Kabir Bedi OMRI (Punjabi: ਕਬੀਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਬੇਦੀ; born 16 January 1946) is an Indian actor.His career has spanned three continents covering India, the United States and especially Italy among other European countries in three media: film, television and theatre. He is noted for his role as Emperor Shah Jahan in Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story and the villainous Sanjay Verma in the 1980s blockbuster Khoon Bhari Maang. He is best known in Italy and Europe for playing the pirate Sandokan in the popular Italian TV miniseries and for his role as the villainous Gobinda in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy. Bedi is based in India and lives in Mumbai.
Early life and education
Kabir Bedi was born in Lahore in the Punjab Province of British India (now in Punjab, Pakistan) on 16 January 1946 into a Punjabi Khatri Sikh family that had devoted itself to India's fight for independence from British colonial rule. He was one of three children. His father, Baba Pyare Lal Singh Bedi, was an author and philosopher. His mother, Freda Bedi, was a British woman born in Derby, England, who became famous as the first Western woman to take ordination in Tibetan Buddhism. He was educated at Sherwood College, Nainital, Uttarakhand, and St. Stephen's College, Delhi.
Bedi began his career in Indian theatre and then moved on to Hindi films. He remains one of the first international actors from India who started out in Hindi films, worked in Hollywood films and became a star in Europe.
As a stage actor, Bedi has performed Shakespeare's Othello as well as portrayed a historical Indian king in Tughlaq, and a self-destructive alcoholic in The Vultures. In London he starred in The Far Pavilions, the West End musical adaptation of M. M. Kaye's novel, at the Shaftesbury Theatre. In 2011 Bedi played Emperor Shah Jahan in Taj, a play written by John Murrell, a Canadian playwright for the Luminato Festival in Toronto. In 2013, this play was recommissioned and went on an eight-week multi-city tour of Canada.
He has acted in over 60 Indian films. In the historical epic Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story, he starred as the Emperor Shah Jahan. Other starring Hindi film roles include Raj Khosla's Kacche Dhaage, Rakesh Roshan's Khoon Bhari Maang and Farah Khan's Main Hoon Na.
Bedi shot a movie with Hrithik Roshan (Kites), Govinda (Showman), and Akshay Kumar (Blue). He also starred in Deepa Mehta's film, Kamagata Maru with Amitabh Bachchan and John Abraham. He acted in the Tamil film Aravaan, directed by Vasanthabalan.
Bedi played roles in Columbia Pictures' The Beast of War, a film on the Russian war in Afghanistan, directed by Kevin Reynolds, as well as the acclaimed Italian film Andata Ritorno, by Marco Ponti, winner of the David di Donatello Award. In 2017, he acted in the Telugu historical movie Gautamiputra Satakarni, as Nahapana, an important ruler of the Western Kshatrapas.
Bedi has appeared on American television, in Hallmark's African epic Forbidden Territory, and Ken Follett's On Wings of Eagles and Red Eagle. He played Friar Sands in The Lost Empire, for NBC. He also acted in Dynasty, Murder, She Wrote, Magnum, P.I., Hunter, Knight Rider and Highlander: The Series.
In Europe, his greatest success was Sandokan, the saga of a romantic Southeast Asian pirate during British colonial times, an Italian-German-French TV series which broke viewership records across Europe. He recently starred in a prime-time Italian television series, Un Medico in Famiglia, on RAI TV.
For over a year, Bedi starred in The Bold and the Beautiful, the second most-watched television show in the world, seen by over a billion people in 149 countries.
He had his own cinematic talk show on Indian TV, Director's Cut, a 13-part special series interviewing the country's leading directors. His success on television continued in 2013 with award-winning prime-time shows Guns and Glory: The Indian Soldier and Vandemataram, for India's news channels Headlines Today and Aaj Tak.
In the Indian Biblical television series 'Bible Ki Kahaniya', Bedi played both the young and aged Abraham.
In 2007 he starred in Chat, a radio show aired by RAI Radio2, in the role of Sandokan. In 2012, he did a series of Radio One programmes titled Women of Gold and Men of Steel in honour of industry champions in India. In 2017 he did another series in English for Radio One, Ten on Ten, celebrating the top ten innovations out of India. He also did the year-end special series, Best of 2017.
Bedi is a regular contributor to Indian publications including the Times of India and Tehelka on political and social issues affecting the country. He is also seen debating such topics on Indian national television.
In February 2017, Bedi was announced as the new 'brand ambassador' for international development organisation, Sightsavers, saying on his appointment, "Today there is immense awareness and attempt towards eye health and care in India and Sightsavers have shown way to people at large in the country with their achievements in the area of eye care." Bedi is the honorary brand ambassador for Italian Charity Care and Share Italia, which educates and looks after street children, from school to university, in Andhra Pradesh and Telegana.
Awards and achievements
Since 1982 Bedi has been a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (who are responsible for presenting the Oscar awards). He is also a voting member of the Screen Actors Guild.
He has won numerous film, advertising and popularity awards across Europe and India.
By decree of the President of the Italian Republic of 2 June 2010, Bedi was officially knighted. He received the highest ranking civilian honour of the Italian Republic and was bestowed the title of "Cavaliere" (Knight) of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. He has recently received Honorary Degree from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.
