Inder Sen Johar (16 February 1920 – 10 March 1984),[1] better known as I. S. Johar, was an Indian actor, writer, producer and director.

I. S. Johar
Born(1920-02-16)16 February 1920
Died10 March 1984(1984-03-10) (aged 64)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
OccupationActor, director, producer, writer
Years active1931–1984
Spouse(s)Ramma Bains (divorced), Sonia Sahni

Early lifeEdit

He was born on 16 February 1920, in Talagang (Now in Pakistan), British India. He completed MA degree in Economics and Politics before completing his LLB.[2] In 1947, during the Partition crisis, Johar was visiting Patiala with his family for a wedding, when riots broke out back home in Lahore. He could never go back, and thereafter he worked in Jalandhar for a while, and his family remained in Delhi,[3] before he eventually moved to Bombay, where he made his acting debut with Roop K Shorey's, Ek Thi Ladki (1949).[4]


Johar acted in numerous Hindi films from the 1950s through to the early 1980s and appeared in international films such as Harry Black (1958), North West Frontier (1959), Lawrence of Arabia (1962)[5] and Death on the Nile (1978), besides acting in Maya (1967), a US TV series. He also appeared in Punjabi films, including Chaddian Di Doli (1966), Nanak Naam Jahaaz Hai (1969) with Prithviraj Kapoor, and Yamla Jatt with Helen.[6]

I. S. Johar also wrote and directed films, including the partition-based Hindi movie Nastik (1954), Johar Mehmood in Goa and Johar Mehmood in Hong Kong, in which he co-starred with comedian Mehmood. These were inspired by comedy films of the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby style Road to... series.[7] Johar was a unique and idiosyncratic individual, a lifelong liberal who poked fun at institutionalised self-satisfied smugness – an attitude which did not endear him to the essentially hierarchical and conservative Indian establishment, and led to difficulties finding finance for his unconventional screenplays. In many of his films, both those he directed and those he acted in, Sonia Sahni was the leading lady, most notably in Johar Mehmood in Goa, 1964.

He also starred in films with his own surname in the title such as Mera Naam Johar,[8] Johar in Kashmir and Johar in Bombay, which is a testament both to his immense egotism, as well as his popularity with the common masses – for whom a movie with the Johar name was a guarantee of easy laughs, as well as subtle ironic or frankly sarcastic jibes at Indian customs, mores, superstitions and institutions. His film Nasbandi (Vasectomy) was a spoof on Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's failed policy of population control by coerced vasectomies during the period of Emergency and was "banned" when it was first released. Yash Chopra started his film career as an assistant director with I. S. Johar.[citation needed]

In 1963 he starred as "Gopal" in two Italian films directed by Mario Camerini: Kali Yug, la dea della vendetta (Kali Yug, Goddess of vengeance) and Il Mistero del tempio indiano (The secret of the Hindu temple).

He died in Mumbai, on 10 March 1984.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

He married Ramma Bains in 1943 in Lahore, and the couple had a son, Anil Johar, and a daughter, Ambika Johar, before they divorced.[3][9] Ambika Johar[1] appeared in some films in the late 1970s, including Nasbandi (1978). Anil Johar appeared in 5 Rifles and Nasbandi.

I.S Johar was an Elder brother of Yash Johar (father of Karan Johar).

Awards and nominationsEdit




Year Film Producer Notes
1952 Shrimati Ji
1954 Nastik Shashadhar Mukherjee
1955 Shri Nagad Narayan
1956 Hum Sab Chor Hain
1957 Kitna Badal Gaya Insaan
1957 Miss India
1960 Bewaqoof Self
1965 Johar-Mehmood in Goa Self
1966 Johar in Kashmir
1971 Jai Bangladesh
1974 5 Rifles Self
1978 Nasbandi Self


  1. ^ a b I. S. Johar on IMDb
  2. ^ a b Sanjit Narwekar (1994). Directory of Indian film-makers and films. Flicks Books. Archived from the original on 9 October 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b Survival fittest Archived 22 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Times of India, 2 June 2002.
  4. ^ A serious satirist Archived 25 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine in Indian Express, 25 July 1997.
  5. ^ Filmography Archived 13 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine New York Times.
  6. ^ In search of a bigger role Archived 1 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Tribune, 19 May 2007
  7. ^ IS Johar Biography Archived 12 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine Rotten Tomatoes.
  8. ^ I. S. Johar on IMDb
  9. ^ Ramma Bans Archived 23 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine THIS ABOVE ALL, Khushwant Singh, The Tribune, 6 March 2004.

External linksEdit