|Office||Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India|
|Term||11 October 2017 – 31 October 2018|
|Successor||B. P. Singh|
(m. 1978, separated)
|Children||Sikandar Kher (stepson)|
|Relatives||Raju Kher (brother)|
Anupam Kher (born 7 March 1955) is an Indian actor, director and producer who works primarily in Hindi language films. Considered one of the finest actors in Indian cinema, he has played a variety of characters including numerous critically acclaimed leading or parallel roles. His accolades include two National Film Awards and eight Filmfare Awards. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution in the field of Indian cinema and arts.
Kher made his acting debut with Mahesh Bhatt-directed drama film Saaransh (1984), which marked Kher's breakthrough role, Kher's performance earned him widespread praise and won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the elderly father. Since then he starred in several other supporting roles. He was highly appreciated in negative roles in films such as Karma (1986), Tezaab (1988) and ChaalBaaz (1989). For Vijay, he won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his performance. In 1989, Ram Lakhan garnered him wider recognition for his comic performances and won him Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role and for Daddy, he received universal acclaim and won a National Film Award – Special Jury Award and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance. In later years, Kher was nominated for Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for films such as Dil (1990), Saudagar (1991), Lamhe (1991), Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994), Chaahat (1996), Special 26 (2013) and Uunchai (2022). He nominated in category of Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role for Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991), Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (2000), and won for Khel (1992), Darr (1993) and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995).
Kher's other acclaimed roles include Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006), Buddha Mar Gaya (2006), A Wednesday! (2008), Baby (2015), M. S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016) and The Kashmir Files (2022); for which he nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Besides working in Hindi films, he has also appeared in international films such as the Golden Globe nominated Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Ang Lee's Golden Lion–winning Lust, Caution (2007), David O. Russell's Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and Anthony Maras' Hotel Mumbai (2019). He received a BAFTA nomination for his supporting role in the British television sitcom The Boy with the Topknot (2018).
He has previously served as the Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and the National School of Drama in India. Kher was appointed Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in October 2017. His appointment was controversial, given his support for the Bharatiya Janata Party. A year later, he resigned as the chairman of the FTII, citing his work commitments for the American TV show New Amsterdam.
Early life and background
Kher was born on 7 March 1955 in a Kashmiri Pandit family in Shimla. His father, Pushkar Nath Kher was a clerk in the forest department of Himachal Pradesh and his mother, Dulari Kher was a housewife. He was educated at D. A. V. School in Shimla. He studied economics at Government College, Sanjauli at the Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla, but dropped out to study Indian theatre at Panjab University, Chandigarh.
In 1978, Kher graduated from the National School of Drama (NSD) in New Delhi. Some of his early roles were in plays performed at the Himachal Pradesh University. He taught drama in Raj Bisaria's Bharatendu Natya Akademi in Lucknow for a small part in his directorial debut movie Sheeshay ka Ghar.
Debut, career struggles, and breakthrough (1984–88)
In his struggling days as an actor in Bombay (present-day Mumbai), he slept on a railway platform for a month.
In 1984, Kher made his acting debut in Hindi films with the Mahesh Bhatt-directed drama film Saaransh, in which he portrayed a 65-year-old retired middle class teacher who loses his son. The film was a moderate box office success though Kher's performance earned him widespread praise. He won a number of awards for his portrayal of the elderly father, including the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Kher said that he lost his hair at a young age, and thus, his first role was playing a 65-year-old at the age of 29.
From 1985 to 1988, he continued to work in several other projects. All of them were moderately successful but his performance in those films were not well received. However, Kher's performance as Shyam Lal, a man whose daughter is forced to dance to make money for him, in N. Chandra's action thriller Tezaab (1988), which was the top-grossing film of the year and co-starred Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit, was highly appreciated. Later in 1988, his performance in the poorly-received Vijay was praised too, winning him a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Public recognition (1989–1999)
Kher's career improved in 1989, when he received wider recognition for his performances in Ram Lakhan, a thriller by Subhash Ghai, and Daddy, a television film that reunited him with Bhatt. The former co-starred an ensemble cast including Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff, Dimple Kapadia, Raakhee, Satish Kaushik, Amrish Puri and Paresh Rawal, and featured Kher in the supporting part of Deodhar Shastri, a man who disapproves his daughter's marriage with her childhood friend who is also her love interest. Ram Lakhan proved to be the second highest-grossing Hindi film of the year with a gross of over ₹326 million (US$4.1 million) worldwide. The latter earned him universal acclaim, with several critics calling it his best performance at that point. Both Daddy and Ram Lakhan earned Kher several awards; for the former, he won a National Film Award – Special Mention and a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance; and for the latter, he garnered his first Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role (shared with Kaushik), also known as the Filmfare Award for Best Comedian.
