Published On: Fri, Oct 23rd, 2015

Remembering Deven Verma on his 78th birth anniversary today.


Remembering Deven Verma, Bollywood’s one of the most loved character actors of the seventies and eighties, on his 78th birth anniversary today.

One of the finest actors who taught us how to make people roll on the floor with laughter wth subtle humour, Deven Verma’s comic roles in Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterji’s films are still in the audience’s memory, whether it was as Manshukh in ‘Kisi Se Na Kehna’ or as the lovable Bahadur in ‘Angoor’. He has won Filmfare Award thrice for ‘Chori Mera Kaam’, ‘Chor Ke Ghar Chor’ and ‘Angoor’, the last being directed by Gulzar and still considered one of Bollywood’s best comedies.

Deven Verma, Bollywood’s one of the most loved character actors of the seventies and eighties, would have been 78 years old today.


The record cover of 1981 film ‘Josh’ featuring Deven Verma and Amjad Khan, singing the song “Khaat Pe Khatmal”.

Known for gifting classics like Angoor, Chori Mera Kaam, Chor Ke Ghar Chor, Deven Verma was honoured with the Filmfare award for Best Comedian thrice. He graced Bollywood for four decades with endearing roles in classic domestic comedies. The actor also proved his mettle in Marathi and Bhojpuri films.

He shot to fame with his performance in 1975 film Chori Mera Kaam, which bagged him his first Filmfare Award for Best Comedian. Varma’s cemented his place in the industry with roles in memorable films like Chor Ke Ghar Chor, Gol Maal, Khatta Meetha, Naastik, Rang Birangi, Dil, Judaai, Andaz Apna Apna and Dil Toh Pagal Hai.

His dual role of Bahadur in Gulzar’s 1982 film Angoor—an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play—A Comedy of Errors, is considered as one of the most loved comic roles in Hindi cinema. Varma, who was married to Ashok Kumar’s daughter Rupa Ganguly, turned producer with Yakeen in 1969 and also took to direction two years later with Nadaan. He produced and directed Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Besharam in 1978.

Effortless comedy timing, flawless acting, unbeatable simplicity—such was the charm of Deven Verma. He left behind a distinct and memorable body of work. He was as an actor whose absence will be deeply felt by the industry and his fans.

May his noble soul rest in eternal peace.


Actors Deven Verma and Sanjeev Kumar were seen in dual roles in 1982 comedy Angoor, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play The Comedy of Errors. The story revolves around two sets of identical twins, each set named Ashok and Bahadur, who are separated at birth. Their paths cross years later and much confusion arises from mistaken identities. Deven Verma’s dual role of Bahadur won him his third and last Filmfare Best Comedian award for Angoor.

Gulzar, director-lyricist of the movie ‘Angoor’ remembers the great actor Deven Verma.

“Angoor’ (1983) was one of the major films we worked on together. I was in regular touch with him, even though he had moved to Pune. He had told me about his heart problem. He wanted to have a screening of ‘Angoor’ at a club and wanted me to present it, but it didn’t happen. He was a great actor, I wouldn’t call him a comedian. He never used buffoonery that we’re used to attaching with comedy, now. He played his two characters in ‘Angoor’ differently. The only similarity between the two is the name, rest everything — from the body language to the way they spoke — every nuance was distinct.”


About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology