Veteran actor Sanjeev Kumar is probably the best actor Indian cinema has ever seen. With versatile performances well beyond his age, the actor has etched himself forever in the hearts and minds of cinema lovers all over the world. Ironically, for an actor who had played many elderly roles, he died at young age of 47. Born Harihar Jariwala at Surat in Gujarat, Kumar didn’t just portray but also lived a troubled lifestyle. On the legends birth anniversary, we bring you some of his greatest hits.
A saga that could very well be one tearjerker is not so, because of the finesse and restraint exhibited by Kumar and co-star Jaya Bhaduri. Kumar’s range of emotions proved his mettle as an actor par-excellence, perhaps best tapped by Gulzar. There are far too many scenes in this film that stand out just because of Kumar’s depiction of sentiments.
It is a delectable feast with hardly a wrong note. The bold subject required mature handling and superb actors to convey the right emotions and feelings the characters are going through. Kumar impressed with the role spanning from youth to middle aged. He expertly brings about the dilemma of the man who is caught between his past and the present.
Naya Din Nai Raat
The film is famous for Sanjeev Kumar’s epic performance in nine different characters. It was originally offered to Dilip Kumar but he declined and recommended Kumar. He did not receive any awards, and managed to garner rave reviews, but was described as the one person qualified to play nine roles by Dilip Kumar himself.
It would be blasphemous to ask any Indian if they have watched Sholay, better to ask how many times you have seen the movie. This is a desi western that has left its mark with some iconic performances. Kumar plays a vengeful, handicapped police officer and managed to give a yet another memorable performance. But originally Kumar wanted to play Gabbar so badly that he went to the extent of staining his teeth and messing up his hair to show he could look like a disgusting dacoit.
Pati Patni Aur Woh: It is a fable of the forbidden fruit which takes a comical take on extra-marital affairs. Kumar tries his hand on comedy and his trademark dialogue delivery style is sure to make you laugh helplessly. He also won the Filmfare award for best actor, for this movie.