Kabir Bedi

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Kabir Bedi
Kabir Bedi
Born (1946-01-16) 16 January 1946 (age 68)
Bombay, British India
Occupation Actor, Television presenter
Years active 1971–present
Spouse(s) Protima Bedi (divorced)
Susan Humphreys (divorced)
Nikki Bedi (divorced)
Parveen Dusanj (2005–present)

Kabir Bedi (Punjabi: ਕਬੀਰ ਬੇਦੀ) is an Indian television and film actor. His career has spanned three continents including India, the United States and many European countries in three mediums: film, television and theatre. He is noted for his role as Emperor Shah Jahan in Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story. He is best known in Europe for playing the pirate Sandokan in the highly popular TV mini series and for his role as the villainous Gobinda in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy. He is popular in Italy and is fluent in Italian.

Kabir Bedi is based in India and lives in Mumbai.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Bedi was one of three children born into a family that had devoted itself to India's fight for independence from British colonial rule. His father, Baba Pyare Lal Bedi, a Punjabi Sikh,[1] was an author and philosopher. His mother, Freda Bedi was a British woman born in Derby, England, who became famous as the first Western woman to take ordination in Tibetan Buddhism. Kabir Bedi did his schooling at Sherwood College, Nainital, and graduation from St. Stephen's College, Delhi.

Personal life[edit]

Bedi married four times and had three children, Pooja, Siddharth (deceased) and Adam. He was married to Protima Bedi, an Odissi dancer. Their daughter Pooja Bedi is a former actress and magazine/newspaper columnist.[dated info] Their son, Siddharth, who went to Carnegie Mellon University in the USA, had a long history of schizophrenia and committed suicide in 1997 at the age of 26.[2]

As his marriage with Protima began to break down he famously started a relationship with Parveen Babi. They never married. He later married British-born fashion designer Susan Humphreys. Their son, Adam Bedi is an international model[3] who recently made his Bollywood debut with the thriller, Hello? Kaun Hai!.[4] This marriage ended in divorce.

In the late 1990s, Bedi married TV and radio presenter Nikki Bedi. They had no children and divorced in 2005. After that, Kabir Bedi has been in a relationship with British born Parveen Dusanj.[5][6][7][8]

Kabir Bedi is a firm supporter of the freedom struggle in Burma, and has become an official ambassador of the Burma Campaign UK.[9] He is also the Brand Ambassador for Rotary International South Asia for their Teach Programme and the Total Literacy Mission in India and South Asia. [10]

Career[edit]

Kabir Bedi began his career in Indian theatre and then moved on to Hindi films. Bedi remains one of the first international actors from India to have originated from Bollywood, worked in Hollywood, and become a big star in Europe.

Stage acting[edit]

As a stage actor, Kabir has performed Shakespeare's Othello as well as portrayed a mad historical Indian king, Tughlaq; and a self-destructive alcoholic in The Vultures. In London he also starred in The Far Pavilions, the West End musical adaptation of M. M. Kaye's novel, at the Shaftesbury Theatre. In 2011 Kabir played Emperor Shah Jahan, in 'Taj' a play written by John Murrell, a celebrated Canadian playwright for the Luminato Festival in Toronto. In 2013, this play was recommissioned and went on a 8-week multi city tour of Canada.[11]

Film career[edit]

In the James Bond film Octopussy, he played the villain's aide Gobinda who battled Roger Moore from start to finish. He remains the only Bollywood actor to appear in a James Bond movie.

Kabir has acted in over 60 Indian Bollywood films. In the historical epic Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story, Kabir starred as the Emperor Shah Jahan. Other starring Bollywood roles include Raj Khosla's Kacche Dhaage, Rakesh Roshan's Khoon Bhari Maang and Farah Khan's Main Hoon Na.

Currently, Kabir is shooting with Hrithik Roshan (Kites), Govinda (Showman), and Akshay Kumar (Blue).[12] He is also starring in Deepa Mehta's next film, Kamagata Maru with Amitabh Bachchan and John Abraham. He is presently doing a pivotal role in a Tamil film titled 'Aravaan', directed by Vasanthabalan, who is critically acclaimed for his earlier films Angaadi Theru and Veyil.

Kabir played pivotal roles in Columbia Pictures' The Beast of War, a film on the Russian war in Afghanistan, directed by Kevin Reynolds, as well as the acclaimed Italian film Andata Ritorno, by Marco Ponti, winner of the prestigious David di Donatello Award.

Television career[edit]

Kabir's has had extensive roles on American television – primetime and daytime, series and miniseries – including Hallmark's African epic Forbidden Territory, and Ken Follett's On Wings of Eagles and also Red Eagle. He played Friar Sands in The Lost Empire, for NBC. Kabir also played roles on Dynasty, Murder, She Wrote, Magnum, P.I., Hunter, Knight Rider and Highlander: The Series amongst others.

In Europe, his greatest success was Sandokan, the saga of a romantic Asian pirate during British colonial times; an Italian-German-French TV series which broke viewership records across Europe.[citation needed]. Kabir also recently starred in a prime-time Italian television series, Un Medico in Famiglia, on RAI TV, the country's biggest broadcaster.

For over a year, Kabir starred in The Bold and the Beautiful, the second most-watched television show in the world, seen by over a billion people in 149 countries.

He had his own cinematic talk show on Indian TV, "Director's Cut", a 13-part special series interviewing the country's leading directors. His success on television continued in 2013 with award winning prime-time shows “Guns and Glory: The Indian Soldier” & “Vandemataram”, for India’s news channels - Headlines Today & Aaj Tak.[13]

Kabir Bedi after receiving his knighthood.

Radio career[edit]

In 2007 has starred in "Chat", a radio show aired by RAI Radio2, in the role of Sandokan. In 2012, did a series of Radio One programmes titled, 'Women of Gold' and 'Men of Steel' in honour of industry champions in India.

Writing[edit]

Kabir Bedi is a regular contributor to Indian publications including the Times of India and Tehelka on political and social issues affecting the country. He is also seen debating such topics on Indian national television.[14]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Since 1982 Kabir has been a voting member of the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who are responsible for presenting the Oscar awards. He is also a voting member of the Screen Actors Guild.

He has also won numerous film, advertising and popularity awards across Europe and India.[15]

By decree of the President of the Italian Republic of 2 June 2010, Kabir Bedi was officially knighted. He received the highest ranking civilian honour of the Italian Republic and was bestowed the title of "Cavaliere" (Knight) of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.[16]

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Television[edit]

Dubbing Roles[edit]

Live Action Films[edit]

Film title Actor Character Dub Language Original Language Original Year Release Dub Year Release Notes
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Ben Kingsley Nizam Hindi English 2010 2010

Voice Overs[edit]

Project Type Language Year
The Keeper of the Flame - The History of TATA Documentary English 2007
An Introduction to CHILDLINE India Public Awareness Campaign - Narrator English 2008
Aircel Save the Tiger Campaign Public Awareness Campaign - Narrator English 2009
Ford Motors launch Figo, India Live Events English 2010
Somnath Temple, Gujarat Sound & Light Show English 2010
Red Fort, New Delhi Sound & Light Show English 2011
Virasat-e-Khalsa - Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex, Punjab Narrator English 2011
Apollo Tyres Advertisement English 2013
Jindal Panther Advertisement English 2014
Banda Singh Bahadur - War Memorial, Punjab Sound & Light Show English 2014
TAJ Hotels, Resorts & Palaces Advertisement English 2014

Voting memberships[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]