Asrani

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Asrani
असराणी اسراڻي
Asrani.jpg
Born Govardhan Asrani
(1941-01-01) 1 January 1941 (age 73)
Jaipur, Rajasthan
Education Graduation
Alma mater Rajasthan College,
FTII, Pune
Occupation Actor, Producer
Years active 1967-present
Religion Hindu
Spouse(s) Manju Asrani
Children Naveen Asrani
Awards Filmfare Award for Best Comedian

Govardhan Asrani (Sindhi: گوورڌن اسراڻي), popularly known simply as Asrani, is an Indian actor and director whose Bollywood career has spanned five decades. He has played in both Hindi and Gujarati films, and his roles include lead hero performances, character roles, comedic roles, as well as supporting parts.

Early life[edit]

Asrani was born on January 1, 1941 in a middle class Hindu Sindhi family. His father migrated to Jaipur after the Partition of India and opened a shop selling carpets. He has four sisters and three brothers: two elder and one younger. Asrani was highly uninterested in business and very weak in mathematics. He completed his matriculation from St. Xaviers School and did his graduation from Rajasthan College, Jaipur. He simultaneously worked as a voice artist at All India Radio, Jaipur, to pay for his education. His ultimate aim was to become an actor.

He is married to actress Manju (Bansal) Asrani, with whom he fell in love working together in films like Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar and Tapasya. In Aaj Ki Taza Khabar, Asrani played as Champak Boomia / Amit Desai and Manju played role of Kesari Desai and for this role Asrani won Filmfare Award for Best Comedian.[1] Later the couple acted in Hum Nahin Sudhrenge, a home production directed by Asrani in 1980.[2] His son Naveen Asrani is a dentist in Ahmedabad.

Career[edit]

He began to learn acting from Sahitya Kalbhai Thakkar from 1960 to 1962.[3] In 1962, he travelled to Bombay (now Mumbai) and began to seek opportunities to act. In 1963, on an accidental meeting with Kishore Sahu and Hrishikesh Mukherjee, they advised him to learn acting professionally.

In 1964 Asrani joined the Film Institute in Poona (now Film and Television Institute of India, Pune) and finished his course in 1966. He got his first break in Hindi films playing the friend of actor Biswajeet in the film Hare Kaanch Ki Choodiyan in 1967. In the film institute he had impressed many and made his acting break as a hero in 1967 with a Gujrati movie opposite budding actress Waheeda (not Waheeda Rahman; the Hindi actress). He acted in four other movies, mainly as actor or supporting actor in Gujrati from 1967 to 1969. He did not get much offers from Hindi film industry between 1967-69. His old advisor, Hrishikesh Mukherjee then gave him role of supporting actor in the film Satyakam in 1969. He got noticed then in the film Mere Apne. It was from 1971 that he started getting more offers as the main comedian in films or as the close friend of the lead actor.

Directors like Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Atma Ram, Gulzar repeatedly cast him in the period 1971-1974 and his work got noticed through these films. These roles he did from 1971-1974 set the tone for a number of supporting and comic roles in his career and in 70's his demand was at its peak as he appeared in 101 films from 1970-1979 and had effective roles in them. Though initially Rajesh Khanna and Asrani had met only on sets of Bawarchi, they became close friends after Namak Haraam, after which for the role of comedian Rajesh Khanna insisted the producers and directors to make Asrani part of his films. Asrani worked in 25 films with Rajesh Khanna from 1972-1991 from Bawarchi(1972) to Ghar Parivaar(1991). His most memorable works as supporting actor from 1970-1979 are in Mere Apne, Koshish, Bawarchi, Parichay, Abhimaan, Mehbooba, Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein, Do Ladke Dono Kadke, Bandish. He played the lead hero in Chala Murari Hero Banne, a Hindi film he wrote and directed in 1977, which was critically acclaimed. His notable role as comedian from 70's are in Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar, Roti, Prem Nagar, Chupke Chupke, Chhoti Si Baat, Rafoo Chakkar, Sholay, Balika Badhu, Fakira, Anurodh, Chhailla Babu, Charas, Phaansi, Dillagi, Heeralal Pannalal, Pati Patni Aur Woh and Hamare Tumhare. Though he had played supporting character in many films even before, he played a serious role for first time in Khoon Pasina. He was hugely talked about in the 1970s and was one of Rajesh Khanna's close friends. He became a regular feature in films produced by D. Rama Naidu and those movies directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, B.R.Chopra, K. Bapaiah, Narayana Rao Dasari, K. Raghavendra Rao, Basu Chatterjee in 1972-1992. He won the Filmfare award for Best Comedian for his performances in Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar in 1974 and for Balika Badhu in 1977. In 1974, he directed his first movie in Gujrati with Asrani himself as the hero, and the song Hu Amdavad No Rikshawalo sung by Kishore Kumar was picturised on Asrani. The songs picturised on Asrani and sung by Kishore in Hindi are Achcha Chaloji Baba Maaf Kardo from Hamare Tumhare, Pyar Main Karoonga from Yeh Kaisa Insaaf. The song 'Mannu Bhai Motor Chali Pam' was sung by him with Kishore Kumar and was picturised on Rishi Kapoor and him, in 'Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan' in 1978.

