Naseeruddin Shah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Naser al-Din Shah Qajar.
Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah02.jpg
Naseeruddin Shah in 2011
Born Naseeruddin Shah
(1949-07-20) 20 July 1949 (age 65)[a]
Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Actor, Environmentalist
Years active 1972–present
Notable work Karma, The Perfect Murder, A Wednesday, Sarfarosh, Khuda Ke Liye, Monsoon Wedding, Masoom,Zinda Bhaag, The Extraordinary Gentlemen, Iqbal
Religion Islam
Spouse(s) Parveen Murad, also known as Manara Sikri (deceased)
Ratna Pathak (1982–present)
Children Heeba Shah
Imaad Shah
Vivaan Shah
Relatives Zameerud-din Shah (Brother)
Dina Pathak (Mother-in-law)
Supriya Pathak (Sister-in-law)
Awards Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, National Film Award
Signature Naseeruddin Shah Signature

Naseeruddin Shah (born 20 July 1949[a]) is an Indian film and stage actor and director, and a prominent figure in Indian parallel cinema. Shah has won numerous awards in his career, including three National Film Awards, three Filmfare Awards and an award at the Venice Film Festival. The government of India has honoured him with both the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan awards for his contributions to Indian cinema.

Early life[edit]

Shah was born into a Muslim family in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh state of India. Naseeruddin Shah did his schooling at St. Anselm's Ajmer and St Joseph's College, Nainital. He graduated in arts from Aligarh Muslim University in 1971 and attended National School of Drama in Delhi. He has been successful in mainstream Bollywood cinema as well as in Parallel Cinema. He has appeared in international films, notably playing Captain Nemo in the Hollywood adaptation The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

His elder brother, Lt. General Zameerud-din Shah (Retd.) PVSM, SM, VSM, is current Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. His nephew (cousin's son) Salim Shah is also a TV and film actor.[2]


Shah has acted in movies such as Nishant, Aakrosh, Sparsh, Mirch Masala, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai, Trikal, Bhavni Bhavai, Junoon, Mandi, Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!, Ardh Satya, Katha, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, etc.[3] In the very early stages of his career he acted in the film Dil Aakhir Dil Hai directed by noted director Ismail Shroff, with Rakhi where she played the character of Naseer's elder girlfriend Kusumji whom he was forced to marry unwillingly because he is quite younger than her (in the film). One of his most important films, Masoom (1983) was shot at St Joseph's College, Nainital.

He became active in mainstream Bollywood cinema with the 1980 film Hum Paanch. His next major success in mainstream films was the 1986 multi-starrer film Karma where he acted alongside veteran Dilip Kumar. Starring roles for films such as Ijaazat (1987), Jalwa (1988) and Hero Hiralal (1988) followed. In 1988 he played opposite his wife Ratna Pathak as Inspector Ghote, the fictional detective of H. R. F. Keating's novels in the Merchant-Ivory English language film The Perfect Murder.

He has acted in several multi-starrer Bollywood films as well, such as Ghulami (1985), Tridev (1989) and Vishwatma (1992). In 1994, he acted as the villain in Mohra, his 100th film as an actor. He forayed into Malayalam cinema the same year, through T. V. Chandran's critically well acclaimed drama Ponthan Mada. The film portrayed the irrational bonding of a feudal serf (played by Mammootty) and a colonial landlord (played by Shah). He strongly believed that the distinction between art and commercial films had largely reduced, especially with the directors of the former also making commercial films. In 2000 his dream of playing Mahatma Gandhi was realised when he played Gandhi in Kamal Hassan's critically acclaimed Hey Ram which focused on the assassination of Gandhi from the assailant's point of view. He won a lot of critical acclaim by playing the role of Mohit, the drunken coach to a deaf and mute boy in Iqbal, which was written by Vipul K Rawal with Shah specially in mind.[citation needed] Shah acted superbly as Gulfam Hassan – a Ghazal singer cum terrorist mastermind, in the 1999 Aamir Khan starrer Sarfarosh. He also worked brilliantly in Neeraj Pandey's critically acclaimed A Wednesday (2008).

Later, he starred in international projects such as Monsoon Wedding in 2001 and a Hollywood comic book adaptation The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003 (co-starring Sean Connery) where he played the role of Captain Nemo. His portrayal of Nemo was very close to the design of the graphic novel, although his Nemo was far less manic. He worked in an Indian adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, titled Maqbool and Rajiv Rai's Asambhav opposite Arjun Rampal and Priyanka Chopra in 2004. He then went on to work in The Great New Wonderful (2005). He was most recently seen in The Dirty Picture (2011). Shah's upcoming films include The Hunt where he plays a recluse growing marijuana in his forest retreat.

He made his Pakistani film debut in Khuda Ke Liye by Shoaib Mansoor where he played a short cameo. His second Pakistani film Zinda Bhaag was selected as the country's official entry to the 86th Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film award.

As a director[edit]

Naseeruddin Shah has been giving performances with his theatre troupe at places such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Lahore. He has directed plays written by Lavender Kumar, Ismat Chughtai and Saadat Hasan Manto.

His directorial debut in movies, Yun Hota To Kya Hota, was released in 2006. It stars several established actors such as Konkona Sen Sharma, Paresh Rawal, Irfan Khan, newcomer Ayesha Takia, his son Imaad Shah and his old friend Ravi Baswani.[citation needed]

Other media and art forms[edit]

Naseeruddin Shah playing Pozzo in Motley's production of Waiting for Godot at The Doon School, 2009.

In 1977, he, Tom Alter and Benjamin Gilani formed a theatre group called Motley Productions. Their first play was Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, which was staged at the Prithvi Theatre on 29 July 1979.[4]

In 1988,[citation needed] he acted in the eponymous television series based on the life and times of Mirza Ghalib, directed by Gulzar and telecast on DD National.[5][6]

In 1989, he acted as the Maratha King Shivaji in another eponymous television series Bharat Ek Khoj based on Jawaharlal Nehru's book The Discovery of India.[citation needed]

In 1999, he acted as a special agent in the TV series Tarkash on Zee TV. He played the role of a retired agent haunted by nightmares who is re-inducted as he apparently knows something about a dreaded terrorist somehow connected with his past.[citation needed]

In 1998, he played the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the play Mahatma Vs. Gandhi, (which looked at the Mahatma's relation with Harilal Gandhi, his first son).[7] With this, he achieved his objective of portraying Mahatma Gandhi, a role he had auditioned for in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi.[8] In 2000, he again portrayed the Mahatma, this time on film, in Hey Ram.[citation needed]

He played the villain with the dual identity of a ghazal singer and a Pakistani spy who supports terrorism in India in Sarfarosh (1999).[citation needed]

He played the role of Mohit, a drunken coach, in the critically acclaimed Iqbal. The role was specially written keeping him in mind by Vipul K Rawal, the writer of the film. It was recently[when?] voted as one of ten Hindi films that is considered ideal training and motivational material.[by whom?]

He was the first of several celebrity actors, who played the role of narrator in the popular audiobook series for kids Karadi Tales.[citation needed] He was the narrator in the film Paheli — the Indian entry to the 2006 Academy Awards.[citation needed]

He has been awarded the life membership of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy of Film & Television.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Naseeruddin Shah with wife Ratna Pathak Shah, 2010 at Lahore.

Shah married Manara Sikri when he was 20 years old, and they had a daughter, Heeba Shah, who is now an actress. The couple however separated, and Manara Sikri and Heeba moved to Iran. He married actress Ratna Pathak in 1982 after the death of his first wife.[9] He has two sons from his second marriage, actors Imaad and Vivaan. He co-starred with Ratna in films like Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, Mirch Masala and The Perfect Murder.[10][11]


