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Govardhan Thakurdas Jethanand Asrani, popularly known simply as Asrani, is an Indian actor and director whose Bollywood career has spanned five decades. He has acted in over 350 Hindi films. Asrani has played the lead hero, character roles, comedic roles and supporting roles.

Asrani
Asrani.jpg
Asrani in 2012
Native name असराणी
Born Govardhan Asrani
(1941-01-01) January 1, 1941 (age 77)[1]
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Alma mater Rajasthan College,
FTII, Pune
Occupation Actor, producer
Years active 1966-present
Spouse(s) Manju Asrani
Awards Filmfare Award for Best Comedian

In Hindi films, he played the comedian's role from 1966 to 2013 and played a supporting actor's role as the close friend of the lead hero in many films between 1972 and 1994. In a few Hindi films like Chala Murari Hero Banne and Salaam Memsaab, he played the main lead hero. In Gujarati films he played the lead hero from 1972 to 1984 and played character roles from 1985 to 2012. He played antagonists in 'ab kya hoga' and 'teri meharbaniyan'. He also directed six films between 1974 and 1997. His second-youngest sister stays in Banglore.

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Asrani was born into a middle-class, Hindu, Sindhi family. His father migrated to Jaipur 152, Bhaskar Marg, Sindhi colony Bani Park Jaipur after the Partition of India and opened a carpet shop. He has four sisters and three brothers: two elder and one younger. Asrani was highly uninterested in business and very weak in mathematics. He completed his matriculation from St. Xaviers School and did his graduation from Rajasthan College, Jaipur. He simultaneously worked as a voice artist at All India Radio, Jaipur, to pay for his education.

He is married to actress Manju (née Bansal), with whom he fell in love while working together in films like Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar and Namak Haram. After they wed, the couple acted in Tapasya, Chandi Sona, Jaan-E-Bahaar, Jurmana, Nalayak, Sarkari Mehmaan and Chor Sipahee. In Aaj Ki Taza Khabar, Asrani played Champak Boomia / Amit Desai and Manju played Kesari Desai. For this role Asrani won the Filmfare Award for Best Comedian.[2] Later the couple acted in Hum Nahin Sudhrenge, a home production directed by Asrani in 1980.[3]

His son Naveen Asrani is a dentist in Ahmedabad.

CareerEdit

He began to learn acting from Sahitya Kalbhai Thakkar from 1960 to 1962.[4] In 1962, he travelled to Bombay (now Mumbai) to seek opportunities to act. In 1963, on an accidental meeting with Kishore Sahu and Hrishikesh Mukherjee, they advised him to learn acting professionally.

In 1964 Asrani joined the Film Institute in Pune (now Film and Television Institute of India, Pune) and finished his course in 1966. He got his first break in Hindi films playing the friend of actor Biswajeet in the film Hare Kaanch Ki Choodiyan in 1967. In the film institute he had impressed many and made his acting break as a hero in 1967 with a Gujarati movie opposite budding actress Waheeda (not Waheeda Rahman; the Hindi actress). He acted in four other movies, mainly as actor or supporting actor, in Gujarati from 1967 to 1969. He did not get many offers from the Hindi film industry between 1967 and 1969. His old advisor, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, then gave him the role of supporting actor in the film Satyakam in 1969. He got noticed then in the film Mere Apne. From 1971, he started getting more offers as the main comedian in films or as the close friend of the lead actor.

Directors like Mukherjee, Atma Ram, and Gulzar repeatedly cast him in the period 1971-1974, and his work got noticed through these films. These roles set the tone for a number of supporting and comic roles in his career. In the 1970s his demand was at its peak as he appeared in 101 films from 1970 to 1979. Though initially Rajesh Khanna and Asrani had met only on the sets of Bawarchi, they became close friends after Namak Haraam, after which for the role of comedian Khanna insisted the producers and directors make Asrani part of his films. Asrani worked in 25 films with Khanna from 1972 to 1991, from Bawarchi (1972) to Ghar Parivaar (1991).

His most memorable works as supporting actor from 1970 to 1979 are in Mere Apne, Koshish, Bawarchi, Parichay, Abhimaan, Mehbooba, Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein, Do Ladke Dono Kadke and Bandish. He played the lead hero in Chala Murari Hero Banne, a Hindi film he wrote and directed in 1977, which was critically acclaimed.

His notable roles as a comedian from the 1970s are in Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar, Roti, Prem Nagar, Chupke Chupke, Chhoti Si Baat, Rafoo Chakkar, Sholay, Balika Badhu, Fakira, Anurodh, Chhailla Babu, Charas, Phaansi, Dillagi, Heeralal Pannalal, Pati Patni Aur Woh and Hamare Tumhare.

