Krishna "Dada" Kondke (8 August 1932 – 14 March 1998) was an Indian actor and film producer. He was one of the most renowned personalities in Marathi film industry, famous for his double entendre dialogues in movies.
8 August 1932
|Died||14 March 1998 (aged 65)|
|Occupation||Actor, director, lyricist, writer|
Kondke was born into a family owning a grocery shop and owners of chawls in Morbaug area of Mumbai which were let out. His family members were also foreman handling millworkers of Bombay Dyeing. Dada Kondke was entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest number of films (nine) that achieved silver jubilee (running for 25 consecutive weeks). Kondke was called "Dada", an honorific Marathi term meaning "elder brother", which led to his popular name Dada Kondke. He was credited with introducing the genre of sex comedy to Marathi cinema and Indian cinema.
Kondke was a born to and raised in a family of cotton-mill workers in a chawl in Naigaon, near Lalbaug, Mumbai. His family originally hailed from the village of Ingavali which was in the erstwhile Bhor State near Pune. Kondke and his migrant family retained close connections to their rural roots. As a youngster, Kondke was a rough kid who later on took up job in a local grocery retail chain called Apna Bazaar. He lost most of his immediate family to unfortunate events and the grieving process changed him profoundly. These events made him focus more on the lighter side of life and make people laugh. Kondke started his entertainment career with a band and then worked as a stage actor. While working for the drama companies, Kondke toured throughout Maharashtra which helped him understand the local population's taste in entertainment.
Kondke was involved in cultural activities of Seva Dal, a Congress party volunteers organization, where he started working in dramas. During this period came in contact with various Marathi stage personalities including writer, Vasant Sabnis. Later, Kondke started his own theatre company, and approached Sabnis to compose a drama script for him. Sabnis appreciated Dada's performance in Khankhanpurcha Raja (literal translation, bankrupt king), and agreed to write a modern Marathi language Tamasha or loknatya (folk play) (Loknatya). The drama was named Vichha Majhi Puri Kara (literal translation, fulfill my wish). The drama went on to play over 1500 shows all over Maharashtra and made Dada a star.
Vichha Majhi Puri Kara brought Kondke into spotlight and in 1969, he debuted in Marathi movies through a role in Bhalji Pendharkar's movie Tambdi Maati which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Marathi. He then turned producer with Songadya in 1971. Songadya was based on a story written by Vasant Sabnis, and was directed by Govind Kulkarni. He cast himself as Namya, the simpleton who falls for the glamour of Kalavati (played by Usha Chavan) who is a dancer. Some of the other people who played major characters in this movie were Nilu Phule, Ganpat Patil, Sampat Nikam and Ratnamala. Kondke retained his team from Songadya and delivered his next hit Eakta Jeev Sadashiv. Kondke's story-lines were always based on the simpleton engaged in lower level occupations. For example, Kondke portrayed himself as a Dhobi (Laundry Man) in Aali Angavar, Poor Farmer in Songadya, and a Police Constable in Pandu Havaldar. Kondke is known for using the same team of actors, technicians and playback singers to repeat the formula for success that he believed he had got from his debut film. Many of his movies, produced under the "Kamakshi Pictures" banner, had Usha Chavan as the lead actress, Rajesh Mujumdar as screen play writer (from Pandu Hawaldar onward), Raam Laxman as music director, Jayawant Kulkarni and later Mahendra Kapoor as the male playback singer, Usha Mangeshkar as the female playback singer, and Bal Mohite as the chief assistant. Kondke often employed the veteran actor-dancer, Bhagwan Dada in dancing sequences in his films such as Aali Angavar, Hyoch Navra Pahije, Bot Lavin Tithe Gudgulya, and Ram Ram Gangaram.
|1972||Ekta Jeev Sadashiv||Marathi|
|1973||Andhala Marto Dola||Marathi|
|1976||Tumcha Amacha Jamala||Marathi|
|1977||Ram Ram Gangaram||Gangaram||Marathi|
|1978||Bot Lavin Tithe Gudgudalya||Chhotu||Marathi|
|1980||Hyoch Navra Pahije||Gopi||Marathi|
|1984||Tere Mere Beech Mein||Gangaram||Hindi|
|1986||Andheri Raat Mein Diya Tere Haath Mein||Hindi|
|1988||Mukaa Ghya Mukaa||Marathi|
|1988||Aage Ki Soch||Hindi|
|1989||Mala gheun chala||Ganpa||Marathi|
|1992||Yevu Kaa Gharaat||Marathi|
|2000||Le Chal Apne Sang||Hindi||(dedicated to the memory of) produced by Sunita Kondke|
|1985||Khol De Meri Zuban||Hindi|
As a lyricist he wrote multiple songs on animals
- "Manasa paras medhara bari" (meaning 'goats are much better than human beings') in film Eakta Jeev Sadashiv
- "Labaad Landga Dhwang Kartay" (on the cunningness of foxes) in film Ekta Jeev Sadashiv
- "Chalara vaghya" (dog) in film Tumcha Amcha Jamala
- "Jodi bailachi khillari" (bullocks) in film Mala Gheun Chala
- "Bakricha samdyasni laglay lala" (goat) in film Ram Ram Gangaram
- "Ajanicya Suta Tula ramacha Vardan" in film Tumcha Amcha Jamala
Balasaheb Thackeray helped Kondke with screenings of "Songadya", when Dev Anand’s film, Tere Mere Sapne, released by Navketan Production House happened to replace a popular, and successfully-running Marathi film at Kohinoor theatre — Dada Kondke’s Songadya. The move angered Marathi-speaking moviegoers, as many were eager to watch the film. The news of the replacement reached the Sena Bhavan, and after a meeting, party members and locals marched to the theatre to protest the move. Thackeray's justification for supporting Kondke was that he was a Marathi "manoos" (man). In return, Kondke, with Gajanan Shirke, helped found the Chitrapat Shakha'. Dada Kondake was impressed with Balasaheb Thackeray's charisma and had toured Maharashtra to set up the roots of Shiv Sena, political party lead by Thackeray. Kondke was very active Shiv sainik and was able to influence many areas of rural Maharashtra due to his popularity and way of making fiery speeches to impress the masses.
He was married to Nalini but they later got divorced. He did not remarry. On 14 March 1998, Kondke suffered a heart attack at his residence Rama Niwas in Dadar, Mumbai. He was rushed to Shushrusha Nursing Home, where he was declared dead on admission. At the time, Kondke was working on the film Jaraa Dheer Dhara with Usha Chavan.
- "Dada Kondke award for best regional film introduced | Pune News - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 February 2019. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
- "Marathi cinema flies high, leaves big brother Bollywood in its growth trajectory | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 29 May 2016. Archived from the original on 30 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- "Just for laughs". Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
- "Rediff On The Net, Movies:A journalist remembers Dada Kondke". www.rediff.com. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
- Gokulsing, K. Moti (Editor); Dissanayake, Wimal (Editor); Gangar, Amrit (Author) (2013). Routledge handbook of Indian cinemas. London: Routledge. pp. 82–83. ISBN 978-0415677745. Archived from the original on 29 September 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2017.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "Marathi comedian Dada Kondke dead". Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2020.