Arshad Warsi

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Arshad Warsi
Arshad Warsi
Warsi in March 2013
Born (1968-04-19) 19 April 1968 (age 47)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation Actor, playback singer, television presenter, Movie producer
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Maria Goretti (1999–present)
Official website

Arshad Warsi (born 19 April 1968) is an Indian film actor, choreographer and a dancer.[1] He made his debut in 1996 with Tere Mere Sapne which managed to succeed at the box office. He is best known for his portrayal of Circuit in the comedy series Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003) and Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006). He is also recognised for his role as Babban in Ishqiya (2010) and its sequel Dedh Ishqiya (2014), and for his role in Jolly LLB (2013). All of these films received excellent critical acclaim. His upcoming film is Jolly LLB 2, which is scheduled to release sometime in 2015.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Warsi was born into a Muslim family in Mumbai, India, and did his schooling at a boarding school, Barnes School, Deolali in Nashik district, Maharashtra.[3] He was orphaned at the age of 14 and struggled for a living in Mumbai during his early days.[4]

Early career[edit]

Financial circumstances forced Warsi to start work as a door-to-door cosmetics salesman at age 17. Later he worked in a photo lab. Meanwhile he had a keen interest in dancing and received an offer to join Akbar Sami's Dance group in Mumbai, which started his dancing and choreographing career. He also assisted Mahesh Bhatt in Thikana (1987) and Kaash (1987).[5][6]

Then in 1991, he won the Indian dance competition, followed by the fourth prize in the Modern Jazz category in 1992 World Dance championship, London, at the age of 21.[7] Soon, he started his own dance studio, 'Awesome' with that money and also formed a dance troupe. It was here, his future wife, Maria Goretti, a St. Andrew's College student joined him, before she became a VJ. He was also associated with English theatre group in Mumbai, choreographing shows for Bharat Dabholkar and got an opportunity to choreograph the title track for the film, Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1993).[7]

Film career[edit]

He got his first offer to act in Amitabh Bachchan's production company, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation's first production Tere Mere Sapne in 1996.[8] After its success, he acted in several other films over the next six years, but most of which failed to do well at the box office. In 2003, he rose to fame when he starred as a pivotal supporting character in the comedy film Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. opposite Sanjay Dutt,[9][10] which turned out to be a huge box office success and gained him much critical acclaim and a nomination at the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. Warsi said in an interview that had not the film worked, his career would have finished.[11] He has since appeared in several successful films as an supporting actor including Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? (2005), Salaam Namaste (2005),[12][13] Golmaal: Fun Unlimited (2006), Kabul Express (2006)[14] and Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)[15][16][17][18] which also won him his first Filmfare Award under the category of Best Comedian. From 2007 to 2010, Warsi appeared in non-stop box office successes, including Dhamaal (2007),[19] Golmaal Returns (2008),[20] Ishqiya (2010)[21] and Golmaal 3 (2010). His performance in Sehar was positively received by critics and Sanhita Paradkar of wrote that "finally [he is] in a much-deserved lead role".[22] In 2010, he produced Hum Tum Aur Ghost.[23] His 2011 releases include the comedies F.A.L.T.U and Double Dhamaal, which were both above average grossers. His first release of 2013 was Zila Ghaziabad in which he played an negative role. His latest film is Jolly LLB, Warsi's first official solo hit. The film released on 15 March 2013, and received critical acclaim, and turned out to be the first Hit in India of the year 2013.

Television career[edit]

Warsi has made a mark for himself on the small screen as well. He hosted a popular award show Sabse Favourite Kaun for STAR Gold. He was the host of Bigg Boss, Season 1, the Indian version of the reality television series Big Brother which was aired on Sony. He was also the co-host of a dance show Razzmatazz on Zee TV. He starred opposite Karishma Kapoor in the TV serial Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny from 2003 to 2004. He has also done a small cameo in a television show, Ishaan.

Personal life[edit]

Warsi with wife Maria Goretti and children in 2010

Warsi married Maria Goretti on 14 February 1999. They have a son named Zeke Warsi, born on 10 August 2004. Both Maria and Zeke made a special appearance in Salaam Namaste. On 2 May 2007, the couple had a baby girl named Zene Zoe Warsi. During his school days, Warsi was a national level gymnast.[24]


Naseeruddin Shah said that "He is easily the best all-round actor in this generation", while Vidya Balan said of Warsi, "He reminds me of the great European actors who can fit into any role. But he is completely under-utilised."[7] In his book Hero Vol.2, Ashok Raj has called him "one of the most talented actors among today's breed".[25] Despite being a well known actor, Warsi does not prefers giving an audition.[26] Bhawana Somaaya has called him one of the best three dancers of the Hindi film industry.[27] Director Samir Tewari called him "the most underrated and unutilised actor."[28] Boman Irani also feels the same and called him a "natural and unique performer".[29]

Filmography and awards[edit]

Warsi won the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role in 2007. He has been awarded Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Comic Role twice (in 2004 and 2007).


