|Govinda at Bright Advertising Awards announcement in 2013|
|Member of Parliament
for Mumbai North, India
3 June 2004 – 2009
|Born||Govind Arun Ahuja
21 December 1963
Virar, Maharashtra, India
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Spouse(s)||Sunita Ahuja (1987–present)|
|Parents||Arun Ahuja (Father)
Nirmala Ahuja (Mother)
|Profession||Actor, Dancer, Television presenter, Comedian, Politician|
|As of 19 February, 2008
Source: Lok Sabha
Govinda (born Govind Arun Ahuja on 21 December 1963) is an Indian actor and a former politician. Govinda has received twelve Filmfare Awards nominations winning two Filmfare Awards including a Special Jury Award and he has also won four Zee Cine Awards .
Making his debut in Ilzaam in 1986, he has appeared in over 140 Hindi films of the Bollywood industry. In June 1999, Govinda was voted as the tenth greatest star of stage or screen of the last thousand years by BBC News Online users.
His earlier films in the 1980s were in a variety of genres such as family drama, action and romantic. In 1990s, he gained recognition as a comic actor after playing a mischievous young NCC cadet in the romantic movie Shola Aur Shabnam (1992) opposite the late Divya Bharti. He played leading roles in several commercially successful comedy films in the 1990s such as Aankhen(1993), Raja Babu(1994), Coolie No. 1 (1995), Hero No. 1 (1997) and Haseena Maan Jaayegi (1999). He received the Filmfare Best Comedian Award for Haseena Maan Jayegi and Filmfare Special Award for Saajan Chale Sasural. He has successfully played dual roles in several movies like Gentleman (1989), Jaan Se Pyaara (1992), Aankhen (1993), Hathkadi (1995), Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), Anari No.1 (1999), Waah! Tera Kya Kehna (2002) and Sandwich (2006) . Apart from double roles, he has also successfully played six roles of his own family in Hadh Kar Di Aapne (2000), one being Raju and others being Raju's mom, Raju's dad, Raju's sister, Raju's Grandmother and Raju's Grandfather.
Govinda is nicknamed as 'No. 1' because of the series of films he has done ending with "No. 1" tag like Coolie No. 1, Hero No. 1, Aunty No. 1, Anari No.1, Beti No. 1 and Jodi No.1. Govinda is the only actor after Akshay Kumar in Bollywood who has done series of films with a specific title, Akshay Kumar has done 8 films of Khiladi (film series) while Govinda has done 6 films of "No. 1 (film series)".
After a period of box office flops in the 2000s, his recent commercial successes have been Bhagam Bhag (2006), Partner (2007), Life Partner (2009) and Raavan (2010) and thus far he has established himself as one of the leading actors of Hindi cinema.
In 2013, he released his music album Gori Tere Naina. He appeared on the popular Colors T.V. show Comedy Nights with Kapil for his album's promotion on 15 December 2013.
In addition to film acting, he is a member of the Indian National Congress Party. He was elected as the seventh Member of Parliament for the Mumbai North Constituency of Maharashtra, India in the 14th Lok Sabha elections in 2004, after defeating Ram Naik of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In the 2009 General Elections, he opted out of politics to concentrate more on films. His constituency was succeeded by Sanjay Nirupam (also from Congress).
- 1 Early life
- 2 Acting career
- 3 Frequent collaboration with other actors and actresses
- 4 Political career
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Other work
- 7 Honors and recognitions
- 8 Music Directors & Singers
- 9 Filmography
- 10 Awards & Nominations
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Govinda’s father, Arun Ahuja, was born in pre-partition Gujranwala, Punjab, British India (in present-day Pakistan) on 26 January 1917. He studied in an engineering college at Lahore. Veteran producer Mehboob Khan brought him to Mumbai in 1937 and cast him in Ek Hi Raasta as the leading man. Arun was notable for acting in Mehboob Khan's Aurat (1940). Govinda's mother, Nazeem who was Muslim had converted to Hinduism and adopted the name Nirmala Devi. Arun and Nirmala first met during the making of the film Savera, in which they were cast opposite each other. They married in 1941.
The only film Ahuja ever produced was a flop. Unable to bear the loss, his health failed. The family, living in a bungalow on Mumbai's upmarket Carter Road, later moved to Virar — a northern Mumbai suburb, where Govinda was born. The youngest of six children, his pet name Chi Chi means little finger in Punjabi, the language they speak at home. Since his father was unable to work, Nirmala Devi brought up the children through hard times in Mumbai.
