Ashok Saraf

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Ashok Saraf
Saraf in 2011
Born (1947-06-04) 4 June 1947 (age 76)
Other namesMahanayak, Ashok Samrat, Mama
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1969–present
(m. 1990)
Awards4 Filmfare Marathi Awards
Filmfare Marathi Lifetime Achievement Award
HonoursMaharashtra Bhushan (2023)
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2022)
V. Shantaram Award (2006)

Ashok Saraf (born 4 June 1947) is an Indian actor and comedian, known for his work in Marathi and Hindi films along with theatre in both languages. Saraf has received several awards including four Filmfare Marathi Awards. He is referred to as the Mahanayak (lit.'Greatest Actor'), Ashok Samrat or Mama of the Marathi film industry.[1][2][3] In 2023, he received the Maharashtra Bhushan, the highest civilian honour in the Indian state of Maharashtra.[4]

From the early 1980s, Saraf started getting leading roles in Marathi films. The combination of Ashok Saraf, Laxmikant Berde, Sachin Pilgaonkar and Mahesh Kothare created the "comedy films wave" in Marathi cinema from 1985 that lasted for more than a decade. His successful Marathi films as the lead hero include Ek Daav Bhutacha (1982), Dhum Dhadaka (1985), Gammat Jammat (1987), Bhutacha Bhau (1989), Balache Baap Brahmachari (1989), Ashi hi Banawa Banavi (1988) and Aayatya Gharat Gharoba (1991).

In Bollywood he worked in many movies such as Karan Arjun (1995), Yes Boss (1997), Joru Ka Ghulam (2000), Singham (2011) etc and in two Hindi television Sitcoms including Don't Worry Ho Jayega.[5]

Early life[edit]

Saraf was born in Bombay, (present day Mumbai) on 4 June 1947.[6][7] He grew up in the South Mumbai neighbourhood of Chikhalwadi and went to DGT Vidyalay for his education.[8] He was named "Ashok" after veteran actor Ashok Kumar.[7] He spent his childhood at Chikhalwadi in South Mumbai. He completed his schooling at DGT Vidyalay Mumbai.[6]


Saraf has been working in the film and television industry since 1969. He has acted in more than 250 Marathi films, out of which more than 100 were commercially successful. He has mostly acted in comedy films. He started his career with the Marathi movie Janaki in 1969.[3] He then acted in the films like Donhi Gharacha Pahuna, Jawal Ye Laju Nako, Tumcha Aamcha Jamla, Chimanrao Gundyabhau, Deed Shahane, Haldi Kunku, Duniya Kari Salam and more during the 1970s and 1980s. He continued to work in Marathi films with Laxmikant Berde, Sachin and Mahesh Kothare. Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi, Aayatya Gharat Gharoba, Balache Baap Brahmachari, Bhutacha Bhau and Dhum Dhadaka are some of the notable Marathi films in which Saraf acted.[9]

Saraf has also acted in various Marathi plays and Hindi serials. He then developed his own production house "Aniket Telefilms", which is handled by his wife Nivedita Saraf.[10]

Marathi film career[edit]

Saraf in 2019, In 1980s along with actor Laxmikant Berde Saraf did many hit comedy genre films like Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi, Balache Baap Brahmachari.

Saraf had success pairing with Laxmikant Berde, another comedian from Marathi cinema who has also acted in many Hindi films. With Saraf, Berde and Sachin Pilgaonkar acted in many Marathi films.[11] He tasted major success in Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi (1988), in the lead role with the two reigning superstars of Marathi cinema, Sachin Pilgaonkar and Laxmikant Berde. The movie was a runaway hit.[12][13]

Hindi film career[edit]

Saraf played important roles in Bollywood. Some of the roles which are remembered are from the films Singham, Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya, Gupt, Koyla, Yes Boss, Joru Ka Ghulam and Karan Arjun.[14]

Hindi television serials[edit]

Saraf has also starred in successful television serials like Yeh Choti Badi Baatein and Hum Paanch (as Anand Mathur).[10] He had a comedy show Don't Worry Ho Jayega, telecast on Sahara TV in the 1990s.[14]

Marathi play career[edit]

Saraf has played a number of roles in Marathi plays in his career. Some of the important plays are Hamidabaichi Kothi, Anadhikrut, Manomilan, He Ram Cardiogram, Darling Darling, Sarkha Chatit Dukhtay, Laginghai, and Vacuum Cleaner.[15]

In the media[edit]

Saraf has been described in the Indian media as one of the most versatile actor. Saraf is also known by his pet name "Mama".[16]

In 2022, on the 75th birth anniversary of Saraf, a stage show were held in Mumbai by Zee Marathi.[17][18] During the 1980s, Saraf and Laxmikant Berde emerged as "superstars" in Marathi cinema, marking an unmatched phenomenon in the industry. The films of Saraf and Berde accounted for most of the box office gross in Marathi cinema.[19][20][21]

Personal life[edit]

Saraf with wife Nivedita Joshi-Saraf at premiere of Marathi film Deool Band.