Award Film Year Status
Civilian Awards
Padma Shri India's fourth highest civilian award 1987 Awarded
Padma Bhushan India's Third highest civilian award 2003 Awarded
National Film Award
National Film Award for Best Actor Sparsh 1979 Won
National Film Award for Best Actor Paar 1984 Won
National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor Iqbal 2006 Won
Filmfare Award
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Junoon 1980 Nominated
Filmfare Best Actor Award Aakrosh 1981 Won
Filmfare Best Actor Award Chakra 1982 Won
Filmfare Best Actor Award Bazaar 1983 Nominated
Filmfare Best Actor Award Masoom 1984 Won
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Katha 1984 Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Mandi 1984 Nominated
Filmfare Best Actor Award Sparsh 1985 Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Sir 1994 Nominated
Filmfare Best Villain Award Mohra 1995 Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Naajayaz 1996 Nominated
Filmfare Best Villain Award Chaahat 1998 Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award China Gate 1999 Nominated
Filmfare Best Villain Award Sarfarosh 2000 Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award Iqbal 2006 Nominated
Filmfare Best Villain Award Krrish 2007 Nominated
Filmfare Best Actor Award A Wednesday 2008 Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award The Dirty Picture 2012 Nominated
Venice Film Festival
The Volpi Cup (Award for Best Actor) Paar 1984 Won

Other awards[edit]

Filmography and writing[edit]


Year Film Role Notes
1975 Nishant Vishwam Hindi
1976 Manthan Bhola Hindi
1977 Bhumika Sunil Verma Hindi
1977 Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane Shastri Kannada
1977 Godhuli Priest Hindi
1978 Junoon Sarfaraz Khan Hindi
1979 Sparsh Aniruddh Parmar Hindi
1979 Sunayana No Name Hindi
1980 Aakrosh Bhaskar Kulkarni Hindi
1980 Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai Albert Pinto Hindi
1980 Bhavni Bhavai Gujarati
1980 Hum Paanch Suraj Hindi
1981 Chakra Lukka Hindi
1981 Umrao Jaan Gohar Mirza Hindi
1982 Bazaar Salim Hindi
1982 Situm Subhash Hindi
1983 Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro Vinod Chopra Hindi
1983 Katha Rajaram Purshottam Joshi Hindi
1983 Masoom D.K. Malhotra Hindi
1983 Pratidan Prabhat Roy Bengali
1983 Woh Saat Din Dr. Anand Hindi
1984 Paar Naurangia Hindi
1984 Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho! Advocate Malkani Hindi
1984 Holi Professor Singh Hindi
1984 Khandhar Subhash Hindi
1985 Ghulami SP Sultan Singh Hindi
1985 Trikaal Ruiz Pereira Hindi
1985 Mirch Masala Subedar Hindi
1985 Khamosh Captain Bakshi Hindi
1986 Karma Khairuddin Chishti Hindi
1986 Genesis Hindi
1987 Jalwa Inspector Kapil Hindi
1987 Tamas Hindi
1987 Yeh Woh Manzil To Nahin Trivedi Hindi
1987 Ijaazat Mahender Hindi
1988 Hero Hiralal Hero Hiralal Hindi
1988 Maalamaal Raj Hindi
1988 Pestonjee Phirojshah Hindi
1988 The Perfect Murder Inspector Ghote Hindi
1989 Tridev Jay Singh Hindi
1989 Mane (The House) Rajshekar Kannada
1990 Police Public Sr. Inspector Mahar Singh Gadhwal Hindi
1991 Ek Ghar Hindi
1991 Lakshmanrekha Amar Kapoor Hindi
1992 Vishwatma Suryapratap Singh Hindi
1992 Electric Moon Rambuhj Goswami Hindi
1992 Chamatkar Amar Kumar (Marco) Hindi
1992 Panaah Devaa Hindi
1992 Hasti Vishal Hindi
1993 Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa Father Breganza Hindi
1993 Sir Professor Amar Verma Hindi
1994 Ponthan Mada Sheema Thampuran Malayalam
1994 Mohra Mr. Zindal Hindi
1994 Drohkaal DCP Abbas Lodhi Hindi
1995 Naajayaz Raj Solanki Hindi
1995 Takkar Inspector De Costa Hindi
1996 Chaahat Ajay Narang Hindi
1997 Bombay Boys Mastana Hindi
1997 Daava Bhishma Hindi
1998 Chinagate Major Sarfaraz Khan Hindi
1998 Such a Long Journey Jimmy Bilimoria English/Hindi