Though he had played a supporting character in many films, he played a serious role for the first time in Khoon Pasina. He did offbeat roles like that of the evil brother’s role in Koshish (1972),the double role of a hippie and villager in LV Prasad’s Bidaai (1974), a beedi and ganji sporting wastrel in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Chaitali (1975), a romantic in BR Chopra’s Nikah (1982) who sang a qawwali like yesteryear actor Yakub and played a pimp in KS Prakash Rao’s Prem Nagar (1974).

He was hugely talked about in the 1970s and was one of Rajesh Khanna's close friends. He became a regular feature in films produced by D. Rama Naidu and those movies directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, B.R.Chopra, K. Bapaiah, Narayana Rao Dasari, K. Raghavendra Rao, Basu Chatterjee in 1972 to 1992.

He won the Filmfare award for Best Comedian for his performances in Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar in 1974 and for Balika Badhu in 1977.

In 1974, Asrani directed his first movie in Gujarati with himself as the hero, and the song "Hu Amdavad No Rikshawalo" sung by Kishore Kumar was picturised on Asrani. The songs picturised on Asrani and sung by Kishore in Hindi are "Achcha Chaloji Baba Maaf Kardo" from Hamare Tumhare, "Pyar Main Karoonga" from Yeh Kaisa Insaaf. "Mannu Bhai Motor Chali Pam" was sung by him with Kishore Kumar and was picturised on Rishi Kapoor and him, in Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan in 1978.

In the 1980s, he acted in 107 Hindi films. Asrani holds the record for appearing as a character actor/comedian in the most number of Hindi films in a decade – 101 in the 1970s and 107 in the 1980s. Unlike his roles in 1970 to 1984 which were pivotal to the plot, most of his roles from 1985 to 1993 were very minor mainly because the concept of a comedian was being phased out and heroes preferred to do their own comedy and action films were more popular in the period from 1985 to 1994. In the 1980s his memorable performances were in Hamari Bahu Alka, Ek Hi Bhool, Yeh Kaisa Insaf, Kaamchor, Agar Tum Na Hote, Asha Jyoti, Maqsad, Main Intequam Loonga, Love 86 and Biwi Ho To Aisi.

In 1982, Asrani set up a small Gujarati production company with fellow artistes Dinesh Hingoo, Harish Patel and Salim Parvez (son of famous supporting actor Yunus Parvez). The company dissolved in 1996 with a large profit. Asrani also invested mainly in cloth and acted as investor for other actors, until 1991 when he lost a lot of money. From 1988 to 1993, he was a director for the Film Institute in Pune. It was only from 1985 to 1994 that his screen space in the Hindi films was for less duration. In the 1990s he did only 73 Hindi movies due to lack of good scope for him to perform. Muqabla (1993) saw him in a serious role after a long time.

Simultaneously he kept working in Gujarati films in the 1970s and 1980s as a lead hero and achieved success as the lead protagonist in Amdavad No Rikshawalo, Saat Qaidi, Sansar Chakra, Pankhi No Malo, Jugal Jodi, Maa Baap, Chel Chabilo Gujarati. From the 1990s he played as a comedian or supporting actor in Gujarati films like Mota Ghar Ni Vahu, Piyu Gayo Pardesh, and Baap Dhamal Dikhra.

D. Rama Naidu gave a pivotal role to Asrani in Taqdeerwala in 1995 and once again comedy movies were being made from there on. Asrani started getting good roles in films directed by David Dhawan and Priyadarshan from 1993 until 2012. His most memorable performances as a comedian from the 1990s are in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Gardish, Taqdeerwala, Gharwali Baharwali, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan and Hero Hindustani.

The 2000s saw Asrani in a number of films like Hera Pheri, Chup Chup Ke, Hulchul, Deewane Huye Paagal, Garam Masala, Chup Chup Ke, Malamaal Weekly, Bhagam Bhag, De Dana Dan, Bol Bachchan, and Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal. He appeared in a serious role in Kyun Ki. He was an integral part of comedies by Sajid Nadiadwala and Priyadarshan after 2000. His screen space in the films of Rohit Shetty and others were reduced gradually after 2009.

Asrani and Mallika Sherawat were the judges of the 18th annual Naya Andaz competition on 17 April 2010, in New Jersey.

Asrani is now playing the role of Mikesh's grandfather in the popular web series Permanent Roommates.

FilmographyEdit

As actorEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2018 Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se Nanu
2016 Permanent Roommates Mikesh's grandfather Web series
Mastizaade Laila & Lily's father
Murari - The Mad Gentleman Mukhia
2015 Sallu ki Shaadi
Dillagi... Yeh Dillagi
Ishq Ka Manjan Santa
2014 18.11 - A Code of Secrecy Habilder-Paholwan
2013 R.. Rajkumar Pandit
Himmatwala Ticket Checker
2012 Joker Master ji
Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal Priest
Bol Bachchan Shashtri
Agent Vinod Ramlal
2011 Bodyguard Shekhar
2010 Khatta Meetha Karodimal
Dus Tola Sarpanch
2009 Paying Guests Kiska Miglani
De Dana Dan Mamu
All The Best Vidya's father
2008 Karzzz College Principal
Billu Naubat Chacha
Yaariyan Punjabi film
2007 Bhool Bhulaiyaa Murari
Dhamaal Nari Contractor
Fool & Final Lalwani
Bhagam Bhag Event Manager
2006 Malamaal Weekly Chokhey
Chup Chup Ke Sharma Ji
2005 Deewane Huye Paagal Blind Man
Garam Masala Mamu
Cages Leo English film
Elaan Kishorilal
Insaan Film Director
Kyon ki Asylum patient
Hulchul Advocate Mishra
2004 Ek Se Badhkar Ek Don Srikant Ramprasad
Suno Sasurjee Murli
Arrangement Papa
2003 Mumbai Matinee Pyarelal
Baghban Bedi
Tujhe Meri Kasam Kashinath Dixit
2002 Dil Vil Pyar Vyar Chandru
Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare Topichand's brother-in-law
Awara Paagal Deewana Champaklal
Ek Aur Visphot Dr. Daniel
2001 Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa Jhoomri's Boss
Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar Chandiramani
Lajja Gulab Chand
2000 Aaghaaz Gullu
Karobaar Champak
Chal Mere Bhai Family Doctor
Tera Jadoo Chal Gayaa Company owner
Hera Pheri Bank Manager
Mela Kaka/Banwari Baniya
1999 Raja Kumarudu Policeman
Haseena Maan Jaayegi Jamnadas
International Khiladi Payal's Boss
Heeralal Pannalal Havaldar Chaurasia
Mother Johnny
1998 Mehndi Tolani
Hero Hindustani Cameroon
Haste Hasate
Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Security Officer
Dulhe Raja Inspector Azgar Singh
Gharwali Baharwali Dr. Ved
1995 Taqdeerwala Chitragupt
1993 Muqabla Soni's husband
Dil Tera Aashiq Natwar Lal
1992 Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar Dubeyji, Teacher
1992 Laat Saab
1985 Teri Meherbaniyan Munim Banwarilal
1983 Himmatwala Bhushan
1982 Nikaah Saif
Sitam
1980 Agreement Dilip Kanuchand
1981 Ek Hi Bhool Manohar Prasad M.P.
1979 Satyakaam Peter
1978 Pati Patni Aur Woh Abdul Karim Durrani
Badalte Rishtey Anup Chandra Thakur
1977 Kalabaaz Changu
Alaap Ganesh (Ganeshi)
1976 Tapasya Vinod Sinha
Balika Badhu Sharat
1975 Mili Drunkard (Guest Appearance)
Chhoti Si Baat Nagesh
Rafoo Chakkar Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi
Sholay Jailor
Chupke Chupke Prashant Shrivastav
1974 Bidaai Murli/Bhaskar
Ajnabee Chetan Kumar
Aap Ki Kasam Dr. Ghad-Ghad Singhwala
1973 Namak Haraam Dhondu, Shyama's brother
Abhimaan Chander Kripalani
Anamika Hanuman Singh
1972 Parichay Narayan
Bawarchi Vishwanath Sharma/Babbu
1971 Mere Apne Raghunath
Guddi Kundan
1969 Umang
1967 Hare Kanch Ki Chooriyan Tripathi

As directorEdit

Year Film Language
1997 Udaan Hindi
1993 Dil Hi To Hai Hindi
1980 Hum Nahin Sudhrenge Hindi
1979 Salaam Memsaab Hindi
1977 Chala Murari Hero Banne Hindi
1974 Amdavad No Rikshawalo Gujarati

As singerEdit

Year Film Song Notes
1978 Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan "Mannu Bhai Motor Chali Pum Pum" with Kishore Kumar
1977 Alaap "Binati Sun Le Tanik"
"Ho Rama Dar Lage Apni Umariya Se"

AwardsEdit

Year Film Award Result
1982 Ek Duuje Ke Liye Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role Nominated
1981 Hum Nahi Sudherenge Nominated
1980 Sargam Nominated
1979 Pati Patni Aur Woh Nominated
1977 Balika Badhu Won
Chhoti Si Baat Nominated
1976 Sholay Nominated
Rafoo Chakkar Nominated
1975 Bidaai Nominated
Chor Machaye Shor Nominated
1974 Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar Won
Namak Haraam Nominated
Abhimaan Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
1973 Anhonee Shama Sushama Award for Best Comedian Won

Asrani also won the Best Actor and Best Director Award from Gujarat State Government for Saat Qaidi, a Gujarati language film.[5]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit