Kabir Bedi

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Kabir Bedi
Kabir Bedi poses with Blackberry-Porsche Design P'9981 mobile 04.jpg
Born (1946-01-16) 16 January 1946 (age 69)
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 media: 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, 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.[1]

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[2] who recently made his Bollywood debut with the thriller, Hello? Kaun Hai!.[3] 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.[4][5][6][7]

Kabir Bedi is a firm supporter of the freedom struggle in Burma, and has become an official ambassador of the Burma Campaign UK.[8] 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.[9]

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 an 8-week multi city tour of Canada.[10]

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.

Kabir Bedi shot a movie with Hrithik Roshan (Kites), Govinda (Showman), and Akshay Kumar (Blue).[11] He is also starred in Deepa Mehta's film, Kamagata Maru with Amitabh Bachchan and John Abraham. He did 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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15]

Filmography[edit]

Film Title Release Year Status Character
Hulchal 1971 Released Mahesh Jetley
Seema 1971 Released
Rakhi Aur Hathkadi 1972 Released Suraj
Sazaa 1972 Released
Anokha Daan 1972 Released
Kachche Dhaage 1973 Released Roopa
Yauwan 1973 Released
Manzilen Aur Bhi Hain 1974 Released
Maa Bahen Aur Biwi 1974 Released
Ishq Ishq Ishq 1974 Released Diwana/Ravikant Vyas
Anari 1975 Released
Nagin 22 January 1976 Released Uday
Daaku 1976 Released
Harfan Maula 1976 Released
Vishwasghaat 1976 Released Uday
Daku Aur Mahatma 1977 Released
Bullet 1977 Released Durga Prasad/D.P.
The Black Corsair 1976 – Italy Released
La tigre è ancora viva: Sandokan alla riscossa! 1977 Released Sandokan
The Thief of Baghdad 1978 Released
Ashanti 1979 Released Malik
Aakhri Kasam 1979 Released Kishan/Badal
Yuvraj 5 October 1979 Released
40 Days of Musa Dagh 1982 Released Gabriel Bagradian
Girl from India/Man from Africa 1982 Released
Octopussy 1983 Released Gobinda
Khoon Bhari Maang 12 August 1988 Released Sanjay Verma
Mera Shikar 1988 Released
Police Public 11 May 1990 Released Senior Inspector Shah Nawaz Khan
Haar Jeet 1990 Released
Shera Shamshera 1990 Released
Kurbaan 31 May 1991 Released Inspector Suraj Singh
Yeh Aag Kab Bujhegi 19 April 1991 Released
Vishkanya 1991 Released Forest Officer Vikram Singh
Dil Aashna Hai 25 December 1992 Released Digvijay Singh
Yalgaar 23 October 1992 Released Raj Pratap Singhal
Beyond Justice 1992 Released Moulet
Lambu Dada 1992 Released
Kshatriya 29 March 1993 Released Thakur Ganga Singh (Police Officer)
Yugandhar 1993 Released
Salaami 18 March 1994 Released Captain
Lie Down with Lions 12 June 1994 Released Kabir
The Maharaja's Daughter 1994 Released Chandragupta
OP Centre 26 February 1995 Released Abdul
Kismat 16 June 1995 Released Rajan
Aatank Hi Aatank 4 August 1995 Released Police Inspector
Mashamal - Ritorno al Deserto 19 June 1998 Released Example
Figlio di Sandokan, II 1998 Stuck/On hold Sandokan
Kohram 13 August 1999 Released Brig. Bedi
The Lost Empire 11 March 2001 Released Friar Sand
Kranti 15 March 2002 Released Mahendra Pratap Rana
Maine Dil Tujhko Diya 23 August 2002 Released Mr. Varma (Ayesha's Father)
Talaash 3 January 2003 Released Chhote Pathan
The Hero: Love Story of a Spy 11 April 2003 Released Mr. Zakaria
Father 2004 Released Karl, father (a violinist)
Rudraksh 13 February 2004 Released Ved Pujan
Asambhav 23 July 2004 Released
Kismat 20 February 2004 Released Raj Mallya
A/R Andata & Ritorno 2 April 2004 Released Tolstoj
Main Hoon Na 30 April 2004 Released Gen. Amarjeet Bakshi
Bewafaa 25 February 2005 Released Anjali's Father
Taj Mahal - An Eternal Love Story 18 November 2005 Released Emperor Shah Jahan
Do Raha 2006 Released
Jaanleva 2006 Released Rakesh Khullar
A All About Her 2006 Released
Take 3 Girls 2006 Stuck/On Hold Mo
Showman 2008 Under Production
Blue 2009 Released
Kites 2010 Released
Aravaan 2011 Released
Chakravyuh 2012 Released Mahanta, an industrialist and negotiator for the government
Yaara O Dildaara 2013 Released
Scandalous 2015 Post-production Ram
Mohenjo Daro Mohenjo Daro (film) 2015 In- Production
Dilwale Dilwale (2015 film) 2015 In- Production

Television[edit]

TV Title Release Year Status Character
Sandokan 1976 European TV Mini series Sandokan
La Tigre è Ancora Viva: Sandokan alla Riscossa 1977 European TV Mini series Sandokan
Dynasty 1982 TV Series Farouk Ahmed
General Hospital 1983 TV Series Rama
Knight Rider November 1985 TV Series Vascone
Dynasty 1986 TV Series Farouk Ahmed
On Wings of Eagles 1986 TV Series Mohammed
The Days and Nights of Molly Dod May 1987 TV Series Bill
Misteri della Giungla Nera, I – a.k.a. The Mysteries of the Dark Jungle 1991 TV Mini Series Kammamuri
Il Principe del Deserto – a.k.a. Desert Law 1991 TV Series Moulet Beni-Zair
The Bold and the Beautiful September 1994 TV Series Prince Omar
Maharaja's Daughter 1994 TV Series Chandragupta
Highlander: The Series 20 November 1995 TV Series Kamir
Bible Ki Kahaniyaan 1995 TV Series Abraham, the Patriarch
Ritorno di Sandokan, II 6 October 1996 TV Mini Series Sandokan
Noi siamo angeli – a.k.a. We are Angel 16 February 1997 TV Mini Series Gen. Napoleon Durate
Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search for Livingstone 7 December 1997 TV Series Khamis Bin Abdullah
Team Knight Rider 9 February 1998 TV Series Aristotle Drago
Murder She Wrote February 1988 TV Series Vikram Singh
Magnum, P.I. 10 February 1988 TV Series Malcolm
L'isola dei famosi 2004 Italian Reality Show Himself
The Bold and the Beautiful 4 May 2005 TV Series Prince Omar
Vivere May 2006 Italian TV Series Emir Ibrahim
Director's Cut 2007 TV Special Series Himself
Un medico in famiglia 5 2007 Italian TV Series Kabir
Ganga Kii Dheej 2010–2011 Hindi TV Series Dada Bhai
Buddha 2013 Hindi TV Series Asita Muni (Cameo)
VandeMataram 2013 TV Special News Series Himself
Guns & Glory: The Indian Soldier 2013 TV Special News Series Himself
Jai Ho 2014 TV Special News Series Himself

Radio[edit]

Radio Title Release Year Status Character
Ch@t (Italian fiction) 2007 RAI Radio2 Sandokan
'Women of Gold' 2012 RadioOne Himself
'Men of Steel' 2012 Radio One Himself

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]

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (commonly known as the Oscar Academy)
The Screen Actors Guild
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
The British Actors' Equity Association

References[edit]

External links[edit]