1986–90: Debut and breakthrough
He studied at Annasaheb Vartak College in Vasai, Maharashtra. He graduated in commerce. His father suggested films as he himself was associated with films. Around this time, Govinda saw the film Disco Dancer and dance became his obsession. He practiced for hours and circulated a promo of himself on a VHS cassette. Soon a fertilizer commercial came his way, followed by an Allwyn ad, finally his very first leading role in Tan-Badan, which was to be directed by his uncle Anand. He started shooting for his next film Love 86 in June 1985. By mid-July, he had signed 40 others.
His first released film was Ilzaam (1986), a box office success and the fifth biggest hit of 1986. The film song "street dancer" having a break dance became a breakthrough in his career and established him as a dancing star. He acted in a string of movies after that with mixed success. Most of the films he appeared in during the 1980s were in the action, romance or family drama genres. He was often paired opposite actress Neelam and together they appeared in several hit films such as Love 86 (1986), Khudgarz (1987) and his brother Kirti Kumar's directorial, Hatya (1988). He had success with family drama films such as Dariya Dil (1988), Jeete Hain Shaan Se (1988) and Hum (1991) as well as action films such as Marte Dam Tak (1987) and Jung Baaz (1989). He worked with David Dhawan for the first time in the 1989 action film Taaqatwar. He also worked with Rajnikant and Sridevi in the hit film that year titled, Ghair Khanooni.
1990-1999: Critical and commercial success
Govinda appeared in several critically and commercially successful films in the 1990s and he was one of biggest superstars of the era. In 1990 he became a part of cult classic film Awaargi. The movie had Anil Kapoor, Govinda and Meenakshi Sheshadri in lead roles. Others films like Swarg and Maha Sangram also did well. In 1992, he was seen in the critically acclaimed film, Zulm Ki Hukumat, an Indian remake of The Godfather where his performance was immensely appreciated. In 1992 his another film was Shola Aur Shabnam directed by David Dhawan which was super hit at the boxoffice. After that they together did Aankhen. Aankhen became the highest grossing film of the year and one of biggest all-time blockbusters ever. He then formed a successful collaboration with David Dhawan and went onto act in 17 movies directed by him most of which were comedy films and were successful. The successful films made by their collaboration are Taaqatwar (1989), Swarg (1990), Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Aankhen (1993), Raja Babu (1994), Coolie No. 1 (1995), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Banarasi Babu (1997), Deewana Mastana (1997), Hero No. 1 (1997), Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), and Haseena Maan Jaayegi (1999), Kunwara (2000), Jodi No.1 (2001), Ek Aur Ek Gyarah (2003), Partner (2007) and Do Knot Disturb (2009). Aankhen became the highest grossing film of the year and one of biggest all-time blockbusters ever and its records were broken by Partner (2007).He also sang for himself in some of his movies like, "Meri Pant Bhi Sexy" from Dulaara and "Gori Gori" from Shola Aur Shabnam. Dhawan and other directors frequently cast him opposite actresses such as Karishma Kapoor, Juhi Chawla and Raveena Tandon during the 1990s.
2000-05: Slump and break from films
His box office graph suffered a setback in the early 2000s following a series of commercially unsuccessful films. Although some of his movies were declared hit like Kunwara, Hadh Kar Di Aapne, Jodi No.1, Kyo Kii... Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta and Ek Aur Ek Gyarah.
He also got nominated the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role for Kunwara, Jodi No.1, Kyo Kii... Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta and Akhiyon Se Goli Maare. But since 2002, most of his films turned out to be flop at box office. He played the role of a villain for the first time in his career in Shikari (2000). Although the movie was not a commercial success, Govinda's convincing portrayal of a sociopath murderer was critically acclaimed. He turned down roles in Taal, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha and Devdas which went on to become successful films.
His acting career was further affected when he joined Indian National Congress and contested and won the seat for Member of Parliament from Mumbai North by defeating 5 time sitting Member of Parliament former Petroleum Minister Ram Naik by over 50,000 votes in the 2004 parliamentary elections.
Govinda took break from films from 2003-05. He did not have any new film releases in 2004 and 2005 although some of his delayed films such as Khullam Khulla Pyaar Karen (2005), his home production Ssukh (2005) and Sandwich were released and turned out to be box office disasters.
2006-09: Acting comeback and return to prominence
Govinda made a comeback to films in late 2006 with the comedy film, Bhagam Bhag directed by Priyadarshan, alongside Akshay Kumar and Lara Dutta. It was the first time Govinda and Akshay Kumar were seen in a film together. The movie became a huge hit and Box Office declared it a "super hit" and is still considered as one of the finest comedy films of the 2000s.
