Johnny Walker (actor)

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Johnny Walker
Johnny Walker (Indian Actor).jpg
BornBadruddin Jamaluddin Kazi
11 Nov 1926
Indore, Indore State, Central Provinces, British India (present-day Madhya Pradesh, India)
Died29 July 2003
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
OccupationActor
Years active1951–1997
Spouse(s)Noorjahan

Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi (11 November 1926 – 29 July 2003), better known by his stage name Johnny Walker, was an Indian actor who acted in around 300 films. He was born in Indore, British India, the son of a mill worker. His father was made redundant and the family moved to Bombay (now Mumbai). Kazi took various jobs as the sole breadwinner for the family, eventually becoming a bus conductor with Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST).

Early life[edit]

Johnny Walker was born in 1926 to a mill-worker in Indore. Born to a Muslim family, he was named Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi at birth. The mill in which his father worked closed and the family, of which Kazi was the second of ten children, moved to Maharashtra. There Kazi tried his hand at several jobs, and eventually secured a post as a bus conductor in the B.E.S.T (Bombay Electric Supply and Transport) bus service. He became the sole breadwinner, travelling many miles and at unsocial hours at various times in order to buy and then sell ice candy, fruit, vegetables, stationery and other goods. Throughout his youth he dreamed of being involved in films, idolising Noor Mohammed Charlie and practising stunts that he saw on-screen.[1]

Career[edit]

He nurtured his desire to work in films and entertained passengers while working the buses with amusing routines, hoping that he would at some point be spotted by someone with connection to the movie industry. His wish came true, although the details are unclear. Balraj Sahni saw him, perhaps on a bus or perhaps while Kazi was amusing the cast of Hulchul, a film for which he had obtained a bit part, with an extemporised routine as a drunk. Sahni, who sources say was either at that time writing the script for Baazi (1951) or acting in Hulchul, told Kazi to demonstrate his drunkard act to Guru Dutt. From that meeting he gained a role in Baazi. It was Dutt who gave him the name of Johnny Walker, a reference to the brand of Scotch whisky, when he was inspired by Kazi's display in the role of a drunkard.[1][2][3]

Thereafter, Walker appeared in all but one of Dutt's movies and the director encouraged him to ad lib and to draw on his varied life experiences.[1] He was primarily an actor of comedic roles but towards the end of his life became disenchanted, saying, "Earlier, comedians had a respectable position and an almost parallel role with the protagonist, now it is just to bring a touch of humour. I don't buy that." His attempts to portray heroic personae in the eponymous Johnny Walker and Mr. Qartoon were not successful but films such as Mere Mehboob, C.I.D., Pyaasa and Chori Chori made him a star. His heyday was in the 1950s and 1960s and his later career was affected by the death of Dutt, who had greatly influenced it, in 1964. He worked with directors such as Bimal Roy and Vijay Anand but his career faded in the 1980s.[2][3] He was unwilling to adopt the cruder form of comedy and changed priorities that had become the vogue, saying that

"In those days we used to do clean comedy. We were aware that the person who had come to the cinema had come with his wife and children ... the story was the most important thing. Only after selecting a story would Abrar Alvi and Guru Dutt find suitable actors! Now it's all upside down ... they line up a big hero and find a story to fit in. The comedian has ceased to be a character, he's become something to fit in between scenes. ... I opted out because comedy had become hostage to vulgarity. I acted in 300 films and the Censor Board never cut even one line."[1]

Walker was particularly satisfied with his work in B. R. Chopra's Naya Daur (1957), Chetan Anand's Taxi Driver (1954) and Bimal Roy's Madhumati (1958).[1] His final film came after an absence of 14 years when he took a role in a remake of Mrs. Doubtfire titled Chachi 420 (1997).[2][3] During the intervening period, he had a successful business dealing with precious and semi-precious stones.[1]

Songs were written especially for him. His drawing power at the box office was such that distributors would insist on him having a song and would pay extra to ensure it. He is the only actor to have a film in his name Johnny Walker. He was the first actor to keep a secretary / manager. He was the first actor to stop working on Sundays. He was the first actor to bring Colloquialism to cinema Taxi Driver. Mohd Rafi has sung most songs for Johnny Walker than any other actor. He also produced and directed the 1985 film Pahunche Huwey Log.[1][2]

Family life[edit]

Johnny Walker married Noor (short for Noorjahan), a sister of Shakila, despite the opposition of her family.[3] They had three daughters and three sons of whom one is an actor Nasirr Khan.[3] Regretting that he had been forced to leave school at 6th standard, he sent his sons to the US for schooling. [1]

Despite often playing the roles of a drunk, Walker was a teetotaller.[1]

Awards[edit]


Filmography[edit]

Walker acted in around 300 films,[2] including:
1951

1952

1953

1954 - 6 releases

1955 - 18 releases

1956 - 15 releases

1957 - 11 releases

1958 - 17 releases

1959 - 9 releases

  • Bhai-Bahen
  • Black Cat
  • Jawani Ki Hawa
  • Kaagaz Ke Phool
  • "Mr. John"
  • Paigham
  • Pehli Raat
  • Satta Bazaar
  • Zara Bachke

1960 - 7 releases

1961 - 5 releases

  • Chhote Nawab
  • Modern Girl
  • "Opera House"
  • Suhag Sindoor
  • Wanted

1962 - 5 releases

1963 - 8 releases

1964

1965

  • Bombay Race Course
  • Zindagi Aur Maut

1966 - 7 releases

1967 - 11 releases

  • Bahu Begum
  • Jaal
  • Dulhan Ek Raat Ki
  • "Milan Ki Raat"
  • Nawab Sirazuddaula
  • Night in London
  • Noorjehan
  • Palki
  • Rajoo
  • Taqdeer
  • Wahan ke Log

1968 - 7 releases

1969 - 5 releases

1970

1971

1972 - 5 releases

  • "Ek Bechara"
  • Ek Hasina Do Deewane"
  • "Raaste Ka Patthar"
  • Raja Jani
  • " Yeh Gulistan Hamara"

1973

1974 - 6 releases

  • "Aarop"
  • "Badla"
  • "Dawat"
  • "Imaan"
  • "Jurm Aur Sazaa"
  • Madhosh (1974)

1975 - 6 releases

1976

1977

  • "Farishta Ya Qatil"
  • Khel Khilari Ka
  • Mera Vachan Geeta Ki Kasam"

1978

  • Nawab Sahib

1980

  • "Jaayen Toh Jaayen Kahan"
  • Shaan

1981

  • Madine ki Galiyan

1983

1984

  • Bindiya Chamkegi
  • "Mera Dost Mera Dushman"

1985

1987

  • Mera Karam Mera Dharam

1991

  • Sapno ka Mandir

1997

Non-Hindi Films
1967 - "Shrimant Mehuna Pahije" - Marathi
1978 - "Miya Fuski 007" - Gujarati
1988 - The Perfect Murder - English
"Wilayat Pass" - Punjabi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ghose, Sagarika (11 June 1997). "Return Of The Wit". Outlook. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Gentleman comedian passes away". The Tribune. 29 July 2003. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Johnny Walker... signing off on a high". The Hindu. 1 August 2003. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.

External links[edit]