Ajit Khan

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Ajit Khan
Born Hamid Ali Khan
(1922-01-27)27 January 1922
Golkonda, Hyderabad State, British India
Died 22 October 1998(1998-10-22) (aged 76)
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Occupation Actor

Hamid Ali Khan (27 January 1922 – 21 October 1998[1]), better known by his stage name Ajit, was an Indian actor active in Hindi films. He acted in over two hundred movies in almost four decades.[2] Ajit is also credited for starring as a lead actor in popular Bollywood movies such as Nastik, Bada Bhai, Milan, Bara Dari, and later as a second lead in Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur.


Early life[edit]

Born Hamid Ali Khan, near the historic place Golconda, Hyderabad, Ajit had his early education in Warangal, studied in Govt. Junior College, Hanamkonda, Warangal district of Telangana. Hamid was the son of Bashir Ali Khan, who was in the Nizam's army, and had a younger brother, Wahid Ali Khan and 2 sisters. Hamid entered the film industry to become a hero and did quite a few creditable films as lead artiste in Nastik, Bada Bhai, Milan, Baradari, Dholak and later as a second lead in Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur. Film director K. Amarnath, who directed him in Beqasoor, suggested that the actor change his long name of Hamid Ali Khan to something shorter, and Hamid zeroed in on "Ajit".


Ajit, who ran away from home to Mumbai after selling his college books, started his career in films in the 1940s. Luck did not favour him in the initial stages. He began with the 1946 movie Shahe Misra, acting opposite Geeta Bose, and also did films such as Sikander (with Van Mala), Hatimtai (1947), Aap Beeti (with Khursheed), Sone Ki Chidiya (with Leela Kumari), Dholak (with Meena Shori) and Chanda Ki Chandni (with Monica Desai) as leading hero, but flopped. He did the most films (15) with Nalini Jaywant. Ajit switched over to play the villain. His first movie as a villain was Suraj, followed by films such as Zanjeer and Yaadon Ki Baaraat.

His famous dialogues included the "Mona darling" bit in Yaadon Ki Baraat, "Lily don't be silly" in Zanjeer and the one about a "Lion" in Kallicharan. Ajit's other well known films were Naya Daur, Nastik and Shikari to name only a few. In his four decades of film career, Ajit had acted along with the legendary Prithviraj Kapoor, Sohrab Modi, Amitabh Bachchan, I S Johar, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra and many actresses, both young and old.[3]

In the mid-seventies he had acted in over 57 films, mostly as a villain. His dialogue delivery remains popular even to this date. His colleagues in the film industry — leading personalities who have acted with him, grown up seeing him in Mumbai — have expressed deep sorrow over the death of the legendary actor.

Writer Javed Akhtar, who scripted Zanjeer, said: "Like Bachchan, Ajit found a new image as villain after Zanjeer. He started a new innings in his career though he was an established hero in the fifties. His villainy started a new trend. Here was a new villain who was soft-spoken yet forceful. We wanted to give a different image to villainy which matched the hero."

Reactions to Ajit's death[edit]

Another "villain" Amrish Puri said Ajit's death is a sad loss to films. "Ajit developed his own style of acting and delivery of dialogue. We still remember his style of acting which is guidance to the new generation of actors." Prem Chopra, who starred with Ajit in many films including Jugnu, Chupa Rustom and Ram Balram as a father and son team, said Ajit was devoted in his work. "He had a subtle sense of humour. He was a cultured man. We had a common interest - reciting Urdu shairi."

New-generation villain Kiran Kumar was shocked to hear that "his Ajit uncle" had died. "Our relationship was more personal than professional. I must have been hardly eight or ten years when my father (veteran character actor Jeevan) used to take me to Paradise Bakery opposite which was Ajit's residence. Father would call him by his first name Hamid, and would call him down. Ajit would come down, wearing lungi and jaali banian to chat with my father."

Acting style[edit]

Ajit almost always portrayed the sophisticated, educated, well groomed evil mastermind, albeit heartless villain. Ajit was presented in striking western attire, the "bold" checked suits, matching overcoats, white leather shoes, wide sunglasses, jewellery accessories etc. Given his stature as a senior artist, Ajit was usually the gang leader to second tier villains (such as Jeevan (actor), Prem Chopra, Ranjeet, Kader Khan and Sujit Kumar). He was rarely portrayed (in movie roles) doing any "dirty work" himself, rather relaying on his army of henchmen for the task, with zero tolerance for any failures. He always had a savvy female accomplice, usually named "Mona." Acting in over 200 films, he specialized in playing suave villains with memorable catch-phrases delivered in now iconic Ajit style nasal drawls such as "Mona, darling". Ajit also brought to fame the smuggler as the villain. In his movies, he is generally seen smuggling gold biscuits in or out of the country. It has also been noted that most of his gang members had Christian names like Robert, Michael, Peter etc. This also has been used for comic purposes in parodies.

It was the menacing voice he was most famous for. He is still remembered for bringing the most famous villains in the history of Indian cinema to life. His contemporaries include veteran actors like Amrish Puri, Pran, Prem Chopra and Amjad Khan. Some of his popularity in the present time is due to the innumerable jokes and parodies made on his famous lines by comedians.


