Open main menu

Hamid Ali Khan (27 January 1922 – 21 October 1998[1]), better known by his stage name Ajit, was an Indian actor active in Hindi films. He acted in over two hundred movies over almost four decades.[2] Ajit is also credited for starring as a lead actor in popular Bollywood movies such as Nastik, Bada Bhai, Milan, Bara Dari, and later as a second lead in Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur.

Ajit Khan
Hamid Ali Khan

(1922-01-27)27 January 1922
Died22 October 1998(1998-10-22) (aged 76)



Early lifeEdit

Born Hamid Ali Khan, near the historic place Golconda, Hyderabad, Ajit had his early education in Warangal, studied in Govt. Junior College, Hanamkonda, Warangal district of Telangana. Hamid was the son of Bashir Ali Khan, who was in the Nizam's army, and had a younger brother, Wahid Ali Khan and 2 sisters. Hamid entered the film industry to become a hero and did quite a few creditable films as lead artiste in Nastik, Bada Bhai, Milan, Baradari, Dholak and later as a second lead in Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur. Film director K. Amarnath, who directed him in Beqasoor, suggested that the actor change his long name of Hamid Ali Khan to something shorter, and Hamid zeroed in on "Ajit".


Ajit, who ran away from home to Mumbai after selling his college books, started his career in films in the 1940s. Luck did not favour him in the beginning. He began with the 1946 movie Shahe Misra, acting opposite Geeta Bose, and also did films such as Sikander (with Van Mala), Hatimtai (1947), Aap Beeti (with Khursheed), Sone Ki Chidiya (with Leela Kumari), Dholak (with Meena Shori) and Chanda Ki Chandni (with Monica Desai) as leading hero, but flopped. He did the most films (15) with Nalini Jaywant. Ajit switched over to play the villain. His first movie as a villain was Suraj, followed by films such as Zanjeer and Yaadon Ki Baaraat.

His famous dialogues included the "Mona darling" bit in Yaadon Ki Baraat, "Lily don't be silly" in Zanjeer and the one about a "Lion" in Kallicharan. Ajit's other well known films were Naya Daur, Nastik and Shikari to name only a few. In his four decades of film career, Ajit had acted along with the legendary Prithviraj Kapoor, Sohrab Modi, Amitabh Bachchan, I S Johar, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra and many actresses, both young and old.[3]

In the mid-seventies he had acted in over 57 films, mostly as a villain. His dialogue delivery remains popular even to this date. His colleagues in the film industry — leading personalities who have acted with him, grown up seeing him in Mumbai — have expressed deep sorrow over the death of the legendary actor.

Writer Javed Akhtar, who scripted Zanjeer, said: "Like Bachchan, Ajit found a new image as villain after Zanjeer. He started a new innings in his career though he was an established hero in the fifties. His villainy started a new trend. Here was a new villain who was soft-spoken yet forceful. We wanted to give a different image to villainy which matched the hero."

Reactions to Ajit's deathEdit

Another "villain" Amrish Puri said Ajit's death is a sad loss to films. "Ajit developed his own style of acting and delivery of dialogue. We still remember his style of acting which is guidance to the new generation of actors." Prem Chopra, who starred with Ajit in many films including Jugnu, Chupa Rustom and Ram Balram as a father and son team, said Ajit was devoted in his work. "He had a subtle sense of humour. He was a cultured man. We had a common interest - reciting Urdu shairi."

New-generation villain Kiran Kumar was shocked to hear that "his Ajit uncle" had died. "Our relationship was more personal than professional. I must have been hardly eight or ten years when my father (veteran character actor Jeevan) used to take me to Paradise Bakery opposite which was Ajit's residence. Father would call him by his first name Hamid, and would call him down. Ajit would come down, wearing lungi and jaali banian to chat with my father."

Acting styleEdit

Ajit almost always portrayed the sophisticated, educated, well groomed evil mastermind, albeit heartless villain. Ajit was presented in striking western attire, the "bold" checked suits, matching overcoats, white leather shoes, wide sunglasses, jewellery accessories etc. Given his stature as a senior artist, Ajit was usually the gang leader to second tier villains (such as Jeevan (actor), Prem Chopra, Ranjeet, Kader Khan and Sujit Kumar). He was rarely portrayed (in movie roles) doing any "dirty work" himself, rather relaying on his army of henchmen for the task, with zero tolerance for any failures. He always had a savvy female accomplice, usually named "Mona." Acting in over 200 films, he specialized in playing suave villains with memorable catch-phrases delivered in now iconic Ajit style nasal drawls such as "Mona, darling". Ajit also brought to fame the smuggler as the villain. In his movies, he is generally seen smuggling gold biscuits in or out of the country. It has also been noted that most of his gang members had Christian names like Robert, Michael, Peter etc. This also has been used for comic purposes in parodies.

It was the menacing voice he was most famous for. He is still remembered for bringing the most famous villains in the history of Indian cinema to life. His contemporaries include veteran actors like Amrish Puri, Pran, Prem Chopra and Amjad Khan. Some of his popularity in the present time is due to the innumerable jokes and parodies made on his famous lines by comedians.