  1. ^ "Holi, Arshad Warsi style". The Times of India (The Times Group). 
  2. ^ "Eager to start 'Jolly LLB 2': Arshad Warsi". Tellychakkar. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Arshad rejects politics but will give Sanjay 'moral' support". Daily News and Analysis (Diligent Media Corporation). 1 February 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "On a roll: Meet Arshad Warsi – the real life hero of the rags-to-riches story". The Hindu (The Hindu Group). 18 November 2003. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "I want to make my own films: Arshad". The Times of India (The Times Group). 10 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "Personal agenda: Arshad Warsi". Hindustan Times (HT Media). 6 February 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c Banan, Aastha Atray (13 February 2010). "How To Break The Circuit". Tehelka 7 (06). Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Saran, Renu (25 February 2014). Encyclopedia of Bollywood–Film Actors. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. p. 23. ISBN 978-93-5083-690-3. 
  9. ^ Narwekar, Sanjit (12 December 2012). Eena Meena Deeka: The Story of Hindi Film Comedy. Rupa Publications. p. 265. ISBN 978-81-291-2625-2. 
  10. ^ Rishi, Tilak (5 June 2012). Bless You Bollywood!: A tribute to Hindi Cinema on completing 100 years. Trafford Publishing. p. 246. ISBN 978-1-4669-3962-2. 
  11. ^ Press Trust of India (28 June 2011). "Failure of Munnabhai MBBS would have ended my career: Arshad". The Tribune (Chandigarh). Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Bajaj, J.K. (26 March 2014). On & Behind the Indian Cinema. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. p. 2008. ISBN 978-93-5083-621-7. 
  13. ^ Stoddart, Brian; Weigold, Auriol (2011). India and Australia: Bridging Different Worlds. Readworthy. p. 192. ISBN 978-93-5018-080-8. 
  14. ^ Athique, Adrian; Hill, Douglas (17 December 2009). The Multiplex in India: A Cultural Economy of Urban Leisure. Taylor & Francis. p. 258. ISBN 978-1-135-18187-1. 
  15. ^ Saran, Renu (29 January 2014). 101 Hit Films of Indian Cinema. Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd. p. 212. ISBN 978-93-5083-653-8. 
  16. ^ Jess-Cooke, Carolyn (2 February 2009). Film Sequels: Theory and Practice from Hollywood to Bollywood. Edinburgh University Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-7486-3133-9. 
  17. ^ Barooah Pisharoty, Sangeeta (3 November 2006). "The Friday Circuit!". The Hindu (The Hindu Group). Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  18. ^ "Warsi is in hot 'circuit'". The Hindu (The Hindu Group). 5 August 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  19. ^ Sinha, Dheeraj (14 February 2011). Consumer India: Inside the Indian Mind and Wallet. John Wiley & Sons. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-470-82632-4. 
  20. ^ Joshi, Namrata (17 November 2008). "Movie Review: Golmaal Returns". Outlook (Outlook Publishing) 48 (46): 80. 
  21. ^ Teo, Stephen (7 May 2013). The Asian Cinema Experience: Styles, Spaces, Theory. Routledge. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-136-29608-6. 
  22. ^ Paradkar, Sanhita (29 July 2005). "Seher does Arshad Warsi justice". Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  23. ^ Chaudhuri, Diptakirti (12 September 2014). Bollybook: The Big Book of Hindi Movie Trivia. Penguin Books Limited. p. 158. ISBN 978-93-5118-799-8. 
  24. ^ "Meet the gymnast: Arshad Warsi Interview". Daily News and Analysis (Diligent Media Corporation). Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  25. ^ Raj, Ashok (1 November 2009). Hero Vol.2. Hay House, Inc. p. 205. ISBN 978-93-81398-03-6. 
  26. ^ Chopra, Tisca (8 April 2014). Acting Smart: Your Ticket to Showbiz. HarperCollins Publishers India. p. 34. ISBN 978-93-5136-204-3. 
  27. ^ Somaaya, Bhawana (19 July 2013). Taliking Cinema: Conversations with Actors and Film-makers. HarperCollins Publishers India. p. 55. ISBN 978-93-5029-646-2. 
  28. ^ "Arshad most underrated, unutilised actor: Samir Tewari". Mumbai: CNN-IBN. 26 December 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  29. ^ "Arshad Warsi is a hugely underrated actor: Boman Irani". New Delhi: CNN-IBN. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 

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