Warsi in March 2013
19 April 1968 |
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Occupation||Actor, playback singer, television presenter, Movie producer|
|Spouse(s)||Maria Goretti (1999–present)|
Arshad Warsi (born 19 April 1968) is an Indian film actor, choreographer and a dancer. 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 it's 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.
Early life and education
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. He was orphaned at the age of 14 and struggled for a living in Mumbai during his early days.
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).
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. 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).
He got his first offer to act in Amitabh Bachchan's production company, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation's first production Tere Mere Sapne in 1996. 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, 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. He has since appeared in several successful films as an supporting actor including Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? (2005), Salaam Namaste (2005), Golmaal: Fun Unlimited (2006), Kabul Express (2006) and Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006) 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), Golmaal Returns (2008), Ishqiya (2010) and Golmaal 3 (2010). In 2010, he produced Hum Tum Aur Ghost. 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. Naseeruddin Shah said that "“He is easily the best all-round actor in this generation", while Vidya Balan said of him "He reminds me of the great European actors who can fit into any role. But he is completely under-utilised." In his book Hero Vol.2, Ashok Raj has called him "one of the most talented actors among today's breed". Despite being a well known actor, Warsi prefers not to give an audition. Bhawana Somaaya has called him one of the best three dancers of the Hindi film industry.
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.
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.
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