In the 1980s, he acted in 107 Hindi films. Asrani holds record for appearing as a character actor/comedian in most number of Hindi films in a decade – 101 in 70’s and 107 in 80’s. Unlike his roles in 1970-84 which were pivotal to the plot, most of his roles from 1985-1993 were very minor mainly because the concept of a comedian was getting phased out and heroes preferred to do their own comedy and action films were ruling the roost in the period 1985-1994. In 80's his memorable performances were in Hamari Bahu Alka, Ek Hi Bhool, Yeh Kaisa Insaf, Kaamchor, Agar Tum Na Hote, Asha Jyoti, Maqsad, Main Intequam Loonga, Love 86, Biwi Ho To Aisi. During this period in 1982, he set up a small Gujrati production company with fellow artistes Dinesh Hingoo, Harish Patel and Salim Parvez (son of famous supporting actor Yunus Parvez). The company dissolved in 1996 with a large profit. Asrani also invested mainly in cloth and acted as investor for other actors, until 1991 when he lost a lot of money. From 1988 to 1993, he was a director for the Film Institute in Pune. It was only from 1985-1994 that his screen space in the Hindi films were for less duration. In 90's he did only 73 Hindi movies due to lack of good scope for him to perform. Muqabla (1993) saw him in a serious role after long time.

Simultaneously he kept working in Gujrathi films in 70's, 80's as lead hero and achieved success as the lead protagonist in Amdavad No Rikshawalo, Saat Qaidi, Sansar Chakra, Pankhi No Malo, Jugal Jodi, Maa Baap, Chel Chabilo Gujarati. From 90's he played as comedian or supporting actor in Gujrathi films like Mota Ghar Ni Vahu, Piyu Gayo Pardesh, Baap Dhamal Dikhra.

D.Rama Naidu gave him a pivotal role to Asrani in Taqdeerwala in 1995 and once again comedy movies were being made from thereon . Asrani started getting good roles in films directed by David Dhawan and Priyadarshan from 1993 till 2012. His most memorable performances as comedian from 90's are in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Gardish, Taqdeerwala, Gharwali Baharwali, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Hero Hindustani.

The 2000s saw Asrani in a number of films like Hera Pheri, Chup Chup Ke, Hulchul, Deewane Huye Paagal, Garam Masala, Chup Chup Ke, Malamaal Weekly, Bhagam Bhag, De Dana Dan, Bol Bachchan, Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal which had him in effective comedy roles. He appeared in a serious role in Kyun Ki. He was an integral part of comedies by Sajid Nadiadwala, Priyadarshan after 2000. His screen space in films of Rohit Shetty and others has got reduced gradually after 2009.

As Director[edit]

Asrani has directed six movies.

Direction Filmography
Year Film Language
1997 Udaan Hindi
1992 Dil Hi To Hai Hindi
1980 Hum Nahin Sudhrenge Hindi
1979 Salaam Memsaab Hindi
1977 Chala Murari Hero Banne Hindi
1974 Amdavad No Rikshawalo Gujarati

As Singer[edit]

In 1977, Asrani sang two songs in the movie Alaap, both picturised on him. A year later he sang "Mannu Bhai Motor Chale", a duet with Kishore Kumar, for the film Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan.