Later in 1989, Kher starred in a sequel to the 1986 fantasy film Nagina, entitled Nigahen: Nagina Part II. Co-starring alongside Sridevi and Sunny Deol, he portrayed a snake charmer named Gorakh Nath. It did not perform well at the box office. He then appeared in a cameo for Yash Chopra's love triangle Chandni, and portrayed a police inspector in Vidhu Vinod Chopra's action film Parinda alongside Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff and Nana Patekar. Despite a poor opening, Parinda was a critical and commercial success. Kher's final film of the year was Pankaj Parashar's slapstick comedy ChaalBaaz alongside Sridevi, Sunny Deol, and Rajinikanth. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, ChaalBaaz emerged as an economic success.
In 1990, Kher portrayed the antagonistic role of Hazari Prasad, a miser who tries to find a rich woman to marry his poor son, in Indra Kumar's directorial debut—the romance Dil, co-starring Aamir Khan and Madhuri Dixit. Dil received positive reviews from critics, and Kher's performance was praised. With domestic revenues of over ₹180 million (US$2.3 million), Dil was the highest-grossing Hindi film of the year, and Kher received a Best Supporting Actor nomination at Filmfare for his work.
In 1991, Kher once again received acclaim for his work in Yash Chopra's romantic drama Lamhe, which starred Sridevi and Anil Kapoor and featured him as Kapoor's childhood friend. Lamhe was a box office failure in India, but was an overseas success. Despite the film's poor performance at the box office, Kher won his second Filmfare Best Comedian Award for his performance.
The following year, Kher collaborated with Anil Kapoor for the fifth time (alongside Madhuri Dixit and Aruna Irani) in Indra Kumar's drama Beta (1992), the top-grossing Hindi film production of the year with a worldwide gross of ₹235 million (US$2.9 million). His comical performance in the film earned him another nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Comedian. Later that year, he portrayed Dixit's uncle in the drama Khel, which earned him a third and a second consecutive Filmfare Best Comedian Award.
Kher next reunited with Yash Chopra for the romantic thriller Darr (1993), co-starring Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, and Sunny Deol, in which he starred as Chawla's brother. One of the top-grossing Hindi films of the year, it earned over ₹200 million (US$2.5 million) worldwide, and garnered Kher a fourth and a third consecutive Best Comedian at Filmfare. In addition to other awards, it won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
In 1994, Kher portrayed the owner of a factory in Raj Kanwar's thriller Laadla alongside Sridevi, Anil Kapoor, Aruna Irani, Raveena Tandon and Farida Jalal. It received mixed reviews from critics, though it became commercially successful, and grossed over ₹110 million (US$1.4 million) worldwide. Greater success came to Kher later that year when he starred alongside Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit in Sooraj R. Barjatya's romance Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, which became the highest-grossing Bollywood film at that point, with global revenues of over ₹1.85 billion (US$23 million). He eventually earned another Best Supporting Actor nomination at Filmfare, and the film proved his second consecutive movie to win the National Film Award for Best Popular Film.
Kher's only release in 1995 was Aditya Chopra's romantic drama Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, about two non-residential Indians who fall in love during a trip across Europe. Kher's work as Dharamvir, the father of Khan's character, fetched him a fifth Filmfare Best Comedian Award. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge emerged as his second consecutive film to earn over ₹1 billion (US$13 million) worldwide, becoming a blockbuster just like Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, and third consecutive film to win the National Film Award for Best Popular Film. His next two films were the box office flops Chaahat (1996) and Gudgudee (1997). In both these films, Kher's performance was not well received.
He next starred alongside Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukerji, and Archana Puran Singh in Karan Johar's romance Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). In this film, Kher played the comic role of Mr. Malhotra, a college principal. It was the top-grossing film of the year, with a worldwide gross of over ₹1.07 billion (US$13 million), to become Kher's third blockbuster success in the last four years, and garnered him another Best Comedian nomination at Filmfare.
In 1999, Kher played the father of Anil Kapoor's character in Satish Kaushik's women-centric drama Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain, that received positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success. He then teamed with David Dhawan for the comedy-drama Haseena Maan Jaayegi starring Sanjay Dutt, Govinda and Karisma Kapoor. Both these films were major commercial successes and among the highest-grossing Hindi films of 1999, with the latter earning over ₹361 million (US$4.5 million). He was awarded the best actor at New York City International Film Festival for his Performance in a short film titled Happy Birthday. He played the role of the Police Commissioner, Rathor, in the critically and commercially acclaimed film, A Wednesday.
Kher is known internationally for Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Bride and Prejudice (2004), The Mistress of Spices (2006) and Lust, Caution (2007), Speedy Singhs (2011), and TV show ER. In 2012, he co-starred in the Academy Award-winning Silver Linings Playbook.
