’, ‘Izzat’, ‘Virodhi’, ‘Bechain’, ‘Aatank’, ‘Dost’, ‘Utsav’, ‘Vikram’, ‘Inteqam’, ‘Jeena’, ‘Sautela Bhai’, ‘Rudaali’, ‘In Custody’ and several others.
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