Asrani recently made a special appearance in the Punjabi film Yaariyan.

Singer Filmography
Film (Year) Song Remarks
Alaap (1977) "Binati Sun Le Tanik"
"Ho Rama Dar Lage Apni Umariya Se"
Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan (1978) "Mannu Bhai Motor Chali Pum Pum" with Kishore Kumar

Asrani and Mallika Sherawat were the judges of the 18th annual Naya Andaz competition on 17 April 2010, in New Jersey.

Filmography[edit]

Acting Filmography
Year Title Role Notes
2013 R.. Rajkumar Pandit
Himmatwala Ticket Checker
2012 Joker Master ji
Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal Priest
Bol Bachchan Shashtri
Agent Vinod Ramlal
2011 Bodyguard Shekhar
2010 Khatta Meeta Karodimal
Dus Tola Sarpanch
2009 Paying Guests Kiska Miglani
De Dana Dan Mamu
All The Best Vidya's father
2008 Karzzz College Principal
Billu Naubat Chacha
2007 Bhool Bhulaiyaa Murari
Dhamaal Nari Contractor
Fool & Final Lalwani
Bhagam Bhag TBC
2006 Malamaal Weekly Chokhey
Chup Chup Ke Sharma Ji
2005 Garam Masala Mamu
Cages Leo English film
Elaan Kishorilal
Insaan Film Director
Kyon ki Asylum patient
Hulchul Advocate Mishra
2004 Ek Se Badhkar Ek Don Srikant Ramprasad
Suno Sasurjee Murli
Arrangement Papa
2003 Mumbai Matinee Pyarelal
Baghban Bedi
Tujhe Meri Kasam Kashinath Dixit
2002 Dil Vil Pyar Vyar Chandru
Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare Topichand's brother-in-law
Awara Paagal Deewana Champaklal
Ek Aur Visphot Dr. Daniel
2001 Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa Jhoomri's Boss
Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar Chandiramani
Lajja Gulab Chand
2000 Aaghaaz Gullu
Karobaar Champak
Chal Mere Bhai Family Doctor
Tera Jadoo Chal Gayaa Company owner
Hera Pheri Bank Manager
Mela Kaka/Banwari Baniya
1999 Raja Kumarudu Policeman
Haseena Maan Jaayegi Jamnadas
International Khiladi Payl's Boss
Heeralal Pannalal Havaldar Chaurasia
Mother Johnny
1998 Mehndi Tolani
Hero Hindustani Cameroon
Haste Hasate
Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Security Officer
Dulhe Raja Inspector Azgar Singh
Gharwali Baharwali Dr. Ved
1993 Muqabla Soni's husband
Dil Tera Aashiq Natwar Lal
1992 Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar Dubeyji, Teacher
1985 Teri Meherbaniyan Munim Banwarilal
1983 Himmatwala Bhushan
1982 Nikaah Saif
1980 Agreement Dilip Kanuchand
1978 Pati Patni Aur Woh Abdul Karim Durrani
Badalte Rishtey Anup Chandra Thakur
1977 Kalabaaz Changu
Alaap Ganesh (Ganeshi)
1976 Tapasya Vinod Sinha
Balika Badhu Sharat
1975 Chhoti Si Baat Nagesh
Rafoo Chakkar Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi
Sholay (1975) Jailor
Chupke Chupke Prashant Shrivastav
1974 Bidaai Murli/Bhaskar
Ajnabee Chetan Kumar
Aap Ki Kasam Dr. Ghad-Ghad Singhwala
1973 Namak Haraam Dhondu, Shyama's brother
Abhimaan Chander Kripalani
Anamika Hanuman Singh
1972 Parichay Narayan
Bawarchi Vishwanath Sharma/Babbu
1971 Mere Apne Raghunath
Guddi Kundan
1969 Umang
1967 Hare Kaanch Ki Choodiyan

Awards[edit]

  • Best Actor, Best Director Award from Gujarat State Government for Saat Qaidi (Gujarati)[4]
Year Recipient Award Result
1973 Anhonee Shama Sushama Award for Best Comedian Won
1974 Abhimaan Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar Filmfare Best Comedian Award Won
Namak Haraam Nominated
1977 Balika Badhu Won

References[edit]

External links[edit]