Bedi married four times and had three children, Pooja, Siddharth (deceased) and Adam. He was married to Protima Bedi, an Odissi dancer. Their daughter Pooja Bedi is a magazine / newspaper columnist and former actress.Siddharth, who went to Carnegie Mellon University, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and died by suicide in 1997 at the age of 26.
As his marriage with Protima began to break down, he started a relationship with Parveen Babi. They never married. He later married British-born fashion designer Susan Humphreys. Their son, Adam Bedi, is an international model who made his Hindi film debut with the thriller Hello? Kaun Hai! This marriage ended in divorce.
In the early 1990s, Bedi married TV and radio presenter Nikki Bedi. They had no children and divorced in 2005. After that, Bedi has been in a relationship with British-born Parveen Dusanj, whom he married a day before his 70th birthday.
Bedi supports the anti-government struggle in Myanmar, and he is an official ambassador of the Burma Campaign UK. He is the brand ambassador for Rotary International South Asia for its Teach Programme and the Total Literacy Mission in India and South Asia.
|1972||Rakhi Aur Hathkadi||Suraj|
|1973||Kuchhe Dhaage||Pandit Tulsiram / Daku Roopa|
|1974||Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain|
|Maa Bahen Aur Biwi|
|Ishq Ishq Ishq||Diwana/Ravikant Vyas|
|Harfan Maula||Faulad Singh|
|The Black Corsair||The Black Corsair (Italy)|
|1977||Daku Aur Mahatma||Sangram Singh|
|La tigre è ancora viva: Sandokan alla riscossa!||Sandokan|
|1978||The Thief of Baghdad||Prince Taj|
|Aakhri Kasam||Kishan / Badal|
|Yuvraaj||Samrat Surya Dev Singh|
|1981||The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire||Gar|
|1982||40 Days of Musa Dagh||Gabriel Bagradian|
|Satan's Mistress||The Spirit|
|Girl from India||Artist|
|Khoon Bhari Maang||Sanjay Verma|
|1990||Police Public||Senior Inspector Shah Nawaz Khan|
|1991||Kurbaan||Inspector Suraj Singh|
|Yeh Aag Kab Bujhegi|
|Vishkanya||Forest Officer Vikram Singh|
|1992||Dil Aashna Hai||Rai Bahadur Digvijay Singh|
|Yalgaar||Raj Pratap Singhal|
|Lambu Dada||Lambu Dada|
|1993||Kshatriya||Thakur Ganga Singh (Police Officer)|
|1994||Salaami||Captain Rehmat Khan|
|Lie Down with Lions||Kabir|
|The Maharaja's Daughter||Chandragupta|
|1995||OP Centre||Abdul Fazawi|
|Aatank Hi Aatank||Police Inspector|
|1996||The Return of Sandokan||Sandokan|
|1998||Mashamal – Ritorno al Deserto||Tahar Id Bran|
|2001||The Lost Empire||Friar Sand|
|2002||Kranti||Mahendra Pratap Rana|
|Maine Dil Tujhko Diya||Mr. Verma (Ayesha's Father)|
|The Hero: Love Story of a Spy||Mr. Zakaria|
|2004||Father||Karl (Father & Violinist)|
|Rudraksh||Pandit Ved Bhushan|
|Roundtrip||Tolstoj (Italian film)|
|Main Hoon Na||General Amar Singh Bakshi|
|Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story||Emperor Shah Jahan|
|A All About Her|
|Take 3 Girls||Mo|
|2009||Blue||Captain Jagat Malhotra|
|2011||Yaara O Dildaara|
|Chakravyuh||Mahanta, an industrialist and negotiator for the government|
|2016||Teraa Surroor||A A Khan|
|Edict of Expulsion 1492||Sultan Bayezid|
|Paisa Vasool||RAW Chief|
|2018||Jaane Kyun De Yaaron||Shera|
|Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3||Maharaja Hari Singh|
|TV show title||Release year||Status||Character|
|Sandokan||1976||European TV miniseries||Sandokan|
|La tigre è ancora viva: Sandokan alla riscossa!||1977||European TV miniseries||Sandokan|
|Dynasty||1982||TV series||Farouk Ahmed|
|General Hospital||1983||TV series||Rama|
|Knight Rider||November 1985||TV series||Vascone|
|Dynasty||1986||TV series||Farouk Ahmed|
|On Wings of Eagles||1986||TV series||Mohammed|
|The Days and Nights of Molly Dod||May 1987||TV series||Bill|
|Misteri della Giungla Nera, I – a.k.a. The Mysteries of the Dark Jungle||1991||TV miniseries||Kammamuri|
|Il Principe del Deserto – a.k.a. Desert Law||1991||TV series||Moulet Beni-Zair|
|The Bold and the Beautiful||September 1994||TV series||Prince Omar|
|Maharaja's Daughter||1994||TV series||Chandragupta|
|Highlander: The Series||20 November 1995||TV series||Kamir|
|Bible Ki Kahaniya||1995||TV series||Abraham, the Patriarch|
|Il Ritorno di Sandokan||6 October 1996||TV miniseries||Sandokan|
|Noi siamo angeli – a.k.a. We are Angels||16 February 1997||TV miniseries||Gen. Napoleon Durate|
|Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search for Livingstone||7 December 1997||TV series||Khamis Bin Abdullah|
|Team Knight Rider||9 February 1998||TV series||Aristotle Drago|
|Murder, She Wrote||February 1988||TV series||Vikram Singh|
|Magnum, P.I.||10 February 1988||TV series||Malcolm|
|L'isola dei famosi||2004||Italian reality show||Himself|
|The Bold and the Beautiful||4 May 2005||TV series||Prince Omar|
