Amjad Khan (actor)

Amjad Khan (12 November 1940 – 27 July 1992) was an Indian actor and film director.[2] He worked in over 132 films in a career spanning nearly twenty years. He was the son of the actor Jayant. He gained popularity for villainous roles in mostly Hindi films, the most famous being Gabbar Singh in the 1975 classic Sholay[3] and of Dilawar in Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978).

Amjad Khan
Amjad Khan

(1940-11-12)12 November 1940
Died27 July 1992(1992-07-27) (aged 51)
EducationSt. Andrew's High School
Alma materR. D. National College
Years active1951–1992
Known forSholay (1975)
Notable work
Gabbar Singh
Spouse(s)Shaila Khan
Children3 (including Shadaab Khan)

Early lifeEdit

Amjad Khan was born in Lahore, Punjab, British India[4] on 12th November 1940 to actor Jayant from Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province.[5]

His family (although Muslim), moved to Bombay, Bombay State, India after the Partition of India.[citation needed]

His younger brother was actor Imtiaz Khan. Amjad Khan was educated at St. Andrew's High School, in Bandra, Bombay.[citation needed]

He attended R D National College, where he held the position of general secretary, the highest elected student body representative.[citation needed] During his college and school days, he worked as a theater artist and performed in his college with his brother.[citation needed]


Before Amjad Khan came to films, he was a theatre actor. His first role was as a child actor at the age of 11 in the film Nazneen in 1951. His next role was at the age of 17 in the film Ab Dilli Dur Nahin (1957).[6] He assisted K. Asif in the film Love And God in the late 1960s and had a brief appearance in the film. The film was left incomplete after Asif's death in 1971, and it was finally released in 1986. In 1973, he appeared in Hindustan Ki Kasam in a small role.

In 1975, he was offered the role of dacoit Gabbar Singh for the film Sholay by Salim Khan, who was one of its writers. In preparation for the role, Amjad read Abhishapth Chambal, a book on Chambal dacoits written by Taroon Kumar Bhaduri (actress Jaya Bhaduri's father). Amjad shot to stardom with the movie. His mannerisms and dialogues have become an integral part of the Bollywood lexicon and spawned numerous parodies and spoofs [Specially "Soja Nahi to Gabbar Ajayega"]. Sholay went on to become a blockbuster. Although it boasted an ensemble cast of superstars including Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar, who was nominated that year for the Filmfare award for Best Actor category, Amjad stole the show with his unorthodox and eerie dialogue delivery. Even to this day people fondly remember his dialogues and mannerisms. He later appeared in advertisements as Gabbar Singh endorsing Britannia Glucose Biscuits (popularly known as Gabbar Ki Asli Pasand), the first incidence of a villain being used to sell a popular product.[7]

After the success of Sholay, Khan continued to play negative roles in many subsequent Hindi films in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s – superseding, in terms of popularity and demand, the earlier Indian actor, Ajit. He often acted as villain opposite Amitabh Bachchan as the hero. His role in Inkaar was also presented in terrifying manner. He made his presence felt in Des Pardes, Nastik, Satte Pe Satta, Chambal Ki Kasam, Ganga Ki Saugandh, Hum Kisise Kum Nahin and Naseeb.

Khan was also acclaimed for playing many unconventional roles. In the critically acclaimed film Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977) (based on the novel of the same title), by Munshi Premchand and directed by Satyajit Ray, Khan played the helpless and deluded monarch Wajid Ali Shah, whose kingdom, Avadh, is being targeted by British colonialists from the British East India Company. It is the only movie in which he dubbed a song. In 1979, he portrayed Emperor Akbar in the film Meera. He played many positive roles such as in Yaarana (1981) and Laawaris (1981) as Amitabh's friend and father respectively, Rocky (1981) and Commander (1981). In the art film Utsav (1984), he portrayed Vatsayana, the author of the Kama Sutra. In 1988, he appeared in the Merchant Ivory English language film The Perfect Murder as an underworld don. He excelled at playing comical characters in films such as Qurbani (1980), Love Story and Chameli Ki Shaadi (1986). In 1991, he reprised his role as Gabbar Singh in Ramgarh Ke Sholay, a parody of the legendary film which included look-alikes of Dev Anand and Amitabh Bachchan.

