Paidi Jairaj

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Paidi Jairaj
P. Jairaj in Magroor (1950).jpg
Born (1909-09-28)28 September 1909
Karimnagar, Hyderabad State, British India
(now in Telangana, India)
Died 11 August 2000(2000-08-11) (aged 90)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Alma mater Nizam College
Years active 1929–1995
Spouse(s) Savithri
Awards Dadasaheb Phalke Award

Paidi Jairaj, ((born Paidipati Jairula Naidu - 28 September 1909 – 11 August 2000) was an Indian film, character actor, director and producer known for his works predominantly in Hindi cinema, and few Urdu, Marathi, and Gujarati films.[1][2] During the talkie period, from 1931 onwards, he started with Shikari in Urdu and English languages. Subsequently he became one of the leading actors for about two decades along with Shantaram, Prithviraj Kapoor, Motilal etc. He was starred in about 170 feature films. He directed a few films like Mohar, Mala (1943), Pratima, Rajghar and Saagar (1951) which he produced. In 1980, He was honored with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award the highest award for films in India, for his contributions to Indian cinema.[2][3]

Early life and career[edit]

Jairaj was born in Karimnagar, Hyderabad State (of which the present day Telangana State was a part) on 28 September 1909. A close relative (Nephew) of Sarojini Naidu, They were three brothers - P.Sundarraj Naidu, P. Deendayal Naidu ( Artist), P.Jairaj was the Youngest.[2] Jairaj developed interest in films during his graduate studies at Nizam College and left for Bombay in 1929.[4] He made his acting debut in 1929 with the silent film Star Kling Youth, and subsequently he acted in about eleven silent films including Triangle of Love, Mathru Bhoomi, All for Lover, Mahasagar Mothi, Flight into Death, My Hero etc.[1][2]

Jairaj’s majestic personality and powerful dialogue delivery made him an instant choice to play the roles of the sword wielding Rajputs. He played the characters of Amar Singh Rathore [1957], Prithviraj Chauhan[1959], and Maharana Pratap[1960] among notable films. He also essayed the roles of Shah Jahan [1947], Tipu Sultan [1959] and Haider Ali [1962] with equal aplomb. His other memorable portrayals have been in the films like ‘Sassi Punnu’ [1947], ‘HatimTai’[1956], ‘Chandrashekar Azad’[1963] ‘Durga Das’[1964] among others. In 1952, he produced and directed his own film, Sagar, which was not very well received by the audiences. But his commitment to cinema remained undisputed.[5]

Personal life[edit]

He married a Punjabi girl, Savithri from Delhi. His was an arranged marriage. Prithiraj Kapoor's father had chosen the bride for him.[6] He had two sons and four daughters. His wife died a year before him of cancer. His daughter Geeta looked after him in his last year. Rajan Shahi, TV shows producer-director, his daughter's son (maternal grandson), is the sole person of Jairaj’s extended family in Bollywood.[7][8][9] He died in Mumbai on 11 August 2000.[1][2][4]


National Film Awards




  • 1945: Pratima
  • 1951: Saagar
  • 1959: Mohar


External links[edit]