His first release of 2007 was Nikhil Advani's directed heavy budgeted drama film Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love. The film had a huge starcast namely Govinda, Shannon Esra, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Akshaye Khanna, Ayesha Takia, John Abraham, Vidya Balan, Sohail Khan and Isha Koppikar. Govinda played the role of Raju, a taxi driver who comes to the assistance of a Caucasian woman, Stephanie (Shannon Esra), who is frantically trying to hunt down her lover, and Raju eventually falls in love with her. Although a box office disappointment, Govinda was specially praised for his performance.
His second release of 2007 was David Dhawan directed comedy, Partner, which co-starred Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Lara Dutta. The film grossed Rs.300 Million in India on its opening week, the second highest domestic opening week gross for an Indian film until then. The film was declared a Blockbuster hit at box office. Govinda won many awards for his performance in Partner including an IIFA Best Comedian Award and a Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Male. He was also seen in film, Jahan Jaaeyega Hamen Paaeyega although it was filmed many years back. The film was a major disappointment at the box office. Govinda was also seen in a special appearance in song "Deewangi Deewangi" in Om Shanti Om
In 2008, he appeared in the film, Money Hai Toh Honey Hai. It was directed by famous Bollywood choreographer Ganesh Acharya. The film did not perform well at the box office. Govinda was then seen in T K Rajeev Kumar directed comedy, Chal Chala Chal. Govinda was appreciated for his performance and the film did a decent business at the box office. The same year, Salman Khan invited David Dhawan and Govinda on his show 10 Ka Dum to celebrate the success of their film Partner.
In 2009, he had a successful release titled Life Partner in which Govinda was seen as a lawyer and his performance was particularly praised by the critics. The film was declared "Hit" at box office Govinda got back to the successful trio of David Dhawan, Vashu Bhagnani and himself with the film, Do Knot Disturb, which despite receiving good reviews from the critics, failed to make an impact at the box office.
2010-present: Recent work
In 2010, Govinda was seen in Mani Ratnam's bilingual project, Raavan, along with Vikram, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. Govinda played a forest department employee who takes Vikram's character through the forests in search of a wanted criminal. While it was earlier speculated that his character was a contemporary version of Hanuman, Govinda refuted the claim. Despite having a small role in the film, Govinda was appreciated for his performance.
In 2011, Govinda was seen in Jagmohan Mundhra's adult comedy film Naughty @ 40. Despite the movie being flopped, Govinda was appreciated for his performance. He was also seen in another comic caper Rajnish Thakur's film Loot which too flopped at box office. Govinda also lent his voice to the character 'Bajrangi(The monkey)' for Nikhil Advani's animation film Delhi Safari.
In 2013, Govinda was seen in much delayed K. C. Bokadia's film Deewana Main Deewana co-starring Priyanka Chopra, which again flopped at box office. This film was shot approximately ten years ago. The film was a Hindi remake of Tamil film Priyamudan directed by Vincent Selva. However despite being it so much delayed, Govinda received much praise for his villainous performance in the film. Govinda also made his Bengali debut and was seen as Deputy Inspector General of Police in Dipak Sanyal's Bengali film Samadhi co-starring Gracy Singh and Sayali Bhagat which did not perform well at box office.