He ventured into directing for a brief period in the 1980s, directing and starring in Chor Police (1983), which did not do well, and Ameer Aadmi Gareeb Aadmi (1985) which was a blockbuster at the box office.

Amjad was the president of the Actors Guild Association. He was respected in the film industry, and would intervene and negotiate disputes between actors and directors/producers. One such dispute occurred when Meenakshi Seshadri was forced to drop out of Damini (1993) by Raj Kumar Santoshi because she rejected his proposal. Amjad Khan sorted out the matter and made Raj Santoshi take back his harsh decision.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1972, he married Shaila Khan and in the following year, she gave birth to their first child, Shadaab Khan. He also had a daughter, Ahlam Khan, and another son, Seemaab Khan. Ahlam married popular theatre actor Zafar Karachiwala in 2011.[8]


In 1976,[9][10] Amjad Khan met with a serious accident on the Mumbai-Goa highway which left him with broken ribs and a punctured lung. He was going to participate in the shooting of the film The Great Gambler, starring Amitabh Bachchan.[11] There were side effects post the accident, as he gained weight, which hampered his acting. In July 1992, at a fairly young age of 51, he died of a heart attack.[9]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Film Result Ref.
1976 BFJA Awards Best Supporting Actor (Hindi) Sholay Won [12]
1976 Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actor Sholay Nominated
1980 Dada Won
1981 Qurbani Nominated
1982 Yaarana Won
Love Story Nominated
1986 Best Performance in a Comic Role Utsav Nominated
Maa Kasam Won


