Alyque Padamsee (5 March 1928[1] – 17 November 2018)[2] was an Indian theatre personality and ad film maker. He is probably best known in the English-speaking world for playing Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the film Gandhi. Besides being involved in Indian theatre as an actor and producer, Padamsee was an advertising professional who once headed the advertising company Lintas Bombay.[3][4][5]

Alyque Padamsee
Alyque Padamsee at Samriddhi.jpg
Padamsee in 2012
Born(1928-03-05)5 March 1928
Died17 November 2018(2018-11-17) (aged 90)
OccupationTheatre personality,
Ad-film maker
Spouse(s)Pearl Padamsee (divorced)[citation needed]
Dolly Thakore (divorced)[citation needed]
Sharon Prabhakar (separated)[citation needed]
ChildrenRaell Padamsee
Quasar Thakore Padamsee
Shazahn Padamsee
RelativesAkbar Padamsee(brother)
Raisa Padamsee(niece)

Early life and educationEdit

Padamsee was born in 1928 into a traditional Khoja Muslim Ismaili family hailing from the Kutch region of Gujarat.[6] Their ancestors had belonged to the charan caste of bards and court musicians. The family had been settled in the nearby Kathiawar region for some generations; Padamsee's grandfather, who had been the sarpanch (headman) of Vāghnagar, a village in Bhavnagar district, had earned the honorific name "Padamsee" (a corruption of "Padmashree") after he distributed his entire granary to the village during a famine. His original family name was "Charanyas", due to their ancestors being court poets.[6][7]

Padamsee's father, Jafferseth Padamsee, was an affluent businessman who owned 10 buildings and also ran a glassware and furniture business. His mother, Kulsumbai Padamsee, was a home-maker. Alyque was one of their eight children; one of his brothers is the painter Akbar Padamsee. Although rich, the family was not well-educated, and neither of his parents had received much education. Alyque and his brothers (but not his sisters) were the first to attend school and learn English there; the parents later picked up a smattering of the language from their sons.[8] Raised in an extremely traditional environment, in a devout Muslim family, Padamsee now describes himself as an agnostic who disclaimed his religion at the age of 18. He was educated at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai.[9][10]

Personal lifeEdit

Padamsee's first wife was Pearl Padamsee, a Christian lady born to a Jewish mother and Christian father. They had one daughter, Raell Padamsee.[11] Padamsee then had an extended relationship with Dolly Thakore, and for all intents and purposes they were assumed to be man and wife by the world. Dolly and Padamsee had a son Quasar Thakore Padamsee. Padamsee then married Sharon Prabhakar, with whom he has a daughter, Shazahn Padamsee. All three women were connected with the performing arts, specifically with theatre and television.


For 14 years, Padamsee was the Chief Executive who built Lintas India to be one of the top agencies in the country. He went on to become the Regional Co-ordinator of Lintas South Asia. Known as the Brand Father of Indian advertising,[citation needed] Padamsee has built over 100 brands. He is the only Indian to be voted into the International Clio Hall of Fame, the Oscars of World Advertising. He is Chairman of the London Institute of Corporate Training at which he conducts courses on leadership training and ideation. His best seller book on Advertising entitled A Double Life is prescribed in business schools.[citation needed]

Padamsee created Lalitaji for Surf, Cherry Charlie for Cherry Blossom Shoe Polish, the MRF Muscle Man, the Liril girl in the waterfall, the Kamasutra couple, Hamara Bajaj, the TV detective Karamchand, the Fair & Handsome brand, etc. Recently he created the Idea of a Fatwa against Terrorism which was announced by the Grand Mufti of the Deoband Uloom. For the Golden Jubilee of The Indian Institute Technology Bombay his idea of starting an initiative to create 10 Great Ideas That Will Change The World In The Next 50 Years caused a great deal of excitement. He was also working on AIDS Prevention Idea with the Dept. of Biotechnology.

He was the CEO of AP Advertising Pvt. Ltd., a firm of Image and Communications Consultants, who have provided consultancy services to a number of national and multinational companies, as Creative Advisor.[citation needed]


Padamsee is also known for his English language theatre productions in India like Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tuglaq, and his latest, Broken Images, which was invited to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in 2011.[12] He was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award for Theatre by the Sangeet Natak Akademi; and this January the Tagore Ratna. Internationally, he is known for his portrayal of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Sir Richard Attenborough's Gandhi.

He worked for the Citizens for Justice & Peace, the Citizens Action Group, and he was on the Advisory Council of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Bombay). Earlier he worked as Communications Advisor to Chandrababu Naidu, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh State. Recently[when?] he was appointed to the Prime Minister's AIDS Task Force (Earlier served as Advisor to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on Commercial Television).

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Gandhi Muhammad Ali Jinnah



A Double Life: My Exciting Years In Theatres and Advertising (autobiography)


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Alyque Padamsee - ad guru, theatre personality, actor and philanthropist, passes away at 90". Times Now News. 17 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  3. ^ Singh, Sangeetha (9 November 2002). "The Alyque Padamsee brand of life". Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  4. ^ Roy Mitra, Indrani (4 October 2006). "'A great ad is an ad that generates great sales'". Rediff. Archived from the original on 22 January 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  5. ^ SenGupta, Anuradha (3 August 2008). "Being Alyque Padamsee: India's dream merchant". CNN-IBN. Archived from the original on 25 January 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Akbar Padamsee Biography". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  7. ^ "The last great moderns: Akbar Padamsee". Mint. 13 January 2012.
  8. ^ "The Alyque Padamsee brand of life". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 January 2015. I was born into riches: Ours was a Kutchi business family. My father, Jafferseth, owned 10 buildings and also ran a glassware and furniture business. My mother, Kulsumbai Padamsee, was a housewife. Anything I wanted was there for the asking. We were eight children in all but I, being born after three daughters, was pampered most. Among Gujarati families, it was only the Padamsees and the royal house of Rajpipla. At school, I learnt to speak in English. Later, our parents learnt the language from us. All that I am today is because of what I learnt at school. Miss Murphy, who ran the school, was an inspirational figure for me.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Pathbreakers: Rael Padamsee". Hindustan Times. 8 March 2006. Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.

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