Paidi Jairaj (born 28 September 1909 – 11 August 2000) was an Indian film actor, director and producer known for his works primarily in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati language films, and Telugu theatre. He holds the record of having the longest career in Indian films.
|Died||11 August 2000 (aged 90)|
|Alma mater||Nizam College|
|Awards||Dadasaheb Phalke Award|
During the talkie period, from 1931 onwards, he started with Shikari in Urdu and English languages. Subsequently, he became one of the leading actors for about two decades, along with Shantaram, Ashok Kumar, Prithviraj Kapoor, Motilal etc. He starred in about 170 feature films in a variety of roles. He directed a few films such as Mohar, Mala (1943), Pratima, Rajghar and Saagar (1951), which he produced. In 1980, he was awarded with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest award for films in India, for his contributions to Indian cinema.
Jairaj was born in Sircilla of Hyderabad State (present-day Telangana) on 28 September 1909. A nephew of Sarojini Naidu, he had three brothers - Paidipati Sundararaja Naidu, Paidipati Deendayal Naidu (Artist) and Paidipati Jairaj was the youngest.
Jairaj developed an interest in theatre and films during his graduate studies at Nizam College, and left for Bombay in 1929. He made his acting debut in 1929 with the silent film Star Kling Youth, and subsequently he acted in about eleven silent films including Triangle of Love, Mathru Bhoomi, All for Lover, Mahasagar Mothi, Flight into Death, My Hero etc.
He played the characters of Amar Singh Rathore , Prithviraj Chauhan , and Maharana Pratap  among notable films. He also essayed the roles of Shah Jahan , Tipu Sultan  and Haider Ali . His other portrayals have been in films such as Sassi Punnu , Hatimtai , Chandrashekar Azad  and Durga Das  among others. Jairaj did six films with Suraiya in the 1940s and 1950s, five of them, viz. Humaari Baat (1943), Singaar (1949), Amar Kahani (1949), Rajput (1951) and Resham (1952) as her hero, and one of them, Lal Kunwar (1952), as second lead. In 1952, he produced and directed his own film Sagar, which was not well received by the audiences, but he was still committed to cinema.
He married a Punjabi woman, Savitri, from Delhi. It was an arranged marriage. Prithviraj Kapoor's father had chosen the bride for him. He had two sons and four daughters. His wife died a year before him of cancer. His daughter Geeta looked after him in his last year. Rajan Shahi, TV producer-director, is his daughter's son (maternal grandson), the sole person of Jairaj's extended family in Bollywood. Jairaj died in Mumbai on 11 August 2000.
- Dadasaheb Phalke Award - 1980
- 1930: Jagmagti Jawani
- 1932: Shikari
- 1933: Maya Jaal, Patit Pawan, Aurat Ka Dil
- 1934: Mazdoor
- 1935: Sher Dil Aurat, Jeevan Natak
- 1937: Toofani Khazana
- 1938: Bhabhi
- 1938: Madhur Milan
- 1939: Jugari, Leatherface
- 1940: Chambe Di Kali
- 1941: Prabhat, Mala, Swami
- 1942: Nai Duniya, Khilona, Tamanna
- 1943: Nai Kahani, Hamari Baat, Prem Sangeet
- 1944: Panna
- 1945: Rahat
- 1946: Shahjehan, Salgirah, Rajputani
- 1947: Manmani
- 1948: Sajan Ka Ghar, Anjuman, Azadi Ki Raah Par
- 1949: Darogaji, Roomal, Singaar, Amar Kahani
- 1951: Rajput, Saagar
- 1952: Lal Kunwar, Resham
- 1954: Baadbaan
- 1955: Teerandaz, Insaniyat
- 1956: Parivar, Hatim Tai
- 1957: Mumtaz Mahal, Journey Beyond Three Seas (Pardesi)
- 1959: Char Dil Char Raahein
- 1960: Return of Mr. Superman (Mr. Superman ki Wapsi)
- 1960: Lal Quila
- 1960: Chambe Di Kali (1960) Punjabi movie
- 1961: Razia Sultana, Aas Ka Panchhi, Jai Chitod
- 1962: Pick Pocket
- 1963: Nine Hours to Rama
- 1963: Gul-e-Bakawali
- 1964: Khufia Mahal
- 1965: Baghi Haseena
- 1966: Maya
- 1967: Baharon Ke Sapne
- 1968: Neel Kamal
- 1970: Gunah Aur Kanoon, Jeevan Mrityu
- 1971: Nadaan, Chhoti Bahu
- 1972: Shehzada
- 1973: Gehri Chaal, Suraj Aur Chanda, Chhalia, Naag Mere Saathi
- 1974: Chor Chor, Faslah,
- 1975: Sholay (Police Commissioner), Kala Sona, Dharmatma, Jogidas Khuman, Himalay Se Ooncha, Toofan
- 1976: Hera Pheri, Charas, Bairaag, Naag Champa
- 1977: Chhailla Babu, Kachcha Chor
- 1978: Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Don, Aakhri Daku, Khoon Ka Badla Khoon
- 1979: Ahimsa, Nagin Aur Suhagan
- 1980: Jyoti Bane Jwala, Chunaoti, Jazbaat
- 1981: Fiffty Fiffty, Khoon Aur Paani, Kranti
- 1983: Ardh Satya, Masoom, Karate, Pukar
- 1984: Bindiya Chamkegi, Unchi Uraan
- 1986: Zinda Laash
- 1988: Khoon Bhari Maang
- 1992: Lambu Dada
- 1993: Meri Aan
- 1994: Betaaj Badshah
- 1995: God and Gun
- 1945: Pratima
- 1951: Saagar
- 1959: Mohar
- Paithari, Raghu. "Sircilla-born Jairaj still remains unsung in film industry". Telangana Today. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- "rediff.com, Movies: Jairaj's son asked to vacate father's flat".
- Luminaries of 20th Century, Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad, 2005
- "::DIRECTORATE OF FILM FESTIVALS::". Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
- "Paidi Jairaj 105 Jayanthi Utsavam".
- Mahajan, Vidya. "Paidi Jairaj - The Invincible Celluloid Man".
- "Jairaj – Profile".
- Team, Tellychakkar. "Did you know that director Rajan Shahi and veteran film actor P.Jairaj are related?".
- "How Rajan Shahi became a successful TV producer - TelevisionPost.com".
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