Beloved actor-filmmaker, icon of middle class cinema Amol Palekar was Born On This Day

Beloved actor-filmmaker, icon of middle class cinema Amol Palekar was #BornOnThisDay. Known for playing gentle, mild-mannered protagonists on screen, he gave memorable performances in light-hearted, slice-of-life comedies. He embodied a certain type of tender, playful hero that was a whiff of fresh air.

He studied fine arts at the Sir JJ School of Arts, Mumbai, and commenced his artistic career as a painter. As a painter, he had seven one-man exhibitions and participated in many group shows. He has been active in the avant garde theatre in India. He has been active in Marathi and Hindi theatre as an actor, director and producer since 1967. His contribution to the modern Indian theatre is often overshadowed by his popularity as a lead actor in Hindi films.

As an actor, he was most prominent for over a decade from 1970. His image as a “boy next door” contrasted with the larger-than-life heroes prevalent at that time in Indian cinema. He received one Filmfare and six State awards as Best Actor. His performances in regional language films in Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam and Kannada fetched him critical acclaim as well. He decided not to act after 1986 in order to concentrate on filmmaking.

As a director, he is known for the sensitive portrayal of women, selection of classic stories from Indian literature, and perceptive handling of progressive issues. He has directed several television serials on the national network such as Kachchi Dhoop, Mrignayani, Naquab, Paool Khuna and Krishna Kali.

Personal life

Amol Palekar was born to Kamlakar and Suhasini Palekar in a lower-middle-class family in Mumbai. He was raised along with his three sisters, Neelon, Rekha and Unnati, by his father who worked in the General Post Office and his mother who worked in a private company.[9] He worked at the Bank of India before he switched full-time to a career in acting. He also does some social work. He married Sandhya Gokhale after his divorce from his first wife, Chitra.[10][11][2] Palekar regards himself as an agnostic atheist.

Filmography

As an actor

Year Film Character/role Notes
1969 Bajiraocha Beta Marathi film
1971 Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe Marathi film
1974 Rajnigandha Sanjay
1975 Jeevana Jyoti Sanjay Telugu film
1976 Chhoti Si Baat Arun Pradeep
1976 Chitchor Vinod
1977 Gharonda Sudip
1977 Bhumika Keshav Dalvi
1977 Agar… If Anil Aggarwal
1977 Taxi Taxie Dev/Hero
1977 Tuch Maazi Raani Marathi film
1977 Kanneshwara Rama Chenira Kannada film (short film)
1978 Damaad
1978 Safed Jhoot Amol ‘Ramu’ Palekar
1979 Baaton Baaton Mein Tony Braganza
1979 Gol Maal Ram Prasad Sharma/
Lakshman Prasad Sharma (Lucky)
Filmfare Award for Best Actor
1979 Do Ladke Dono Kadke Hari
1979 Meri Biwi Ki Shaadi Bhagwant Kumar Bartendu “Bhagu”
1979 Solva Sawan
1979 Bin Baap Ka Beta
1979 Mother 1979 film Marathi film
1979 Jeena Yahan Dinesh
1980 Aanchal Kishan Lal
1980 Apne Paraye Chandranath
1981 Naram Garam Ram Eshwar Prasad
1981 Sameera
1981 Akriet Mukutrao Shinde Marathi film
1981 Kalankini Bengali film
1981 Agni Pareeksha Alok Choudhary / Ramesh Khanna
1981 Chehre Pe Chehra Peter
1981 Plot No. 5
1982 Jeevan Dhaara Anand Bhatnagar
1982 Olangal Ravi Chattan Malayalam film
1982 Ramnagari
1982 Spandan
1982 Shriman Shrimati Madhu Gupta
1983 Rang Birangi Ajay Sharma
1983 Ashray
1983 Pyaasi Aankhen
1983 Chena Achena Bengali film
1984 Tarang Rahul
1984 Aadmi Aur Aurat Tapan Sinha TV Movie
1984 Prarthana
1984 Sringara Masa Kannada film
1984 Mr. X Amar Voice dubbed by other artist
1985 Khamosh Amol Palekar
1985 Jhoothi Inspector Kamal Nath
1985 Ankahee (1985 film) Devkinandan Chaturvedi ‘Nandu’
1985 Abasheshe Bengali film
1986 Baat Ban Jaye Yeshwant Rao Bhonsle
1994 Teesra Kaun? C. K. Kadam
2001 Aks The Defence Minister
2009 Samaantar Keshav Vaze Marathi film

As a director

  • Aakreit (Unimaginable in Marathi) – 1981
  • Ankahee (Unspoken) – 1985
  • Thodasa Rumani Ho Jaye – 1990
  • Bangarwadi – 1995
  • Daayraa (The Square Circle) – 1996
  • Anahat (Forever)
  • Kairee (Raw mango) – 2001
  • Dhyaas Parva (Kal Kaa Aadmi in Hindi) – 2001 (based on Raghunath Karve’s life, won the National Award for Best Film on Family Welfare)[13]
  • Paheli (Riddle) – 2005 (India’s official entry to the 78th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film)
  • Quest (English) – 2006 (won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in English)
  • Dumkata (2007)
  • Samaantar (Marathi) – 2009
  • …And Once Again – 2010
  • Dhoosar (Marathi) – 2011 (won the Maharashtra State Film Award)

Feature films in other regional languages[edit]

  • Mother (Bengali) (with Sharmila Tagore & Dipankar Dey)
  • Kalankini (Bengali) (with Mamata Shankar – directed by Dhiren Ganguly)
  • Chena Achena (Bengali) (with Tanuja & Soumitra Chaterjee)
  • Kanneshwara Rama (Kannada) (with Anant Nag & Shabana Aazmi – directed by M.S. Sathyu)
  • Paper Boats (Kannada & English) (with Deepa – directed by Pattabhirama Reddy)
  • Olangal (Malayalam) (with Poornima Jyaram & Ambika – directed by Balu Mahendra)

TV serials[edit]

  • Kachchi Dhoop – 1987
  • Naqab – 1988
  • Paoolkhuna – 1993
  • Mrignayanee – 1991
  • Kareena Kareena – 2004
  • AA Bail Mujhe Maar – 1987
  • Ek Nayi Ummeed-Roshni – 2015

Awards[edit]

Award Film Year Status
National Film Awards
Best Feature Film in Marathi Bangarwadi 1995 Won
Special Jury Award (Feature Film) Daayraa 1996 Won
Best Film on Other Social Issues Kairee 1999 Won
Best Film on Family Welfare Dhyaas Parva 2000 Won
Best Feature Film in English Quest 2006 Won
Filmfare Award
Best Actor Chhoti Si Baat 1977 Nominated
Gol Maal 1980 Won
Filmfare Marathi Awards
Best Actor Akriet 1981 Won

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