Other notable works (2007 - present)
In 2007, Anupam Kher and Satish Kaushik, who studied together at NSD, started a film production company, Karol Bagh Productions. Their first film, Tere Sang, was directed by Satish Kaushik. In 2011, he starred alongside Mohanlal and Jaya Prada in the Malayalam language romantic drama Pranayam. Kher chose Pranayam as one of the seven best films of his career. He also starred in a number of Marathi films such as Thoda Tuza...Thoda Maza, Kashala Udyachi Baat, and Punjabi films such as Yaaran Naal Baharan.
In 2009, Kher voiced Carl Fredricksen in the Hindi-dubbed version of the Disney-Pixar animated film Up. Anupam Kher has also appeared in The Dirty Politics. The movie also features Om Puri and Jackie Shroff Kher has appeared in several films of director Neeraj Pandey, has played pivotal roles in Special 26 (2013), Baby (2015) and M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016), for which he won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2014, Kher starred in the British film Shongram, a fictional romantic drama set during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
In 2019, Kher starred as the former Indian Prime minister Manmohan Singh in the political, biographical drama film The Accidental Prime Minister. In 2022, Kher starred in Vivek Agnihotri's controversial movie, The Kashmir Files along with Mithun Chakraborty, which is based on the Kashmiri Pandits' genocide in 1990; the film went on to become a huge box office success. Kher's performance was generally praised by the film critics.
He ventured into directing with Om Jai Jagadish (2002) and has been a producer. He produced and starred in the film Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (2005). He received the Best Actor Award from the Karachi International Film Festival for his performance.
In 2011 Kher released his first book The Best Thing About You is You!, which was a best-seller. His biography Lessons Life Taught Me Unknowingly was published on 5 August 2019 by Penguin Random House. In 2020, he wrote Your Best Day Is Today!, based on his experiences of the COVID-19 crisis. Remembering his father on his 9th Death Anniversary, he presented a poem written by Lucknow based Poet Pankaj Prasun and posted it on social media.
Starting in fall of 2018, Anupam Kher starred in a new NBC medical drama TV series New Amsterdam as Dr. Vijay Kapoor (a neurologist). He also appeared as Shahbaz Karim in the BBC1 drama Mrs Wilson.
Kher married actress Madhumalti Kapoor in 1979, but separated after a few years. In 1985, he married actress Kirron Kher who is a Member of parliament from Chandigarh, belonging to the BJP. Her son, his stepson, is actor Sikandar Kher. In 2010, he was appointed as the goodwill ambassador of the Pratham Education Foundation, which strives to improve children's education in India. Kher is an ardent supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi.
Awards and honours
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- "Anupam Kher Awards: List of awards and nominations received by Anupam Kher". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 14 April 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
- "Anupam Kher bags BAFTA Awards 2018 nomination for The Boy with the Topknot; Here's the Complete List". Indiatvnews. 4 April 2018. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "NSD Graduates" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- "Anupam Kher appointed FTII chairman". The Economic Times. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- Bamzai, Kaveree (31 July 2019). "The double life of Anupam Kher: Hollywood's favourite desi & BJP's pin-up patriot". The Print. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- Kaushik, Krishn (12 October 2017). "Anupam Kher appointed new FTII chairman: His politics in his tweets, from award wapsi to JNU". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
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- "Naseeruddin Shah on FTII Chairman Anupam Kher: I Don't Think He's Been There More Than Twice". News18. 31 August 2018. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Anupam Kher Resigns as FTII Chairman Citing 'International Assignments'". NDTV.com. Archived from the original on 1 November 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
- Sundaram, Lasyapriya (10 March 2017). "Robert De Niro made Anupam Kher's birthday special". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- "Anupam Kher to work for Empowerment of Kashmiri Pandit Community". Hindustan Times. 11 April 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
as a member of the [Kashmiri Pandit] community
- Sawhney, Anubha (13 June 2002). "Anupam Kher: A retake of life's scenes". The Times of India. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
- "Shimla's coffee house will miss Anupam Kher's father". The Times of India. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
- "Anupam kher speaks at oxford union thanks students after talking about cinema and india". Hindustantimes. 13 June 2019. Archived from the original on 15 June 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
- "Small town boy with big dreams, Anupam Kher says the city made me who I am". Hindustan Times. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
- Sanjay Mukherjee says. "Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai: Anupam Kher's life struggle". Southasiatimes.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
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- Roy Chowdhury, Rishita (7 May 2021). "Anupam Kher wins best actor award at New York City International Film Festival". India Today. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
