Even today whenever “Ek Chatur Naar Karke Shringaar” is played on the television, I can’t help but sing this song and enjoy the fun factor. Mehmood aka Masterji (in Padosan) is believed to be responsible for taking comedy in the film industry to another level. Whenever someone talks about comedy in Indian Cinema, it’s a crime to not mention about veteran comedian Mehmood Ali (popularly known as ‘Mehmood’).
He danced, he acted, he directed and he sang… but no matter what he did, but every time this outstanding comedian cum actor would make his audience burst out laughing. Today, 29th Sept 2015 would have been the 83rd birthday of the legendary comedian Mehmood.
Although we all must have watched hundreds of his movies, but beyond the screens we don’t really know much about him. So, here we have dug out 12 interesting and lesser known facts every Mehmood fan should know:
1. Mehmood was one of the eight children born on 29th September 1932 to mother Latifunnisa and father Mumtaz Ali (a renowned film and stage actor cum dancer of 40s and 50s).
2. The acting bug caught him really early! Mehmood had to work as a child artist at a very tender age. The reason being, his father’s alcoholism that had badly slumped his dancing career. Mehmood got a break in Bollywood movies like Kismet and Brahmachari and never looked back.
3. He also worked as a table tennis coach to heartthrob Meena Kumari and as a driver for director P. L Santoshi (father of Rajkumar Santoshi).
4. After his marriage to Meena Kumari’s sister Madhu, he started to act again in order to ensure a better living.
5. Mehmood was a Tamilian and his grandfather was the Nawab of Carnatic, thus the South Indian accent came very naturally to him. His funny songs and dialogues in Hyderabadi Urdu accent (such as Hum Kale Hain Toh Kya Hua Dilwale Hai) became his signature and are remembered till date.
6. Mehmood has worked in over 300 movies in a Bollywood career spanning across three decades.
7. He has worked not only as a comedian, but in movies like Kunwara Baap and Ginni Aur Johnny, his sensitive and serious acting capabilities moistened the eyes of the viewers and were highly appreciated.
8. During the struggling phase of Amitabh Bachchan, when he had no place to stay, Mehmood offered him a room in his house.
9. He shared a very close friendship with R D Burman and Kishore Kumar. It was Mehmood who gave the legendary music director R D Burman his first break in the movie Chhote Nawab.
10. While Mehmood was struggling in the film industry, he became close friends with Kishore Kumar who was already blazing his way to stardom. Mehmood approached Kishore for a role and they had a quirky conversation during which Mehmood promised that one day he would become a big filmmaker and cast Kishore in his movie. And they did work together in Mehmood’s Padosan, the most enduring comedy film of Bollywood.
11. Apart from acting, he has also produced and directed a number of classic movies such as Padosan, Kunwara Baap, Bhoot Bungla, Ginny Aur Johny and so many more.
12. This legendary comedian died in his sleep on 23rd July 2004 in Pennsylvania, U.S. He was not keeping well for a few years and was in the US for the treatment of his heart disease.
The world will never forget this stand-up comedian and his movies will keep people laughing for decades to come.