He is married to actress Nivedita Joshi-Saraf in 1990.[22] They married at the Mangueshi Temple in Goa, where Saraf's family is originally from.[23] They have a son named Aniket Saraf who is a chef.[6][24]

Saraf survived a major car accident in the year 2012 on the Mumbai Pune Expressway near Talegaon.[25]


Year Award Category Film Ref.
1975 Filmfare Awards Marathi Special Mention Ram Ram Gangaram [26]
1977 Maharashtra State Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Pandu Havaldar
1979 Best Actor Bail Veda
1981 Gondhalat Gondhal
1982 Filmfare Awards Marathi Best Actor
Maharashtra State Film Awards Best Actor Ek Daav Bhutacha
1983 Filmfare Awards Marathi Best Actor Goshta Dhamaal Namyachi [27]
Maharashtra State Film Awards Best Actor Gupchup Gupchup [26]
1985 Bahurupi
1987 Prem Karuya Khullam Khulla [26]
1988 Best Comedian Maza Pati Karodpati [26]
1991 Best Supporting Actor Aayatya Gharat Gharoba [26]
1992 Best Actor Aapli Mansa [26]
1993 Best Supporting Actor Vazir [26]
1996 Filmfare Awards Marathi Best Actor Suna Yeti Ghara [27]
1999 Screen Awards Best Actor – Marathi Savai Hawaldar [28]
2000 Maharashtra State Film Awards Best Comedian [26]
2004 Zee Chitra Gaurav Puraskar Best Actor in a Comic Role Navra Maza Navsacha [26]
2006 Maharashtra State Film Awards V. Shantaram Award Various
2008 Bhojpuri Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Mai Ka Bitua [26]
2010 Maharashtracha Favourite Kon? Favourite Comedian Ek Daav Dhobi Pachhad [29]
2016 Filmfare Awards Marathi Lifetime Achievement Award Overall Contribution [30]
Sanskruti Kaladarpan Kala Gaurav Award [31]
2020 Pune International Film Festival Distinguished Awards Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema [32]
2022 ABP Majha Awards Special Mention [33]
Fakt Marathi Cine Sanman
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award Acting [34]
2023 Zee Chitra Gaurav Puraskar Lifetime Achievement Award [35]
Fakt Marathi Cine Sanman Best Supporting Actor Ved
Maharashtra Bhushan Overall Contribution [36]