Acting Filmography
Year Film Role
1995 Criminal Jagdish Prasad
1994 Gangster Chandulal Seth
1994 Aa Gale Lag Jaa Kalka singh
1994 Betaaj Badshah Khan Chacha
1994 Aatish Uncle (underworld don)
1993 Shaktiman Shamsher 'Tiger' Singh
1993 Aadmi Trikaal
1992 Jigar Baba Thakur (Karate instructor)
1992 Police Officer
1984 Raaj Tilak Bhavani Singh
1984 Raja Aur Rani Teja (aka Heeralal)
1983 Daulat Ke Dushman Jagga thakur
1983 Razia Sultan Amil Balban
1982 Chorni Shambhu Dada
1982 Mangal Pandey Lal Singh/ Jaganlal
1981 Khoon Aur Paani Thakur Vikram Singh
1981 Aakhri Mujra
1981 Jyoti Amirchand
1981 Khuda Kasam Raiszada Hukamchand
1980 Choron Ki Baaraat Dhanraj
1980 Ram Balram Jaggu/Chowdhary Jagatpal
1979 Heera-Moti Pratap Singh
1979 Mr. Natwarlal Insp. Giridhari Lal
1978 Aahuti C.B.I Officer Harnam Prasad
1978 Azaad Seema's uncle
1978 Des Pardes Gurnam
1978 Heeralal Pannalal Kalicharan
1978 Karmayogi Keshavlal
1978 Ram Kasam
1977 Aakhri Goli
1977 Chalta Purza Captain Rajendra Behl
1977 Ankh Ka Tara Ramlal
1977 Hum Kisise Kum Naheen Zeenat's Dad (guest appearance)
1976 Jaaneman Raja Saheb/ Gulbahar Singh
1976 Charas Kalicharan
1976 Kalicharan Lion/Din Dayal
1976 Sangram Durjen
1975 Do Jhoot
1975 Pratigya Bharat Daku
1975 Warrant Master
1974 Badla Pratap/Randhir
1974 Khote Sikkay Jhanga
1974 Paap Aur Punya Balbir Singh
1974 Patthar Aur Payal Ajit Singh
1973 Bandhe Haath Insp. Kumar/Pakkad Singh
1973 Chhupa Rustam Vikram Singh
1973 Dharma IG Ajit Singh
1973 Jugnu Boss
1973 Kahani Kismat Ki Prem Chand
1973 Samjhauta
1973 Shareef Budmaash Ranjit
1973 Yaadon Ki Baaraat Shakaal
1973 Zanjeer Seth Dharam Dayal Teja
1972 Dil Ka Raja Thakur Gajendra Singh
1972 Sultana Daku
1971 Andaz Rajoo's dad
1971 Lal Patthar Raja Raghav Shankar Rai
1971 Paraya Dhan Dacoit, Hiralal
1971 Patanga Kuwar Amar Singh
1970 Heer Raanjha Heer's husband
1970 Dharti Diwan
1970 Jeevan Mrityu Harish (Harishchandra)
1969 Aadmi Aur Insaan Kundanlal/Sher Singh
1969 Prince Shamsher's Mamaji
1968 Raja Aur Runk Hariya
1967 Baghdad Ki Raatein
1966 Suraj Rajkumar Pratap Singh
1965 Himalay Ki God Mein
1965 Main Hoon Aladdin Aladdin
1965 Namaste Ji
1963 Shikari
1963 Kabli Khan Kabli Khan
1962 Burmah Road
1962 Tower House Suresh Kumar
1961 Girls' Hostel
1961 Zindagi aur Khwab
1961 Opera House Ajit Rai
1960 Mughal-e-Azam Durjan Singh
1960 Baraat
1959 Char Dil Char Rahen Dilawar
1959 Guest House Amar
1958 Mehndi Lead role
1957 Miss Bombay
1957 Bada Bhai
1957 Kitna Badal Gaya Insaan
1957 Naya Daur Krishna
1956 26 January
1956 Aan Baan
1956 Durgesh Nandini
1956 Halaku Parvez
1955 Aaj Ki Baat
1955 Bara Dari Ajit Singh
1955 Marine Drive Ajit
1955 Naqab
1955 Shahzada
1955 Teerandaz
1954 Maan
1954 Nastik Anil Kapoor/Babaji
1954 Samrat
1952 Anand Math
1952 Moti Mahal
1952 Tarang
1952 Vasna
1951 Daman
1951 Dholak
1951 Saiyan Vijay
1951 Sarkar
1950 Beqasoor Brij
1949 Jeevan Saathi
1949 Patanga
1945 Kurukshetra

Famous catch-phrasesEdit

  • "Mona, darling"
  • "Lilly, don't be silly"
  • "Sara shehar mujhe Loyan (Lion) ke naam se janata hai" - Kalicharan (1976)
  • "What's your problem?"
  • "I lost my glasses"
  • "Smart Boy"
  • "How very interesting..."
  • "O Come on"
  • "London mein log mujhe Loyan (Lion) ke naam se jante hain, aur bharat mein black jackal..."
  • "Isse liquid oxygen mein daal do. Liquid isse jeene nahi dega aur oxygen isse marne nahi dega."


  1. ^ "Ajit (Hamid Ali Khan) (Indian actor) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  2. ^ Kuldip Singh (17 November 1998). "Obituary: Ajit". The Independent. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  3. ^