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Born Jankidas Mehra
Lahore, British India
Died 18 June 2003 (aged 92–93)
Years active 1930s–1997

Jankidas Mehra (1910 – 18 June 2003) was a prolific Indian film actor of Hindi Cinema, cyclist, production designer and writer. He made over 1000 film appearances between the 1930s and 1997.[1]



Jankidas served as the only Indian member of the International Olympic Committee at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin [1] and the only Indian to have broken the world record in cycling between 1934 and 1942.[2]

In the 1940s, along with Sohrab Bhoot, he founded the Cycling Federation of India

Cycling Federation of India founders J.Das (left) and S.Bhoot (right)


Jankidas debuted in film playing a major role in Khazanchi (1941) produced in Lahore. He was seen against till 1946 when he would appear in Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani. From then on he would continue to play roles with increasing vigour over the years.

Jankidas is credited with being the first production designer in the Indian film industry and had designed several films including Pathar aur Paya and Warrant.[1] As a production designer, Jankidas was responsible for the founding of many famous Indian actor careers. He was responsible for Madhubala's role in Sohrab Modi's Daulat in 1947 and introduced Meena Kumari in Nanabhai Bhatt's Hamara Ghar and Khusboo in Sunil Dutt's Dard Ka Rishta.[2] He also introduced actress Mala Sinha in Hamlet, produced and directed by Kishore Sahu.

In 1985 he wrote the script to the film Yaadon Ki Kasam.

Jankidas was the recipient of numerous national and international awards. In May 1996, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers' Association.[2]

Jankidas was also an author and wrote numerous books on Bollywood and the acting profession. He published My Misadventures in Filmland and Acting for Beginners.[1]

In 1986, he undertook a fast unto death to seek tax benefits for the film industry and gave up his agitation after Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray intervened.

Select Filmography[edit]

Year Film Character/Role
1980 Khanjar
1980 Kali Ghata
1979 Khandaan Kedarnath
1979 Prem Bandhan Rodrigues
1978 Des Pardes Daiyal
1970 Pushpanjali Tourist guide
1967 Hare Kanch Ki Chooriyan Shopkeeper
1948 Rambaan 1972 |"seeta aur Geeta" secterary


Jankidas was suffering from a heart ailment for a substantial period of time but was discharged from the local hospital two days before his death.[2] He died of cardiac failure at his Juhu residence on Wednesday 18 June 2003. He was 93.

Jankidas is survived by two sons, and two daughters.


  1. ^ a b c d "Veteran actor Jankidas passes away". The Times of India. 18 June 2003. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Veteran actor Jankidas passes away". Rediff.com. 18 June 2003. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 

External links and sources[edit]