|Vivere||May 2006||Italian TV series||Emir Ibrahim|
|Director's Cut||2007||TV special series||Himself|
|Un medico in famiglia 5||2007||Italian TV series||Kabir|
|Ganga Kii Dheej||2010–2011||Hindi TV series||Dada Bhai|
|Buddha||2013||Hindi TV series||Asita Muni (Cameo)|
|VandeMataram||2013||TV special news series||Himself|
|Guns & Glory: The Indian Soldier||2013||TV special news series||Himself|
|Jai Ho||2014||TV special news series||Himself|
|Thinkistan||2019||Web series||Danish Azeem|
|2021-2022||Grande Fratello VIP (season 6)||Contestant (entered day 113, evicted day 162)||Evicted||15|
|Radio title||Release year||Status||Character|
|Ch@t (Italian fiction)||2007||RAI Radio2||Sandokan|
|'Women of Gold'||2012||RadioOne||Himself|
|'Men of Steel'||2012||Radio One||Himself|
|'Ten on Ten' – 'Ten Biggest Impacts This Last Decade'||2017||Radio One||Himself|
|'Best of 2017'||2017||Radio One||Himself|
Live action films
|Film title||Actor||Character||Dub language||Original language||Original year release||Dub year release||Notes|
|Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time||Ben Kingsley||Nizam||Hindi||English||2010||2010||Performed alongside Yudhvir Dahiya who voiced Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan and Joy Sengupta who voiced Toby Kebbell as Prince Garsiv in Hindi.|
|Fantastic Four||Reg E. Cathey||Dr. Franklin Storm||Hindi||English||2015||2015||Performed alongside Karan Trivedi who voiced Miles Teller as Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic in Hindi.|
Voiceovers in ads and commercials
|The Keeper of the Flame – The History of TATA||Documentary||English||2007|
|An Introduction to CHILDLINE India||Public awareness campaign – narrator||English||2008|
|Aircel Save the Tiger Campaign||Public awareness campaign – narrator||English||2009|
|Ford Motors launch Figo, India||Live event||English||2010|
|Somnath Temple, Gujarat||Sound & light show||English||2010|
|Red Fort, New Delhi||Sound & light show||English||2011|
|Virasat-e-Khalsa – Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex, Punjab||Narrator||English||2011|
|Banda Singh Bahadur – War Memorial, Punjab||Sound & light show||English||2014|
|TAJ Hotels, Resorts & Palaces||Advertisement||English||2014|
|Mount of Excellence||Documentary narrator||English||2015|
|Parle||Advertisement||Hindi & English||2016|
|Konark Sun Temple, Odisha||Sound & light show||English||2017|
|The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences|
|The Screen Actors Guild|
|The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists|
|The British Actors' Equity Association|
- "Knight in shining armour". The Times of India. 11 December 2010. Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- "Internationally acclaimed Indian actor". IMDb. 1971–2016. Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
- "Residence of Kabir bedi". Archived from the original on 21 December 2015.
- Mackenzie, Vicki (2017). The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi (1st ed.). Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications. pp. xii. ISBN 9781611804256.
- "Kabir Bedi & Lisa Ray Discuss 'TAJ'". 16 October 2013. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
- Collection of articles on Kabir Bedi Archived 29 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "The NT Awards – 2014 Winners". Archived from the original on 12 July 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
- Bedi, Kabir. "Kabir Bedi Blog". Archived from the original on 18 December 2012.
- "Kabir Bedi is Sightsavers' brand ambassador". Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- "Care & Share Italia names Kabir Bedi ambassador". The Hindu. 4 January 2019.
- "Kabir Bedi: Awards page". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- Kabir Bedi Misses Late Son on Father's Day Archived 18 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "Adam Bedi - Official Site". Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Adam Bedi baptised[dead link]
- "Let's keep it a surprise: Parveen Dusanj". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013.
- "When Dad likes them young!". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
- Ahmed, Afsana; Sharma, Smrity (6 May 2007). "Another Parveen is Kabir Bedi's love". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- "Kabir Bedi ties knot with Parveen Dusanj on 70th birthday". CNN-IBN. 17 January 2016. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
- "Kabir Bedi's voice for Burma's Mandela". Daily News & Analysis. Archived from the original on 2 February 2008.
- "When will Shaakuntalam premiere on OTT? Check release date, time and where to watch Samantha Ruth Prabhu's film online". The Economic Times. 7 May 2023. ISSN 0013-0389. Retrieved 17 May 2023.