- "UTV signs co-production deal with Kher and Kaushik". Sify. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Tere Sang interview". Indyarocks.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- "It's festive time for Malayalam films". Rediff. 29 August 2011. Archived from the original on 10 December 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- Kher, Anupam (27 September 2012). "In Pune for the Mahurat of my second Marathi film Thoda Tuza Thoda Maza directed by Anil Kakde. Regional Cinema ki Jai Ho.:)". @anupampkher (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 30 August 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Kashala Udyachi Baat (Marathi) – Review". wogma.com. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Yaraan Naal Baharaan Trailer & Info". QuickLook Films. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- Businessofcinema.com Team. "Disney.Pixar's 3D film UP to release in India on 18 September". Businessofcinema.com. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
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- "Dirty Politics to shoot in Jaipur". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- Chaudhury, Bodrul (13 August 2013). "Interview with Anupam Kher (Shongram)". Roobla. Archived from the original on 14 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- "Can't Change Facts: Anupam Kher To Congress on Controversy Over 'The Accidental Prime Minister'". Outlook India. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "After 'Accidental Prime Minister', Manmohan Singh will be in everyone's hearts: Anupam Kher". Moneycontrol. 31 December 2018. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "The Kashmir Files box office day 13 collection: Film crosses ₹200 cr, is highest-grossing Hindi release post pandemic". Hindustan Times. 24 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
- Angadi, Jagadish (12 March 2022). "'The Kashmir Files' movie review: Anupam Kher is brilliant in this heart-wrenching story". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
- Lohana, Avinash (11 March 2022). "The Kashmir Files Review: Anupam Kher shines in the film that creates an impact but lacks balance". Pinkvilla. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
- Hymavati, Ravali (2 August 2022). "Bollywood's Versatile Actor Anupam Kher Joins The Cast Of Ravi Teja's Tiger Nageswara Rao". Hans India. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
- Devashankar, S (16 October 2023). "Tiger Nageswara Rao: Making video of Ravi Teja starrer OUT; gives peek into '365 days of hard work'". PINKVILLA. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
- "List of Chairpersons". www.cbfcindia.gov.in. Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- "Anupam Kher pens autobiography Lessons Life Taught Me Unknowingly; book to hit stands on 5 August". Firstpost. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- "Anupam Kher presents his book 'Your Best Day Is Today!' to Ruskin Bond". The Indian Express. 18 December 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- "Anupam Kher reacts to Anurag Kashyap's comment on 'The Kashmir Files'". abcFRY.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
- Your Best Day Is Today! Hardcover – 5 December 2020. ASIN 9388302540.
- "Anupam Kher remembers father on ninth death anniversary, recites heartfelt poem". www.indiatvnews.com. 10 February 2021. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
- "Anupam Kher, like never before!". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 18 January 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- "Anupam Kher to host TV show 'Bharatvarsh'". The Indian Express. 17 August 2016. Archived from the original on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
- "Anupam Kher to host historic show titled 'Bharatvarsh' on TV". Bollywood Hungama. 18 August 2016. Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
- "Anupam Kher will take you into the past with his new TV show Bharatvarsh". Hindustantimes. 18 August 2016. Archived from the original on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- "Anupam Kher's new TV show Bharatvarsh: All you need to know about the series". Firstpost. 17 August 2016. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- "Anupam Kher to host interactive quiz show 'Discover India'". The Times of India. 8 June 2010. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
- "Anupam Kher does a cameo in his debut TV production Khwaabon Ki Zamin Par". Hindustan Times. 10 October 2016. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "NBC picks Anupam Kher's US TV show New Amsterdam for a full season". The Indian Express. 12 October 2018. Archived from the original on 13 October 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- "Anupam Kher's British mini-series Mrs Wilson premieres on BBC One". Cinestaan. Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
- Kumar, Ramesh (8 March 2023). "कहां हैं अनुपम खेर की पहली पत्नी? कई फिल्मों में किया काम, टूट चुकी है दूसरी शादी, अब जी रहीं ऐसी जिंदगी". News18 (in Hindi). Retrieved 10 September 2023.
- "Anupam Kher shares wedding pic to wish wife Kirron Kher on anniversary, says 'loved the lived quality of our lives together'". Hindustan Times. 26 August 2019. Archived from the original on 4 December 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
- "Anupam Kher on Kirron: I don't get to meet my wife much now". The Indian Express. 2 July 2014. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- Sawhney, Anubha (13 July 2002). "Anupam Kher: A retake of life's scenes". Times of India. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2007.
- "Sikandar Kher Reveals Why He Can't Ask Anupam Kher To 'Recommend His Name' For Films". NDTV.com. 7 March 2017. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Anupam Kher's new role". movies.rediff.com. Archived from the original on 7 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
- "Don't mind being called 'chamcha' of Narendra Modi: Anupam Kher". Hindustan Times. 12 March 2016. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Anupam Kher Meets Narendra Modi, Says PM's Vision for India is Reassuring". News18. July 2019. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Address me as Dr Kher': Proud Anupam Kher welcomes honorary doctorate by Hindu University of America". Economic Times. 20 September 2021. Retrieved 20 September 2021.