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|Born||Hamid Ali Khan
27 January 1922
Golkonda, British India
|Died||22 October 1998
Hamid Ali Khan (27 January 1922–22 October 1998), better known by his stage name Ajit, was a prolific Hindi film actor. He acted in over two hundred movies in almost four decades. Ajit is also credited for starring as a lead actor in popular Bollywood movies such as Nastik, Bada Bhai, Milan, Bara-Dari, and later as a second lead in Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur.
Born Hamid Ali Khan, near the historic place Golconda, Hyderabad, Ajit had his early education in Warangal, studied in Govt. Junior College, Hanamkonda, Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh. Hamid was the son of Bashir Ali Khan, who was in the Nizam's army, and had a younger brother, Wahid Ali Khan. Hamid entered the film industry to become a hero and did quite a few creditable films as lead artiste in Nastik, Bada Bhai, Milan, Baradari, Dholak and later as a second lead in Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur. Film director K. Amarnath, who directed him in Bekasoor, suggested that the actor change his long name of Hamid Ali Khan to something shorter, and Hamid zeroed in on “Ajit”.
Ajit, who ran away from home to Mumbai after selling his college books, started his career in films in the 1940s. Luck did not favour him in the initial stages. He began with the 1946 movie Shahe Misra, acting opposite Geeta Bose, and also did films such as Sikander (van mala), Hatimtai (1947), Aap Beeti (Khursheed), Sone Ki Chidiya (Leela Kumari), Dholak (Meena Shori) and Chanda Ki Chandni (Monica Desai) as leading hero, but flopped. He did most of films (15) with Nalini Jaywant. Ajit switched over to play the villain. His first movie as a villain was Suraj and with films such as Zanjeer and Yaadon Ki Baaraat, there was no looking back for him.
In the mid-seventies he had acted in over 57 films, mostly as a villain. His dialogue delivery remains popular even to this date. His colleagues in the film industry —leading personalities who have acted with him, grown seeing him in Mumbai — have expressed deep sorrow over the death of the legendary actor.
Writer Javed Akhtar, who scripted Zanjeer, said: "Like Bachchan, Ajit found a new image as villain after Zanjeer. He started a new innings in his career though he was an established hero in the fifties. His villainy started a new trend. Here was a new villain who was soft-spoken yet forceful. We wanted to give a different image to villainy which matched the hero."
He had five sons- Shahid Ali Khan, Zahid Ali Khan, Abid Ali Khan, Shehzad Ali Khan and Arbaaz Ali Khan. Shehzad played "Bhalla", Teja's hencman, in Andaz Apna Apna while Arbaaz appeared in the film Mrityudaata.
Reactions to Ajit's death
Another "villain" Amrish Puri said Ajit's death is a sad loss to films. "Ajit developed his own style of acting and delivery of dialogue. We still remember his style of acting which is guidance to the new generation of actors." Prem Chopra, who starred with Ajit in many films including Jugnu, Chupa Rustom and Ram Balram as a father and son team, said Ajit was devoted in his work. "He had a subtle sense of humour. He was a cultured man. We had a common interest -- reciting Urdu shairi."
New-generation villain Kiran Kumar was shocked to hear that "his Ajit uncle" had died. "Our relationship was more personal than professional. I must have been hardly eight or ten years when my father (veteran character actor Jeevan) used to take me to Paradise Bakery opposite which was Ajit's residence. Father would call him by his first name Hamid, and would call him down. Ajit would come down, wearing lungi and jaali banian to chat with my father."
Ajit almost always portrayed the sophisticated, educated, well groomed evil mastermind, albeit heartless villain. Ajit was presented in striking western attire, the "bold" checked suits, matching overcoats, white leather shoes, wide sunglasses, jewellery accessories etc. Given his stature as a senior artist; Ajit was usually the gang leader to second tier villains (such as Jeevan (actor), Prem Chopra, Ranjeet, Kader Khan, Sujit Kumar). He was rarely portrayed (in movie roles) doing any "dirty work" himself, rather relaying on his army of henchmen for the task, with zero tolerance for any failures. He always had a savvy female accomplice, usually named "Mona." Acting in over 200 films, he specialized in playing suave villains with memorable catch-phrases delivered in now iconic Ajit style nasal drawls such as "Mona, darling". Ajit also brought to fame the smuggler as the villain. In his movies, he is generally seen smuggling gold biscuits in or out of the country. It has also been noted that most of his gang members had Christian names like Robert, Michael, Peter etc. This also has been used for comic purposes in parodies.