  1. ^ "Patrya Maruti Ganpati's one-of-a-kind tribute to Ashok Saraf". Pune Mirror. 9 September 2022. Archived from the original on 17 October 2023. Retrieved 15 October 2023. Ashok Saraf was honoured for his lifetime achievement and thought it would be a nice idea for the procession display and his contribution to the film industry is remarkable, and the "Mahanayak" deserves to be shown love and gratitude in every way possible
  2. ^ "Kon Honar Crorepati : मराठी सिनेसृष्टीचे महानायक अशोक सराफ येणार 'कोण होणार करोडपती'च्या मंचावर". ABP Majha (in Marathi). 22 June 2022. Retrieved 15 October 2023. मराठी मनोरंजनसृष्टी ज्यांना अशोक मामा म्हणून ओळखते असं अभिनयाचं ज्येष्ठ अभिनेते अशोक सराफ [Veteran actor Ashok Saraf, who is known as Ashok Mama in the Marathi entertainment industry]
  3. ^ a b सिंह, शशि (4 June 2022). "Ashok saraf: ठाकुर तो गियो से हवलदार पांडु तक हर किरदार बनाया यादगार, कभी सुने हैं अशोक सराफ के ये किस्से?". Amar Ujala (in Hindi). Archived from the original on 4 November 2023. Retrieved 17 October 2023.
  4. ^ "Veteran actor Ashok Saraf to be conferred with Maharashtra Bhushan Award 2023". India Today. 30 January 2024. Retrieved 31 January 2024.
  5. ^ "त्या मुलीने मामा बनवले". Maharashtra Times. Archived from the original on 22 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "B'day: पत्नीपेक्षा 18 वर्षांनी मोठे आहेत अशोक सराफ, या कारणामुळे गोव्यात केले होते लग्न". Divya Marathi (in Marathi). 4 June 2018. Archived from the original on 28 April 2023. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Ashok Saraf's punctuality". The Times of India. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  8. ^ "Ashok Saraf: Interesting facts about the actor". The Times of India. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  9. ^ "'दोन्ही घरचा पाहुणा' (१९७२) या पहिल्या चित्रपटापासूनची अशोक सराफची अभिनयाची वाटचाल बहुरुपी". Loksatta. 16 September 2014. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Ashok Saraf - Maharashtra Mandal Qatar". Maharashtra Mandal. 2 March 2018. Archived from the original on 5 December 2023. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  11. ^ "सचिन, महेश दोघांची शैली वेगळी आहे- अशोक सराफ". Marathi Webdunia. Archived from the original on 22 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  12. ^ "गुणी आणि दमदार अभिनेता - अशोक सराफ". Marathi World. Archived from the original on 22 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  13. ^ "अशोक सराफ". Maharashtra Times. 5 August 2014. Archived from the original on 24 April 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  14. ^ a b "बैंक से लेकर बॉलीवुड तक, कुछ ऐसा रहा है अशोक सराफ का सफर". ABP News (in Hindi). 4 June 2022. Retrieved 17 October 2023.
  15. ^ "Vacuum Cleaner Marathi Natak Review". (in Marathi). 12 November 2021. Archived from the original on 13 November 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  16. ^ Naik, Payal Shekhar (4 June 2022). "अशोक सराफ सगळ्यांचे मामा कसे झाले ठाऊक आहे का? वाचा त्यामागची भन्नाट स्टोरी". Hindustan Times Marathi (in Marathi). Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  17. ^ "Sunday होणार स्पेशल! अशोक मामांची बहुरंगी कारकीर्द दिसणार 'या' स्पेशल कार्यक्रमात". News18 लोकमत (in Marathi). 1 July 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  18. ^ "Zee Marathi's Special Show to Celebrate Ashok Saraf's 50-Year Journey in Acting". News18. 2 July 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  19. ^ Sharma, Unnati (16 December 2019). "Laxmikant Berde, Marathi superstar who was much beyond the characters he's remembered for". ThePrint. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  20. ^ Das, Kusumika (4 June 2023). "Happy Birthday Ashok Saraf: Karan Arjun To Yes Boss, Have A Look At Iconic Roles Of Marathi Superstar In Bollywood". Zoom TV. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  21. ^ "मराठी सिनेसृष्टीचा बादशाह आहेत अशोक सराफ, पण बॉलिवूडला त्यांची किंमत कळलीच नाही". Maharashtra Times (in Marathi). 23 July 2023. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  22. ^ "From marrying an actor twice her age to playing a lead at 54: A look at 'Agga Bai Sasubai' fame Nivedita Ashok Saraf's life". The Times of India. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Ashok Saraf Birthday Special: अशोक सराफ आणि निवेदिता सराफ यांनी मुंबईत लग्न न करता गोव्यातील या मंदिरात केले होते लग्न". Lokmat (in Marathi). 4 June 2019. Archived from the original on 23 November 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  24. ^ "Aggabai Sasubai actor Nivedita Saraf wishes son Aniket on his birthday; writes a heartfelt note". The Times of India. 21 April 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  25. ^ "अशोक सराफ अपघातातून बचावले". Zee News (in Marathi). 15 January 2012. Archived from the original on 13 May 2018. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Ashok Saraf". Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  27. ^ a b "अभिनयसम्राट अशोक सराफ". 6 November 2011. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  28. ^ "8th Annual Screen Awards". Screen India. Archived from the original on 17 January 2002. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  29. ^ "Maharashtracha Favourite Kon? 2009". Sakal (in Marathi). 1 November 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  30. ^ Valecha, Rohan; Risbood, Vaibhavi V; Sonavane, Gaurav (28 October 2017). "Jio Filmfare Awards Marathi 2017: Complete winners' list". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  31. ^ "Ashok Saraf conferred with Kala Gaurav Award". 27 April 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  32. ^ "Ashok Saraf to receive PIFF award". Hindustan Times. 29 November 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  33. ^ "अशोक सराफ, राणी बंग, रितेश देशमुख यांच्यासह नऊ जणांचा माझा सन्मान पुरस्काराने गौरव". ABP (in Marathi). 14 August 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  34. ^ "Announcement of Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna)" (PDF). Sangeet Natak Akademi (Press release). New Delhi. 27 February 2024. Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  35. ^ "Zee Chitra Gaurav 2023: 'अशोक सराफ म्हणजे...', झी चित्रगौरव पुरस्कार सोहळ्यात मराठी कलाकार Emotional, मामांच्याही डोळ्यात पाणी | Zee Chitra Gaurav 2023 comedy king veteran actor ashok saraf received jeevan gaurav puraskar". Zee News (in Marathi). 23 March 2023. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  36. ^ Bose, Mrityunjay (30 January 2024). "Ashok Saraf to be conferred with Maharashtra Bhushan". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 14 February 2024.

External links[edit]