Year Tile Role Notes
1951 Nazneen Child artist Debut film, Uncredited
1955 Char Paise Ashok
1957 Ab Dilli Dur Nahin Lachhu (child artist) as Amjad
1961 Maya Ranvir's Employee Uncredited
1973 Hindustan Ki Kasam
1975 Sholay Gabbar Singh Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
1976 Charas Robert
Ginny Aur Johnny
1977 Shatranj Ke Khiladi Wajid Ali Shah
Hum Kisise Kum Naheen Saudagar Singh
Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein Nattu
Parvarish Mangal Singh
Zamaanat Rana
Ram Bharose Bhanupratap
Kasam Khoon Ki Bhajirao
Janam Janam Na Saath
Inkaar Raj Singh 'Kidnapper'
Chakkar Pe Chakkar Avdhut
Aakhri Goli
Aafat Shera
1978 Khunnus
Ganga Ki Saugand Thakur Jashwant Singh
Bandie Kanchan V. Singh
Besharam Digvijay Singh / Dharamdas
Kasme Vaade Juda, the Hunchback Guest appearance
Des Pardes Bhoot Singh / Avtar Singh
Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan Kalandhar
Apna Khoon Khan
Muqaddar Ka Sikandar Dilawar
Bhookh Thakur Harnam Singh
Ram Kasam Chhote Thakur
Muqaddar Sampat Seth
Khoon Ki Pukaar Zalim Singh / Sardar
Heeralal Pannalal Panther
Chowki No.11
Sawan Ke Geet
1979 Sarkari Mehmaan Gul Khan
Hamare Tumhare Mr. Chaudhary, Sonia's Father
Meera Badshah Akbar
Mr. Natwarlal Vikram Singh
Ahsaas Pradeep Rai Choudhry
Suhaag Vikram Kapoor
Lok Parlok Ram Shastri / Boston Strangler /
Raman Raghav / Ram Ghulam
Hum Tere Aashiq Hain Thakur Shamsher Singh
Do Shikaari Zorro
Zulm Ki Pukar
Raakhi Ki Saugandh Jagganath 'Jagga' / Yahwar Pahwar Khan
Lakhan Laakhan
Jaandaar Dharamdas
Deen Aur Imaan
Dada Fazlu Won, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chambal Ki Raani
Atmaram Sher Singh
1980 Dadon Ka Dada
Lootmaar Vikram
Qurbani Inspector Amjad Khan Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chambal Ki Kasam
Lahu Pukarega Mahar
Ek Do Teen Chaar
Ram Balram Suleiman Seth
Jwalamukhi Daku Sher Singh
Yari Dushmani Birju
Pyaara Dushman Shivnath 'Shiva' 'Shivprasad'
Khoon Kharaba Rana
Khanjar Prince / Swamiji
Kala Pani Shera
Bombay 405 Miles Veer Singh
Bambai Ka Maharaja Rajendra Singh / Suraj
1981 Paanch Qaidi Raja
Kanhaiyaa Madhav Singh
Waqt Ki Deewar Thakur Ranvir Dayal Singh
Barsaat Ki Ek Raat Kaliram H. Sahu
Love Story Havaldar Sher Singh Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chehre Pe Chehra Kanhus, Martha's brother
Ladies Tailor Nawab Amjad Khan
Naseeb Damu (Damodar)
Rocky Robert D'Souza
Laawaris Ranvir Singh
Hum Se Badkar Kaun Chandan / Bholaram
Jail Yatra Kuldeep
Commander Commander Singh
Yaarana Bishan Won, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
Shama Dargah devotee
Gehra Zakhm Shibu 'Shabbir'
Khoon Ka Rishta Kailash Sinha
Kaalia Shahani Seth / Jaswant
Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai Sharif Khan / Sharafat Ali / Karamat Ali /
Salamat Ali / Wajahat Ali
Professor Pyarelal Ronnie / Ranjit Singh / Gomes
Plot No. 5 Inspector Khan
Maan Gaye Ustaad Munna / Shera
Katilon Ke Kaatil Black Cobra
Gajara Maru Special Appearance
Dhuaan Sunil's boss
1982 Pyaara Dost Ajab Khan'Umar Khan'
Eent Ka Jawab Patthar Sub Inspector Maan Singh
Satte Pe Satta Ranjit Singh
Adhura Aadmi
Dial 100 Sher Khan
Teesri Aankh Jabbar Singh
Desh Premee Thakur Pratap Singh
Insaan Sher Singh 'Sheru'
Dharam Kanta Chandan Singh / Jwala Singh
Teri Maang Sitaron Se Bhar Doon Mohammed 'Sultan Bhai' /
Sultan Singh Rathod
Samraat Ranbir
Taqdeer Ka Badshah Bhola / Nath
Khush Naseeb Tiger - Gopi Prasad
Daulat Joseph D'Souza / Tripathi
Baghawat Maharaj Durjan Singh /
Maharaj Vikram Singh
1983 Humse Na Jeeta Koi Bheema Singh
Nastik Tiger
Himmatwala Sher Singh Bandookwala
Ganga Meri Maa Mohan
Mahaan Vikram Singh
Jaani Dost Hari / Nooruddin / Harry
Achha Bura Mohammad Sher Khan /
Kamalrup Chaurasiya 'Shera'
Bade Dil Wala Bhagwat Singh (B.K.) /
Dr. Joshi
Kalka Oogra Narayan Singh
Hum Se Hai Zamana Iqbal / Thakur's son
Chor Police Barkhi Khan
1984 Senurwa Bhail Mohaal
Main Qatil Hoon
Sardaar Sardaar
