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Naseeruddin Shah (born 20 July 1950) is an Indian film and stage actor and director in the Hindi language film industry. He is notable in Indian parallel cinema. He has won numerous awards in his career, including three National Film Awards, three Filmfare Awards and an award at the Venice Film Festival. The Government of India has honoured him with the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan awards for his contributions to Indian cinema.
Shah in 2013
|Alma mater||Film and Television Institute of India|
National School of Drama
|Spouse(s)||Parveen Murad, also known as Manara Sikri (deceased)|
|Children||Heeba, Imaad, Vivaan|
|Relatives||Zameerud-din Shah (brother)|
Dina Pathak (mother-in-law)
Supriya Pathak (sister-in-law)
Mohommed Ali Shah (nephew)
|Awards||National Film Award|
Shah has acted in movies such as Nishant, Aakrosh, Sparsh, Mirch Masala, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai, Trikal, Bhavni Bhavai, Junoon, Mandi, Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!, Ardh Satya, Katha, and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.He made his debut with a small role in film Aman (1967) starring Rajendra kumar and Saira Banu.
Shah became active in mainstream Bollywood cinema with the 1980 film Hum Paanch. In 1982, he acted in the film Dil Aakhir Dil Hai directed by Ismail Shroff, opposite Rakhee. One of his most important films, Masoom, was released in 1983 and was shot at St Joseph's College, Nainital. His next major success in mainstream films was the 1986 multi-star film Karma where he acted alongside veteran Dilip Kumar. Starring roles for films such as Ijaazat (1987), Jalwa (1988) and Hero Hiralal (1989) followed. In 1988 he played opposite his wife Ratna Pathak as Inspector Ghote, the fictional detective of H. R. F. Keating's novels in the Merchant Ivory English language film The Perfect Murder. He acted with Aditya Pancholi in films like Maalamaal (1988) and Game (1993).
He has acted in several multi-star Bollywood films as well, such as Ghulami (1985), Tridev (1989) and Vishwatma (1992). In 1994, he acted as the villain in Mohra, his 100th film as an actor. He forayed into Malayalam cinema the same year, through T. V. Chandran's drama Ponthan Mada. The film portrayed the irrational bonding of a feudal serf (played by Mammootty) and a colonial landlord (played by Shah). He strongly believed that the distinction between art and commercial films had largely reduced, especially with the directors of the former also making commercial films. In 2000, Shah played Mahatma Gandhi in Kamal Hassan's Hey Ram which focused on the assassination of Gandhi from the assailant's point of view.
Shah played Mohit, the drunken coach to a deaf and mute boy in Iqbal, which was written by Vipul K Rawal with Shah in mind. Shah was noted for his roles in the 1999 Aamir Khan-starrer Sarfarosh, where he played Gulfam Hassan – a ghazal singer-cum-terrorist mastermind — and in Neeraj Pandey's A Wednesday (2008).
Shah has also starred in international projects, such as Monsoon Wedding in 2001 and a Hollywood adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003 (co-starring Sean Connery), where he played Captain Nemo. His portrayal of Nemo was very close to the design of the graphic novel, although his Nemo was far less manic. He worked in Vishal Bhardwaj's Indian adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, titled Maqbool, in 2003, and Rajiv Rai's Asambhav opposite Arjun Rampal and Priyanka Chopra in 2004. He then went on to work in The Great New Wonderful (2005). In 2011, Shah was seen in The Dirty Picture. He acted in Anup Kurian's The Blueberry Hunt, playing a recluse growing marijuana in his forest retreat, and in Waiting, starring opposite Kalki Koechlin, both of which were released in 2016.
Shah made his Pakistani film debut in Khuda Ke Liye by Shoaib Mansoor, where he played a short cameo. His second Pakistani film Zinda Bhaag was selected as the country's official entry to the 86th Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film award.
As a directorEdit
Naseeruddin Shah has been giving performances with his theatre troupe at places such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Lahore. He has directed plays written by Lavender Kumar, Ismat Chughtai and Saadat Hasan Manto.
His directorial debut in movies, Yun Hota To Kya Hota, was released in 2006. It stars several established actors such as Konkona Sen Sharma, Paresh Rawal, Irrfan Khan, then-newcomer Ayesha Takia, his son Imaad Shah and his old friend Ravi Baswani.
Other media and art formsEdit
In 1977, Shah, Tom Alter and Benjamin Gilani formed a theatre group called Motley Productions. Their first play was Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, which was staged at the Prithvi Theatre on 29 July 1979.
In 1999, he acted as a special agent in the TV series Tarkash on Zee TV. He played a retired agent haunted by nightmares who is re-inducted as he apparently knows something about a dreaded terrorist somehow connected with his past. He played the villain with the dual identity of a ghazal singer and a Pakistani spy who supports terrorism in India in Sarfarosh (1999).He was the first of several celebrity actors, who played narrator in the popular audiobook series for kids Karadi Tales. He was the narrator in the film Paheli — the Indian entry to the 2006 Academy Awards.
In the 1970s, Shah met and fell in love with Ratna Pathak, the daughter of Dina Pathak, a well-respected character actress. Ratna's sister, the actress Supriya Pathak, is married to the actor Pankaj Kapoor, who is the father of Shahid Kapoor by his first marriage. During the 70s and 80s, Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak co-starred in several films including Mirch Masala and The Perfect Murder. They were in a live-in relationship for many years, while Shah put together the mehr required to divorce Manara. Shah and Pathak were finally married in 1982. By his second marriage, Shah has two sons, Imaad and Vivaan, both of whom are aspiring actors. The couple lives in Mumbai with Heeba, Imaad and Vivaan.
Shah's memoir is titled And Then One Day, and was published by Hamish Hamilton.
Naseeruddin has been frequently involved in controversy with his criticism of senior actors like Dilip Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, fellow actors like Anupam Kher, juniors like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, cricketer Virat Kohli and politician and Prime minister Narendra Modi. Shah once said that people watching movies of Shahrukh and Salman should not watch his movies. In July 2016 Shah blamed late Rajesh Khanna for mediocrity in movies with his poor acting during the 1970s. He also stated that the veteran actor was not an alert person whom he had met. However, later after criticism from several people in the Bollywood fraternity including Rajesh Khanna's daughter Twinkle, Naseeruddin apologized about his views. On December 18, 2018, he sparked a controversy by calling Virat Kohli as the worst behaved cricketer in the world. Shah was targeted by right wing media after he reacted to an incident of communal violence in December 2018. He stated that he felt unsafe in current day India and was worried about the safety of his children if they were caught in a mob violence situation. In January 2020, Shah was targeted by right wing media after criticising his co-actor colleague Anupam Kher for his views supporting the Indian government’s Citizenship Amendment Act, calling him a clown and sycophant.
- 2000: Won: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
- 2000: Won: International Indian Film Academy Awards — Artistic Excellence for Performance in a Negative Role for Sarfarosh
- Shah has been awarded the life membership of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy of Film & Television.
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- Shah, Naseeruddin (2014). And then one day: A memoir. Hamish Hamilton. p. 1. ISBN 978-0670087648.
- "7 times Naseeruddin Shah criticised Indian greats". in.news.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on 25 January 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
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- "Naseeruddin Shah says he fears for his children in India of today". India Today. Archived from the original on 14 September 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
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