In 2014, Govinda will be seen in a number of films. He will be seen in Happy Ending along with Saif Ali Khan and Ileana D'Cruz. Govinda will be seen playing the role of a superstar in the film. Govinda and Saif Ali Khan will be seen together for the first time. He is also doing AR Murugadoss's Holiday which is a Thuppakki remake which also stars Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha. Although he will be seen in a short role but it will be an important character of the film. This will be second collaboration of Govinda and Akshay Kumar after Bhagam Bhag. He is also doing Yash Raj Films's Kill Dil directed by Shaad Ali in which he is playing as an antagonist and will be seen along with Ranveer Singh, Parineeti Chopra and Rani Mukerji. Govinda was last seen as an antagonist in Shikari in 2000. This will be fourth collaboration of Govinda and Rani Mukerji. Previously they have worked together in Hadh Kar Di Aapne, Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai and Chalo Ishq Ladaaye. He is also starring in Anurag Basu's Jagga Jasoos and will be seen as Ranbir Kapoor's Step-Father. The film also stars Katrina Kaif. Govinda and Katrina Kaif were last seen together in Partner in 2007. The film is scheduled to be released on 29 May 2015. He will also be seen in Pahlaj Nihalani's Avatar in which Govinda will be seen as a Football coach. Govinda has apparently lost 28 kilos and also underwent a hair transplant for his role in the film. The films also stars Sunny Deol in a guest role. Govinda and Sunny Deol will be seen together for the first time. Govinda is also doing Afra Tafri which co stars Suniel Shetty, Yuvika Chaudhary, Arya Babbar and Mugdha Godse and is being directed by Haadi Abrar. Govinda is also producing a film called Abhinay Chakra which will be released in 2014. He is also acting in the film as a cop. The film also stars Ashutosh Rana, Makarand Deshpande, Harish Kumar and former Mrs World Richa Sharma. Abhninay Chakra will be Govinda's third production post Hatya and Ssukh. Govinda is also doing a film with Mira Nair. Mira has roped in Govinda to play the Title role in her upcoming film The Bengali Detective. Earlier there was speculation that Shahrukh Khan will play the lead in this film. But Mira has confirmed that Govinda is the protagonist of the film. Shahrukh Khan is not a part of the film. She said in an interview with Times Of India Kolkata on 21 December 2013 that there was none better than Govinda to play the role. Rani Mukerji will also star in the film. Filming of "The Bengali Detective" will start from October 2014 and will release around mid-2015. Govinda is also said to be making his Marathi debut. He was approached by his makeup man Ramesh, to play a role that resembles Dada Kondke's character. On 8 January 2014, News spreaded that Govinda refused to do the remake of Mahesh Manjrekar's Marathi film Shikshanacha Aaicha Gho in Hindi which was to be produced by Bollywood actor Salman Khan. Salman Khan said that for the last three years he had been after Govinda to do the film. Govinda said that he already said no to that film three years ago. He also added that he wanted some changes in the script which was not accepted by the writers.
Frequent collaboration with other actors and actresses
After Shakti Kapoor, Govinda has worked most with Kader Khan. They have acted together in 40 films. Govinda and Kader were last seen together in Deewana Main Deewana, which was released almost 10 years after filming. Due to poor health condition, Kader Khan has almost stopped working now. After mid 2000s, Kader has appeared in very few films and that too for a very short role.
Govinda along with Shakti or Kader was usually seen in almost every film during 90s to mid 2000s. The trio has also appeared in 22 films altogether.
Govinda has done many films with Johnny Lever too. Govinda and Johnny have appeared in 22 films together. Johnny mostly played comic roles in these films.
Govinda has also done 14 films with Paresh Rawal.
Govinda was frequently paired against Neelam during 80s till early 90s. They have done 10 flms together which includes Govinda's debut film Ilzaam too. Govinda and Neelam, since both were brilliant in dance and hence they went on to form a good dancing pair and are still said to be the one of the best dancing pair of bollywood.
During 90s, Govinda was often paired opposite Karisma Kapoor in many movies. They have done 10 films together like Muqabla, Prem Shakti, Raja Babu, Dulaara, Khuddar, Coolie No. 1, Saajan Chale Sasural, Hero No. 1, Haseena Maan Jaayegi and Shikari.
Govinda has also done many films with Raveena Tandon. They have appeared in 9 films namely Aunty No. 1, Dulhe Raja, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Pardesi Babu, Rajaji, Anari No.1, Akhiyon Se Goli Maare, Waah! Tera Kya Kehna and Sandwich
Govinda has also done many films with Juhi Chawla. They have done 8 films together namely Swarg, Bhabhi, Karz Chukana Hai, Radha Ka Sangam, Bhagyawan, Deewana Mastana, Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa and Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love as well as a cameo in Andaz Apna Apna.
Govinda has done 5 films with Rani Mukerji, out of which two are upcoming films. Previously they have worked together in Hadh Kar Di Aapne, Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai and Chalo Ishq Ladaaye. Their upcoming films are Yash Raj Films's Kill Dil and Mira Nair's The Bengali Detective.
In 2004, Govinda joined the Congress party, and was elected to the Lok Sabha, the lower House of Parliament from Mumbai with a thumping majority of beating the five time sitting MP by over 50000 votes. In a run up to the polls, Govinda had announced that his agenda will be prawaas (transportation), swasthya (health) and gyaan (education).
During the first ten months of his tenure as a Member of Parliament (MP), Govinda did not spend any money from his MP Local Area Development Fund of Rs.20 million. He started utilizing his fund only when newspaper reports brought this to notice. According to the Thane district collectorate sources, Govinda committed Rs7 to construct anganwadi, samaj mandirs and resolve drinking water problem of Vasai and Virar residents. However, work on these projects did not begin (as of August 2005), because administrative approval was being awaited. Govinda also took credit for 80% of the quadrupling of Borivali-Virar section on Western Railway (India).
