Johnny Walker (actor)

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Johnny Walker
Johnny Walker (Indian Actor).jpg
Born Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi
11 November 1920
Indore, Central Provinces, British India
Died 29 July 2003
Mumbai
Occupation Actor
Years active 1951–1997
Spouse(s) Noorjahan

Johnny Walker (11 Nov 1920 – 29 July 2003) is the screen name of an Indian movie comedian, who acted in around 300 movies. He was born as Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi in Indore, British India, the son of a mill worker. His father was made redundant and the family moved to Bombay (now Mumbai). The son 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]

One of the earliest and best-loved comedians of Indian Cinema, Johnny Walker brought smiles and amusement to all whenever he was on film. Christening himself after the famous Scotch whisky, Walker would drive audiences wild with laughter with his squeaky voice, pencil-thin moustache and his now-classic drunken antics. Everyone, cast, crew and audience alike, loved his iconic image of the hero's comic and often drunk sidekick, who would cause comedy to occur in the film. Ironically, his drunken image was a stark contrast to his real-life persona, which was that of a sober and humble soul. Johnny Walker was born in the early 1920s 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 Walker 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.Johnny Walker became the sole breadwinner, travelling many miles and at unsocial hours in order at various times 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]

Walker took a job with BEST as a bus conductor in Bombay. While thus employed, he continued to nurture his desire to work in films and entertained his passengers 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 Walker 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 Walker 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. Quartoon 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]

Aside from acting, Walker also sang in many films. Some of those 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 also attempted to produce a film himself but decided to abandon it.[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.[3] Regretting that he had been forced to leave school at 6th standard, he sent his sons to the US for schooling. One of them, Nasir Khan, has since worked for Channel V and has acted in Dam Dum Diga Diga.[1]

He was, naturally, seen with a bottle of alcohol.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 Baazi
  • 1952 Jaal
  • 1953 Aandhiyan
  • 1953 Aag ka dariya
  • 1953 Thokar
  • 1953 Baaz
  • 1954 Aar Paar
  • 1954 Munna
  • 1954 Taxi Driver
  • 1954 Lal Pari
  • 1954 Barati
  • 1955 Devdas
  • 1955 Shahzada
  • 1955 Marine Drive
  • 1955 Jawab
  • 1955 Society
  • 1955 Shahi Mehmaan
  • 1955 Railway Platform
  • 1955 Musafirkhana
  • 1955 Miss Coca Cola
  • 1955 Milap
  • 1955 Mast Qalandar
  • 1955 Joru ka Bhai
  • 1955 Jashan
  • 1955 Char Paise
  • 1955 Bahu
  • 1955 Albeli
  • 1955 Mr. & Mrs. '55
  • 1956 Chori Chori
  • 1956 C.I.D.
  • 1956 Shrimati 420
  • 1956 Ghulam Begum Badshah
  • 1956 Justice
  • 1956 Naya Andaz
  • 1956 Rajdhani
  • 1956 Some Where in Delhi
  • 1956 26th January
  • 1956 Awara Shehzadi
  • 1956 Bharti
  • 1956 Chanrakanta
  • 1956 Samundari Daku
  • 1956 Choo Mantar
  • 1957 Johnny Walker
  • 1957 Mr. X
  • 1957 Do Roti
  • 1957 Duniya Rang Rangili
  • 1957 Ek Saal
  • 1957 Gateway of India
  • 1957 Mai Baap
  • 1957 Qaidi
  • 1957 Changez Khan
  • 1957 Naya Daur
  • 1957 Pyaasa
  • 1958 Madhumati
  • 1958 Amar Deep
  • 1958 Kala Pani
  • 1958 Mr. Qartoon M.A.
  • 1958 Light House
  • 1958 Do Mastane
  • 1958 Zindagi ya Toofan
  • 1958 Sitaron Se Aage
  • 1958 Naya Paisa
  • 1958 Mujrim
  • 1958 Khota Paisa
  • 1958 Ghar Sansar
  • 1958 Detective_(1958_film)
  • 1958 Chandan
  • 1958 Aji Bas Shukriya
  • 1958 Aakhri Dao
  • 1958 12 O'Clock
  • 1959 Paigham
  • 1959 Kaagaz Ke Phool
  • 1959 Zara Bachke
  • 1959 Satta Bazaar
  • 1959 pehli Raat
  • 1959 Jawani Ki Hawa
  • 1959 Black Cat
  • 1959 Bhai-Bahen
  • 1960 Chaudhvin Ka Chand
  • 1960 Rikshawala
  • 1960 Mughal-E-Azam
  • 1960 Kala Aadmi
  • 1960 Ek Phool Chaar Kaante
  • 1960 Basant
  • 1961 Vilayat Pass
  • 1961 Modern Girl
  • 1961 Full Moon
  • 1961 Wanted
  • 1961 Suhag Sindoor
  • 1961 Chhote Nawab
  • 1962 Aashiq
  • 1962 Sachche Moti
  • 1962 Neeli Aankhen
  • 1962 Girls Hostel
  • 1962 Baat Ek Raat Ki
  • 1963 Ghar Basake Dekho
  • 1963 Ustado ke Ustad
  • 1963 Pyar ka Bandhan
  • 1963 Phool Bane Angaare
  • 1963 Mulzim
  • 1963 Mere Mehboob
  • 1963 Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya
  • 1963 Kahin Pyaar na ho Jaaye
  • 1964 Shehnai
  • 1964 Door Ki Awaaz
  • 1965 Zindagi Aur Maut
  • 1965 Bombay Race Course
  • 1966 Suraj
  • 1966 Sagaai
  • 1966 Preet na Jane Reet
  • 1966 Pati Patni
  • 1966 Dillagi
  • 1966 Dil Diya Dard liya
  • 1966 Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi
  • 1967 Jaal
  • 1967 Bahu Begum
  • 1967 Dulhan Ek Raat Ki
  • 1967 Night in London
  • 1967 Noorjehan
  • 1967 Palki
  • 1967 Taqdeer
  • 1967 Nawab Sirazuddaula
  • 1967 Rajoo
  • 1967 Wahan ke Log
  • 1968 Duniya
  • 1968 Baazi
  • 1968 Mere Huzoor
  • 1968 Shikar
  • 1968 Dil Aur Mohabbat
  • 1968 Haseena Maan Jayegi
  • 1968 Kahin Din Kahin Raat
  • 1969 Aadmi Aur Insaan
  • 1969 Nannha Farishta
  • 1969 Pyar Ka Sapna
  • 1969 Sachaai
  • 1969 Do Raaste
  • 1970 Anand
  • 1970 Gopi
  • 1971 Hungama
  • 1971 Dushman
  • 1972 Raja Jani
  • 1973 Pyaar Ka Rishta
  • 1974 Madhosh
  • 1975 Zakhmee
  • 1976 Bundal Baaz
  • 1977 Khel Khilari Ka
  • 1978 Nawab Sahib
  • 1980 Shaan
  • 1981 Madine ki Galian
  • 1983 Mazdoor
  • 1984 Bindiya Chamkegi
  • 1985 Hum Dono
  • 1987 Mera Karam Mera Dharam
  • 1988 The Perfect Murder
  • 1991 Sapno ka Mandir
  • 1997 Chachi 420

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. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 

External links[edit]