It was the menacing voice he was most famous for. He is still remembered for bringing the most famous villains in the history of Indian cinema to life. His contemporaries include veteran actors like Amrish Puri, Pran, Prem Chopra and Amjad Khan. Some of his popularity in present time is due to the innumerable jokes and parodies made on his famous lines by comedians.
|Criminal (1995)||Jagdish Prasad|
|Gangster (1994)||Chandulal Seth|
|Aa Gale lag jaa (1994)||Kalka singh|
|Betaaj Badshah (1994)||Khan Chacha|
|Aatish (1994)||Uncle (underworld don)|
|Shaktiman (1993)||Shamsher 'Tiger' Singh|
|Jigar (1992)||Baba Thakur (Karate instructor)|
|Raaj Tilak (1984)||Bhavani Singh|
|Raja Aur Rana (1984)||Teja (aka Heeralal)|
|Daulat Ke Dushman (1983)|
|Razia Sultan (1983)||Amil Balban|
|Chorni (1982)||Shambhu Dada|
|Mangal Pandey (1982)||Lal Singh/ Jaganlal|
|Khoon Aur Paani (1981)||Thakur Vikram Singh|
|Aakhri Mujra (1981)|
|Khuda Kasam (1981)||Raiszada Hukamchand|
|Choron Ki Baaraat (1980)||Dhanraj|
|Ram Balram (1980)||Jaggu/Chowdhary Jagatpal|
|Heera-Moti (1979)||Pratap Singh|
|Mr. Natwarlal (1979)||Insp. Giridhari Lal|
|Aahuti (1978)||C.B.I Officer Harnam Prasad|
|Azaad (1978)||Seema's uncle|
|Des Pardes (1978)||Gurnam|
|Heeralal Pannalal (1978)||Kalicharan|
|Ram Kasam (1978)|
|Aakhri Goli (1977)|
|Chalta Purza (1977)||Captain Rajendra Behl|
|Ankh Ka Tara (1977)||Ramlal|
|Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977)||Zeenat's Dad (guest appearance)|
|Jaaneman (1976)||Raja Saheb/ Gulbahar Singh|
|Kalicharan (1976)||Lion/Din Dayal|
|Do Jhoot (1975)|
|Pratigya (1975)||Bharat Daku|
|Khote Sikkay (1974)||Jhanga|
|Paap Aur Punya (1974)||Balbir Singh|
|Patthar Aur Payal (1974)||Ajit Singh|
|Bandhe Haath (1973)||Insp. Kumar/Pakkad Singh|
|Chhupa Rustam (1973)||Vikram Singh|
|Dharma (1973)||IG Ajit Singh|
|Kahani Kismat Ki (1973)||Prem Chand|
|Shareef Badmash (1973)||Ranjit|
|Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973)||Shakaal|
|Zanjeer (1973)||(1973) .... Dhin Dayal Teja|
|Dil Ka Raja (1972)||Thakur Gajendra Singh|
|Sultana Daku (1972)|
|Andaz (1971)||Rajoo's dad|
|Lal Patthar (1971)||Raja Raghav Shankar Rai|
|Paraya Dhan (1971)||Dacoit. Hiralal|
|Patanga (1971)||Kuwar Amar Singh|
|Heer Raanjha (1970)||Heer's husband|
|Jeevan Mrityu (1970)||Harish (Harishchandra)|
|Aadmi Aur Insaan (1969)||Kundanlal/Sher Singh|
|Prince (1969)||Shamsher's Mamaji|
|Raja Aur Runk (1968)||Hariya|
|Baghdad Ki Raatein (1967)|
|Suraj (1966)||Rajkumar Pratap Singh|
|Himalay Ki Godh Mein (1965)|
|Main Hoon Aladdin (1965)||Aladdin|
|Namaste Ji (1965)|
|Kabli Khan (1963)||Kabli Khan|
|Burmah Road (1962)|
|Tower House (1962)||Suresh Kumar|
|Girls Hostel (1961)|
|Opera House (1961)||Ajit Rai|
|Mughal-e-Azam (1960)||Durjan Singh|
|Char Dil Char Rahen (1959)||Dilawar|
|Guest House (1959)||Amar|
|Miss Bombay (1957)|
|Bada Bhai (1957)|
|Kitna Badal Gaya Insaan (1957)|
|Naya Daur (1957)||Krishna|
|26 January (1956)|
|Aan Baan (1956)|
|Durgesh Nandini (1956)|
|Aaj Ki Baat (1955)|
|Bara-Dari (1955)||Ajit Singh|
|Marine Drive (1955)||Ajit|
|Nastik (1954)||Anil Kapoor/Babaji|
|Anand Math (1952)|
|Moti Mahal (1952)|
|Jeevan Saathi (1949)|
- "Ajit (Hamid Ali Khan) (Indian actor) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- Kuldip Singh (November 17, 1998). "Obituary: Ajit". The Independent. Retrieved May 13, 2013.