As an MP, Govinda has been criticized for being inaccessible to the people of his constituency, especially during the terrible rains (beginning 26 July 2005) that left around 450 dead in Mumbai. After the rains, while speaking to a TV channel, Govinda claimed that he had got Rs150 million sanctioned for his flood-hit constituency after speaking to Sonia Gandhi. However, his own party colleagues contested the claim. Mohan Adhikari, the president of Palghar Congress Unit went on record saying that "not a single paisa" had been received.
During his tenure as an MP, Govinda embarrassed his party, Congress, by coming out in open to support actor Shakti Kapoor, who had been caught in a sting operation, asking for sexual favours from a television reporter posing as a Bollywood aspirant. He also opposed the ban on dance bars, which embarrassed the Indian National Congress-Nationalist Congress Party led Democratic Front Government, which had proposed the ban.
During his tenure as the Member of Parliament, he was criticized for never playing any active role. He was mostly absent while the house was in session. He also did not participate in any debates or raise any queries regarding his constituency.
Govinda's father Arun Ahuja was an actor in the 1940s and his mother Nirmala Ahuja was also an actress as well as a singer. His brother, Kirti Kumar is an actor, producer and director. His sister, Kaamini Khanna is a writer, music director, singer, anchor and founder of 'Beauty with Astrology'. Govinda has six nephews and two nieces in the entertainment industry: actors Vinay Anand, Krushna Abhishek, Aryan, Arjun Singh, Ragini Khanna, Amit Khanna, Aarti Singh and director Janmendra Kumar Ahuja. Govinda's brother-in-law, Devendra Sharma has also acted in a few Hindi films.
Govinda's maternal uncle Anand Singh, who was assistant to director Hrishikesh Mukherjee, launched him in his film, Tan-Badan. Anand's wife's sister Sunita fell in love with Govinda during the 'Mahurat' of Tan-Badan. They got married on 11 March 1987. Their marriage was a closely guarded secret for four years. The couple have two children, Narmada and Yashvardhan.
Govinda narrowly escaped death on 5 January 1994 while traveling to a studio for the shooting of Khuddar (1994). The actor's car collided with another car, resulting in him sustaining injuries to his head. Though bleeding profusely, Govinda did not cancel the shooting. After visiting a doctor, he shot for the film till midnight.
In 2004, Govinda started new innings of his career by entering into politics. In its initial phase Govinda came out with flying colors. He joined Indian National Congress and became a Lok Sabha member from Mumbai by defeating 5 time sitting Member of Parliament former Petroleum Minister Ram Naik by over 50,000 votes. His election agenda was focused on prawaas (transportation), swasthya (health) and gyaan (education). He faced several criticisms as an MP. It was believed by some that Govinda was unapproachable for common people in his constituency that too at the time when Mumbai city was facing a calamity caused by heavy rains.
In 2008, he decided to quit politics to focus on his career in Bollywood.
In 2001, Govinda hosted a T.V. Game show named Jeeto Chappar Phad Ke, (loosely translated as when the heavens open up) on Sony Entertainment Television (India). Its debut episode became very famous and it garnered the TRPs even higher than his Bade Miyan Chote Miyan's co-star Amitabh Bachchan's Kaun Banega Crorepati. But it was finished after 13 episodes only, due to poor TRPs.
Govinda also sang few lines of the title track "Gori tere naina" on the show, which was very much appreciated by the legendary singer of Bollywood, Lata Mangeshkar. Govinda's episode became a huge hit as the Bollywood actor was seen onscreen after a long gap.
Honors and recognitions
- 1999 - voted as World's Tenth greatest star of stage or screen by BBC News Online users.
- 2011 - received Mother Teresa International Award at 'Worli Mahotsav' in Mumbai.
Music Directors & Singers
Govinda has worked with Music Directors Anand Milind, Anand Raj Anand and Playback Singer Udit Narayan. Udit Narayan has sung for Govinda in more than 40 films,the most no of films he has sung for a particular actor so far. Udit's song will also be heard in Govinda's upcoming film Kill Dil too. Other singers associated with Govinda include Kumar Sanu, Vinod Rathod, Abhijeet Bhattacharya and Sonu Nigam. Govinda has also received classical music training as a child.
In November 2013, Govinda released his music album Gori Tere Naina with T.V. actress Pooja Bose and also sang all the tracks of the album.
Awards & Nominations
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