Bindiya Chamkegi Inspector Vijay Kumar
Maati Maangey Khoon Thakur Balram Singh
Maqsad Birju
Utsav Vatsyayan Nominated- Filmfare Best Comedian Award
Pet Pyaar Aur Paap
Tere Mere Beech Mei Mamdiya A film by Dada Kondke
Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho! Kundan Kapadia
Dhokebaaz Tiger
1985 Pataal Bhairavi Vishvanath Chanchal
Ek Se Bhale Do Balram / Bhima
Ameer Aadmi Gharib Aadmi Akram
Mohabbat Gamma Pehalwan
Ek Daku Saher Mein Surjan Singh
Ee Lokam Ivide Kure Manushyar Abbas Malayalam film
Chaar Maharathi Shakti Singh
Maa Kasam Chakradhari Won- Filmfare Best Comedian Award
Mera Saathi Ram Kumar's play character
Kala Suraj Majidbhai
1986 Vidhaan
Chameli Ki Shaadi Advocate Harish
Singhasan Kupateshwar Simhasanam in Telugu
Simhasanam Telugu film
Pahunche Huwe Log Minister Satyaprakash
Andheri Raat Mein Diya Tere Haath Mein Sultan
Love and God Kais' family servant
Vikram Sultan of Salamia Tamil film
Peechha Karo Brigadier
Zindagani Bhola
Nasihat Bajrangi
Mohabbat Ki Kasam Baseera Singh
Mangal Dada Pratap
Jeeva Sardar
Bhai Ka Dushman Bhai
1987 Mr. X Commentary
Insaniyat Ke Dushman Pratap Singh
Sitapur Ki Geeta Thakur Pratap Singh
Kaun Kitney Pani Mein
Jaago Hua Savera
Sahasa Putrudu Telugu film
Raj Kapoor Himself (during funeral)
1988 Ghunghat
Kabrastan Nepolean D'Costa
The Perfect Murder Lala Heera Lal
Kanwarlal John Jani Janardhan
Maalamaal Suleiman Dada
Qatil Badshah Akram Khan
Paanch Fauladi Dilawar Khan, Fauladi No. 5
Inteqam Murali
Do Waqt Ki Roti Tantia Bheel / Purshottam
Dharam Shatru
1989 Sau Saal Baad
Meri Zabaan Inspector Malpani /
Arjun Vaswani
Bees Saal Baad Bhavani Baba
Santosh Qaidi No. 333
Dost Sher Singh
Naqab Nawab Dada Sarkar
Khuli Khidki Dr. A.K. Jayant
1990 Maa Kasam Badla Loonga
Maha-Sangram Bada Ghoda
Lekin... Shafi Ahmed Sidiqqui
Pati Patni Aur Tawaif Sulaiman Dildar
Danga Fasaad
Ghar Ka Ujala
Bannada Gejje Kannada film starring V Ravichandran
Prema Yuddham Telugu film starring Nagarjuna Akkineni
1991 Prem Jung
Mohabbat Pehli Nazar Mein
Pucca Badmaash
Ramgarh Ke Sholay Gabbar Singh
Izzat Commissioner Shamesher Singh
Love Guruji
Yaara Dildara Inspector De De
1992 Dil Hi To Hai Maharaj Vikram Singh
Aasmaan Se Gira Alien ruler
Waqt Ka Badshah Boss
Virodhi Judge
Saali Adhi Ghar Waali Ustaad Ji Guest appearance
Ele, My Friend Omar
1993 Chingari Aur Sholay
Rudaali Thakur Ram Avtar, Lakhsman's father
Police Wala Judge, Sonam's father
Jaan Per Khel Kar
1994 Saboot Mangta Hain Kanoon Ramnath
Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya
In Custody Babu's Musician English Film
Do Fantoosh Bajrang
1995 Anokhi Chaal
1996 Sautela Bhai Thakur Narayandas
Aatank Alphonso
Kalinga (final film role)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Remember the old baddies?". MSN India. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Gabbar Singh". Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Obituary: Amjad Khan". The Independent. 26 August 1992. Retrieved 12 November 2015. The son of Zakaria Khan, a Pathan from the North-West Frontier Province and popular Bollywood character actor of the Fifties and Sixties (screen name Jayant), Khan was born in Bombay in 1940.
  6. ^ "Amjad Khan Biography, Amjad Khan Profile - Filmibeat". Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Glucon D Bisuits Amjad Khan | Print Ads | MBA Skool-Study.Learn.Share". 4 February 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Zafar Karachiwala, Ahlam Khan got married". The Times of India. 23 September 2011. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Tragic Nostalgia". The Times of India. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  10. ^ ""I was confident my marriage would never break"". Filmfare. 27 July 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Amitabh and the Goa Connect". The Navhind Times. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Amjad Khan". IMDb. Retrieved 10 September 2019.

External linksEdit