1999 Sarfarosh Gulfaam Hasan Hindi
1999 Bhopal Express Bashir Hindi
2000 Hey Ram Mahatma Gandhi Simultaneously made into Tamil Debut Hindi/Tamil
2001 Monsoon Wedding Lalit Verma Hindi
2002 Encounter: The Killing Inspector Bharucha Hindi
2003 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Captain Nemo American
2003 Maqbool Inspector Purohit Hindi
2004 Asambhav Sameer "Sam" Hans Hindi
2004 3 Deewarein Ishaan Hindi
2004 Main Hoon Na Brig. Shekhar Sharma Hindi
2005 Paheli Himself Hindi
2005 Iqbal Mohit Hindi
2005 The Great New Wonderful Avi Hindi
2006 Being Cyrus Dinshaw Sethna Hindi
2006 Krrish Dr. Siddhant Arya Hindi
2006 Omkara Bhaisaab Hindi
2006 Banaras Babaji Hindi
2006 Valley of Flowers Yeti French, German, Hindi
2007 Parzania Cyrus Hindi
2007 Amal G.K. Jayaram Hindi
2007 Khuda Ke Liye Maulana Wali Urdu (partly English, Pashto)
2007 Dus Kahaniyaan Hindi
2008 Mithya Hindi
2008 Shoot on Sight Tariq Ali Hindi
2008 Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na Amar Singh Rathore Hindi
2008 A Wednesday . Hindi
2008 Mere Baap Pehle Aap Hindi
2008 Mithya Hindi
2009 Barah Aana Shukla Hindi
2009 Firaaq Khan Sahab Hindi
2009 Today's Special Akbar English (some Hindi dialog)
2009 Bolo Raam N.S. Negi Hindi
2010 Peepli Live Salim Kidwai Hindi
2010 Ishqiya Iftikhar Hindi
2010 Raajneeti Bhaskar Sanyal Hindi
2010 Allah Ke Banday Warden Hindi
2011 7 Khoon Maaf Dr. Modhusudhon Tarafdar Hindi
2011 That Girl in Yellow Boots Diwakar Hindi
2011 The Blueberry Hunt Colonel Hindi
2011 Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Salman Habib Hindi
2011 The Dirty Picture Suryakanth Hindi
2011 Deool Dacoit Marathi
2011 Chaalis Chauraasi Pankaj Purushottam Suri (Sir) Hindi
2011 Michael Michael Hindi
2012 Maximum Police Officer Hindi
2013 Sona Spa Baba Dayanand Hindi
2013 Jackpot Boss Hindi
2013 Mad Dad Hindi
2013 Khasi Katha– A Goat Saga Butcher Bengali
2013 Mastaan Hindi
2013 Amma 3D Hindi, Tamil, Telugu
2013 Zinda Bhaag Pehlwan Punjabi (partly Urdu)
2013 John Day John Day Hindi
2013 The Coffin Maker Anton Gomes Indo-American
2013 Sunglass / Taak Jhaank Bengali/Hindi
2014 Nalupu Rani Rawat Singh Telugu
2014 Dedh Ishqiya Iftekhar (Khalu Jaan) Hindi
2014 Finding Fanny Ferdie Konkani-English
2015 Dharam Sankat Mein TBA Filming



  • Shah, Naseeruddin (2014). And then one day: A Memoir. Hamish Hamilton. 


  1. ^ a b Shah was born either on 20 July 1949, or on 16 August 1950, though he suspects that the latter date was selected only for official records at the time of his school registration.[1]


  1. ^ Shah, Naseeruddin (2014). And then one day: A memoir. Hamish Hamilton. p. 1. ISBN 978-0670087648. 
  2. ^ "Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap – Audience Reviews .. Must Watch .. :) | NG". Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Naseeruddin Shah". Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  4. ^ "Still waiting, for Mr Godot". The Indian Express. 21 August 1997. 
  5. ^ Shahab Ansari (4 December 2013). "Naseeruddin Shah says he visited parts of Lahore in disguise". The News International. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Prachi Pinglay (23 July 2006). "Magazine / Interview:`I did all kinds of films'". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  7. ^ A review of the play Mahatma Vs. Gandhi
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Does Naseeruddin Shah’s first marriage and divorce scare his second wife Ratna?". Stardust. 29 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Tags: (17 August 2009). "Did you know why Heeba Shah agreed to play the role of the young Daadisa?". Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Naseeruddin Shah's son falls off train". The Times of India. 24 November 2006. 

External links[edit]