Neeraj Vora

Neeraj Vora (22 January 1963 – 14 December 2017) was an Indian film director, writer, actor and composer from Gujarat.[1] He made a mark in Bollywood with his work as a writer for Aamir Khan's film Rangeela. His directorial debut was Khiladi 420 in 2000. Later in 2006, he wrote and directed Phir Hera Pheri. He suffered a stroke in October 2016, putting him in coma. He was working on Hera Pheri 3 before he went into coma and died on 14 December 2017 at 4 a.m. in Criticare hospital, Mumbai.[2][3]

Neeraj Vora
Neeraj Vora at the launch of 'Its Only Cinema' magazine 08.jpg
Vora in July 2012
Born22 January 1963
Died14 December 2017(2017-12-14) (aged 54)
OccupationDirector, Writer, Actor, Producer
Years active1984–2017
Parent(s)Pandit Vinayak Rai Vora
Premila Vora

Early life and careerEdit

Vora was born in Bhuj in a Gujarati family in 1963. But he grew up in Santacruz, a suburb of Mumbai. His father, Pandit Vinayak Rai Nanalal Vora[4] was a classical musician and a proponent of Tar-Shehnai. His father popularised Tar-Shehnai as the solo instrument for classical music.[5]

As a child, Vora had no access to Bollywood movies. As he hailed from a classical musician's family, listening to film music and watching films was not allowed. His mother Premila Ben[6] had a tremendous fascination for films, and she used to secretly take her son Neeraj to watch movies. Vora went to famous Pupils' Own School in Khar, Mumbai.[citation needed] Many famous celebrities such as Falguni Pathank, Kinjal Bakshi, Tina Munim were his compatriots at this school.[citation needed]

Many students from his school used to attend music coaching classes conducted by his father, who insisted on teaching classical Indian music while Neeraj would sneakily teach them how to play Bollywood songs on harmonium. This made Neeraj very popular at the school.[citation needed]

Luckily, a lot of Gujarati drama stalwarts followed his father's work and knew him personally, following which he got inclined towards Gujarati theatre. His love for theatre began at the age of 6, and when his father discovered this at the age of 13, he supported Vora and asked him to follow his passion.[citation needed]


During his college days, he started working professionally as an actor and he received intercollegiate awards for drama. In 1984, he worked for the film Holi, by Ketan Mehta[7] and later did a television show Choti Badi Baatien, Circus.

He later worked as an actor in Rangeela too, as the film director wanted to bring down the sets and the actor was absent. Neeraj Vora, who had written the script, played the role to finish shooting. After seeing that scene, Anil Kapoor and Priyadarshan called him for Virasat, followed by Aamir for Mann and several other projects.[8]


His 1992 Gujarati play Aflatoon, which was a superhit was adapted by Rohit Shetty for Golmaal. The play was written and directed by Neeraj Vora. It was adapted from Harsh Shivsharan's original Marathi play Ghar-Ghar.[citation needed]


After Circus in 1993, Neeraj Vora, Ashutosh Gowarikar and Deepak Tijori got together and made Pehla Nasha, with Deepak Tijori as lead actor. Neeraj Vora was the writer and his he along with his brother directed music as Neeraj-Uttank. Later his career in writing took off after he wrote for Rangeela and then Akele Hum Akele Tum, Josh, Badshah, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Awara Paagal Deewana, Deewane Huye Paagal, Ajnabee, Hera Pheri and Phir Hera Pheri among many others. Vora's work has always been appreciated by the critics. For Phir Hera Pheri, film critic Taran Adarsh said: "Vora's dialogues, as always, are outstanding!"[9]

Film directionEdit

He first directed Khiladi 420, which did not fare well. After that he decided to produce movies and took up Familywala. After writing Awara Paagal Deewana and Deewane Huye Paagal for Firoz Nadiadwala, they collaborated for Phir Hera Pheri, which was to be directed by Satish Kaushik, but following the problems with dates, Neeraj Vora got the chance to direct it.[citation needed]

Vora was slated to direct Hera Pheri 3, but ultimately was replaced by Ahmed Khan following the departure of actors John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan and Sunil Shetty, due to conflicts with Vora.[10] Vora was retained as the film's executive producer, but following his stroke in October 2016 and his death in December 2017, it was confirmed on May 11, 2018 that Hera Pheri 3 will now be directed by Indra Kumar. But now Indra Kumar has left the film and the original director Priyadarshan has confirmed that he will direct the movie with the three original protagonists Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Paresh Rawal.[11]


Neeraj Vora, who had been suffering from an illness for a long time, died at the age of 54 on 14 December 2017. The actor-director was reportedly in a coma for 13 months after suffering from a massive heart-attack and brain stroke. He reportedly breathed his last at 4 am at Criti Care hospital in Andheri, Mumbai. Vora had been staying at producer Firoz Nadiadwala’s house since October 2016 after slipping into coma due to a heart-attack followed by a brain stroke. Nadiadwala had brought him to his home and converted a room into a make-shift Intensive Care Unit (ICU).





  1. ^ "'Short Kut' a fun hare and tortoise story: Neeraj Vora". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  2. ^ Staff, Images (29 August 2017). "'Hera Pheri 3' on hold as director Neeraj Vora in a coma since 10 months: Indian media". Images. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Bollywood actor Neeraj Vora dead, PM Narendra Modi and Akshay Kumar condole death". Hindustan Times. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Neeraj Vora brought back to Mumbai; living in Firoz Nadiadwala's house - Mumbai Mirror -". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Pandit Vinayak Vora". Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  6. ^ Mehta, Ankita. "Neeraj Vora in coma: Who is he? Things to know about the popular actor-director". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  7. ^ Holi (1985), retrieved 1 September 2017
  8. ^ "Neeraj Vora". IMDb. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  9. ^ Hungama, Bollywood. "Phir Hera Pheri Review - Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  10. ^ Reporter, Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Senior (29 May 2016). "'Hera Pheri 3': What's going on with the Bollywood film?". GulfNews. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  11. ^ "New 'Hera Pheri' film to reunite Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal". Retrieved 29 May 2018.

External linksEdit