Acting Filmography
Film Role
Criminal (1995) Jagdish Prasad
Gangster (1994) Chandulal Seth
Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1994) Kalka singh
Betaaj Badshah (1994) Khan Chacha
Aatish (1994) Uncle (underworld don)
Shaktiman (1993) Shamsher 'Tiger' Singh
Aadmi (1993) Trikaal
Jigar (1992) Baba Thakur (Karate instructor)
Police Officer (1992)
Raaj Tilak (1984) Bhavani Singh
Raja Aur Rani (1984) Teja (aka Heeralal)
Daulat Ke Dushman (1983) Jagga thakur
Razia Sultan (1983) Amil Balban
Chorni (1982) Shambhu Dada
Mangal Pandey (1982) Lal Singh/ Jaganlal
Khoon Aur Paani (1981) Thakur Vikram Singh
Aakhri Mujra (1981)
Jyoti (1981) Amirchand
Khuda Kasam (1981) Raiszada Hukamchand
Choron Ki Baaraat (1980) Dhanraj
Ram Balram (1980) Jaggu/Chowdhary Jagatpal
Heera-Moti (1979) Pratap Singh
Mr. Natwarlal (1979) Insp. Giridhari Lal
Aahuti (1978) C.B.I Officer Harnam Prasad
Azaad (1978) Seema's uncle
Des Pardes (1978) Gurnam
Heeralal Pannalal (1978) Kalicharan
Karmayogi (1978) Keshavlal
Ram Kasam (1978)
Aakhri Goli (1977)
Chalta Purza (1977) Captain Rajendra Behl
Ankh Ka Tara (1977) Ramlal
Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977) Zeenat's Dad (guest appearance)
Jaaneman (1976) Raja Saheb/ Gulbahar Singh
Charas (1976) Kalicharan
Kalicharan (1976) Lion/Din Dayal
Sangram (1976) Durjen
Do Jhoot (1975)
Pratigya (1975) Bharat Daku
Warrant (1975) Master
Badla (1974) Pratap/Randhir
Khote Sikkay (1974) Jhanga
Paap Aur Punya (1974) Balbir Singh
Patthar Aur Payal (1974) Ajit Singh
Bandhe Haath (1973) Insp. Kumar/Pakkad Singh
Chhupa Rustam (1973) Vikram Singh
Dharma (1973) IG Ajit Singh
Jugnu (1973) Boss
Kahani Kismat Ki (1973) Prem Chand
Samjhauta (1973)
Shareef Badmash (1973) Ranjit
Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973) Shakaal
Zanjeer (1973) (1973) .... Dhin Dayal Teja
Dil Ka Raja (1972) Thakur Gajendra Singh
Sultana Daku (1972)
Andaz (1971) Rajoo's dad
Lal Patthar (1971) Raja Raghav Shankar Rai
Paraya Dhan (1971) Dacoit. Hiralal
Patanga (1971) Kuwar Amar Singh
Heer Raanjha (1970) Heer's husband
Dharti (1970) Diwan
Jeevan Mrityu (1970) Harish (Harishchandra)
Aadmi Aur Insaan (1969) Kundanlal/Sher Singh
Prince (1969) Shamsher's Mamaji
Raja Aur Runk (1968) Hariya
Baghdad Ki Raatein (1967)
Suraj (1966) Rajkumar Pratap Singh
Himalay Ki God Mein (1965)
Main Hoon Aladdin (1965) Aladdin
Namaste Ji (1965)
Kabli Khan (1963) Kabli Khan
Shikari (1963)
Burmah Road (1962)
Tower House (1962) Suresh Kumar
Girls Hostel (1961)
Opera House (1961) Ajit Rai
Mughal-e-Azam (1960) Durjan Singh
Baraat (1960)
Char Dil Char Rahen (1959) Dilawar
Guest House (1959) Amar
Mehndi (1958)
Miss Bombay (1957)
Bada Bhai (1957)
Kitna Badal Gaya Insaan (1957)
Naya Daur (1957) Krishna
26 January (1956)
Aan Baan (1956)
Durgesh Nandini (1956)
Halaku (1956) Parvez
Insaaf (1997)
Aaj Ki Baat (1955)
Bara Dari (1955) Ajit Singh
Marine Drive (1955) Ajit
Naqab (1955)
Shahzada (1955)
Teerandaz (1955)
Maan (1954)
Nastik (1954) Anil Kapoor/Babaji
Samrat (1954)
Anand Math (1952)
Moti Mahal (1952)
Tarang (1952)
Vasna (1952)
Daman (1951)
Dholak (1951)
Saiyan (1951) Vijay
Sarkar (1951)
Beqasoor (1950) Brij
Jeevan Saathi (1949)
Patanga (1949)
Kurukshetra (1945)

Famous catch-phrases[edit]

  • "Mona, darling"
  • "Lilly, don't be silly"
  • "Sara shehar mujhe Loyan (Lion) ke naam se janata hai"
  • "What's your problem?"
  • "I lost my glasses"
  • "Smart Boy"
  • "How very interesting..."
  • "O Come on"
  • "London mein log mujhe Loyan (Lion) ke naam se jante hain, aur bharat mein black jackal..."


  1. ^ "Ajit (Hamid Ali Khan) (Indian actor) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  2. ^ Kuldip Singh (17 November 1998). "Obituary: Ajit". The Independent. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.rediff.com/news/1998/oct/22ajit.htm