|Native name||امجد خان
|Born||Amjad Zakaria Khan
12 November 1940
Peshawar, British India
|Died||27 July 1992
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Occupation||Film actor, director|
|Known for||Gabbar Singh|
Amjad Zakaria Khan (Urdu: امجد زکریا خان, Hindi: ज़कारिया अमजद ख़ान; 12 November 1940 – 27 July 1992) was an Indian actor and director. He worked in over 130 films in a career spanning nearly twenty years. He enjoyed popularity for his villainous roles in Hindi films, the most famous being the iconic Gabbar Singh in the 1975 classic Sholay and of Dilawar in Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978).
Amjad Khan was born in ADEZAI the small village of Peshawar, British India, the son of legendary actor Jayant. He was the brother of fellow actor Imtiaz Khan and Inayat Khan who acted in one film. In 1957, he was cast in the movie Ab Dilli Dur Nahin. His family hails from the city of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan).
Before Amjad Khan came to films he was a theatre actor. His first role was in the film Nazneen (1951). His next role was at the age of 17 in the film Ab Dilli Dur Nahin (1957). He made appearances in minor roles with father Jayant in a few films. He assisted K. Asif in Love And God in the late 1960s and had made a brief appearance in the film. The film was left incomplete after Asif's death in 1971, and it ended up releasing in 1986. In 1973 he made his debut as an adult in Hindustan Ki Kasam.
In 1975 he was offered the role of dacoit Gabbar Singh for the film Sholay (literally meaning flames) by Salim who was one of its writers. For preparation for the role, Amjad read Abhishapth Chambal, a book on Chambal dacoits written by Taroon Kumar Bhaduri (actress Jaya Bhaduri's father). Amjad shot to stardom with the movie. His portrayal of Gabbar Singh is considered by many to be the first depiction of pure evil on the screen in Indian Cinema: a totally evil character who doesn't make excuses for his evil. His mannerisms and dialogues have become an integral part of Bollywood lexicon and spawned numerous parodies and spoofs. Sholay went on to become a blockbuster. Although it boasted an ensemble cast of superstars including Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar, he stole the thunder with his unorthodox and eerie dialogue delivery that was perfectly apposite to the total lack of empathy his character was supposed to convey. Even today people fondly remember his dialogues and mannerisms. He later appeared in advertisements as Gabbar Singh endorsing Britannia Glucose Biscuits (popularly known as "Gabbar Ki Asli Pasand"), and it was the first incidence of a villain being used to sell a popular product.
After the success of Sholay, Khan continued to play villain roles in many subsequent Hindi films in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s – superseding, in terms of popularity and demand, the earlier Indian actor, Ajit — portraying more sophisticated and urbane criminal bosses, mastermind of bank robberies, murders and conspiracies to seize power. He often acted as villain opposite Amitabh Bachchan as the hero. His role in 'Inkaar' was also presented in terrifying manner. He made his presence felt in 'Des Pardes', 'Nastik', 'Satte Pe Satta', 'Dada', 'Chambal Ki Kasam', 'Ganga Ki Saugandh', 'Hum Kisise Kam Nahin', and 'Naseeb'.
Khan was also acclaimed for playing many unconventional roles. In the critically acclaimed film Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977) (based on the novel of the same title) by Munshi Premchand and directed by Satyajit Ray, Khan played the helpless and deluded monarch Wajid Ali Shah, whose kingdom, Avadh, is being targeted by British colonialists from the British East India Company. It is the only movie in which he dubbed a song. He played many positive roles in films such as Yaarana (1981) and Laawaris (1981) as Amitabh's friend and father respectively. In the art film Utsav (1984), he portrayed Vatsayana, the author of the Kama Sutra. In 1988 he appeared in the Merchant-Ivory English film The Perfect Murder as an underworld don. He excelled at playing comical characters in films such as Qurbani (1980), Love Story, and Chameli Ki Shaadi (1986). In 1991, he reprised his role as Gabbar Singh in Ramgarh Ke Sholay, a parody of the legendary film which included look-alikes of Dev Anand and Amitabh Bachchan.
He ventured into directing for a brief period in the 1980s directing and starring in Chor Police (1983), which was a success, and Ameer Aadmi Gareeb Aadmi (1985) which failed to do well at the box office.
Amjad was the president of the Actors Guild association. He was respected in the film industry. He would intervene and negotiate disputes between actors and directors/producers. One such dispute occurred when Dimple Kapadia agreed to play a mother role and later backed down. The entire film producer community tried to boycott her. Amjad intervened on behalf of the Actors Guild.
In 1972, he married Shehla Khan and in the following year, she gave birth to their first child, Shadaab Khan, who acted in a few films. He also had a daughter Ahlam Khan and another son Seemaab Khan. His daughter Ahlam married popular theater actor Zafar Karachiwala in 2011.
In 1986, Khan had a near-fatal accident on the Mumbai-Goa road, when he drove his car into a tree while trying to avoid a boulder. The drugs administered to him caused a serious weight problem for the rest of his life. As a result of his increasing weight, he died in 1992 after suffering from heart failure at the age of 51. Several of the films he had completed were released after his death, right until 1996. His funeral procession passed from his house in Pali Hill to the Muslim Burial in Bandra East.
- "Remember the old baddies?". MSN India. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- "Gabbar Singh". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
- "Bollywood's Shah Rukh Khan, Dilip Kumar and the Peshawar club". BBC News. 29 November 2012.
- Sanjeev Kumar was nominated that year for the Filmfare award for Best Actor category as 'Thakur Baldev Singh' in Sholay
- "Glucon D Bisuits Amjad Khan | Print Ads | MBA Skool-Study.Learn.Share". Mbaskool.com. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
- "Zafar Karachiwala, Ahlam Khan got married - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 23 September 2011.