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Rajesh Hamal

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Rajesh Hamal
राजेश हमाल
Hamal in 2022
Born (1964-06-09) 9 June 1964 (age 60)[1]
NationalityNepalese
Other namesMaha Nayak (महानायक), Rajesh Dai (राजेश दाई)
EducationM.A. in English Literature
Alma materUniversity of Delhi
Occupation(s)Actor, Television Presenter
Years active1991 to Present
Known forMost Successful actor of Nepali Film Industry.
Spouse
Madhu Bhattarai
(m. 2014)
AwardsFull list

Rajesh Hamal (Nepali: राजेश हमाल [raˈdzes ɦʌˈmal] ; born 9 June 1964[1]) is a Nepalese film actor and television host. He is a popular actor in Nepali cinema and is often called "Maha Nayak(महानायक)" (Nepali translation of "The Greatest Actor") by his fans. Hamal started his acting career in 1991, and reached his peak in the 1990s and early 2000s. He holds several box office records in Nepali cinema, including the most commercially successful films as a lead actor, most consecutive hits and most awards as an actor.[2][3]

Hamal debuted as an actor in his uncle Deepak Rayamajhi's 1991 film Yug Dekhi Yug Samma which was a huge success and made him a nationwide star. The 1992 blockbuster Deuta marked a turning point in his career and cemented Hamal's superstar status in the Nepalese film industry. He is widely regarded as the greatest actor in the history of Nepalese cinema and one of the most influential people in Nepal for his personality, his involvement in social works, and his contributions to the Nepali film industry. He was the most dominant actor in Nepalese cinema throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Other films featuring Hamal include Kasam (1992), Sadak and Prithvi (1994), Simana (1996), Shankar (1997), Chadni and Ek Number Ko Pakhe (1999), Basanti and Dhukdhuki (2000), Hami Tin Bhai (2004), and Ajambari Nata (2005). He also hosted the first season of the Nepali version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, entitled Ko Bancha Crorepati (2019).

Personal life

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Rajesh Hamal was born in Tansen, Nepal, on 9 June 1964.[1] His father, Chuda Bahadur Hamal, was the Nepali ambassador to Pakistan,[4] Hamal did not communicate much with his father and told Wavemag: "Every day of my life, I regret not bidding him with a proper goodbye. Additionally, I should have made an effort to properly communicate with my father, and talk about my aspirations and passion in a better way".[5]

Hamal spent most of his childhood in Nepal, and attended private school till Grade 8. In his early teens, he went to Moscow with his father. They remained in Russia for many years and Hamal went to college there. He finished his higher education at the University of Delhi, completing his M.A. in English literature.[6]

Hamal is married to Madhu Bhattarai, whom he first met at the Lux Beauty Pageant in 2004.[7] He proposed to her on 14 May 2014 and they married ten days later in a private ceremony at the Hotel Annapurna in Kathmandu.[7] Hamal says he was impressed by Madhu's talent at the pageant, but she says she was nervous seeing her favorite actor as a judge and she couldn't answer his questions properly.[8]

Career

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Acting career

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Before entering the film industry, Hamal modeled for a magazine in India named Fashion Net while studying at the University of Delhi.[6] He appeared in a fashion show organised by the Indian Embassy Women Association in the late 1980s.[6]

Hamal's first starring role was to be in Bhagya Rekha (1987) opposite Karishma Manandhar. However, Manandhar left the project, and was replaced by Kristi Mainali. Filming began but director Deepak Rayamajhi suspected an affair between Hamal and Mainali, which led to both actors leaving the project. The affair became a popular talking point in Nepal. Rayamajhi's film was successful and he then signed Mainali and Hamal for his next film, which was Yug Dekhi Yug Samma (1988).[9] The plot of this movie follows two young couples who are impacted by the pressure of family rivalries. Besides Hamal and Mainali, the film was the debut of producer Chhabiraj Ojha and action director Rajendra Khadgi. Hamal later told Teenz: "Actually, somewhere inside, I always wanted to act. More than acting, I was fascinated by films. I wanted something in this field, but I did not know how to begin. Luckily, my cousin was a part of the film industry and he offered me a role. That was in 1987, and at that time, I did not know I would be doing films for the next 20 years".[10]

In 1991, Hamal joined up with Tulsi Ghimire for the first time, in his directorial film project called Deuta.[11] The film starred Hamal and also Shrawan Ghimire, Srijana Basnet, and Tulsi Ghimire in support. On the film's release, it became a box office hit in Nepal and is regarded as the breakthrough for Hamal in Nepali cinema.[12] The Kathmandu Post wrote: "Incidentally, this was also the film that catapulted Hamal into stardom and while that alone could place Deuta in a Kollywood Hall of Fame (if such a thing existed), the movie is much more than that".[13]

In 2000, Hamal was cast in actor Neer Shah's directorial film titled Basanti. He portrayed Gagan Singh Khawas. His co-stars were Karishma Manandhar, Gauri Malla, and Divya Dutta. The film is based on the novel of the same title written by Diamond Shumsher Rana. Hamal says his favourite films are Deuta and Basanti.

Bijaya Adhikari of OnlineKhabar wrote: "However, filmmakers like Nir Shah, one of the forerunners of the historical period drama genre, has been consistently making successful films in the genre like Basanti, Masaan and Seto Bagh".[14] Rachana Chettri and Preena Shrestha of The Kathmandu Post wrote: "Cinematographically, the film achieves its purpose of bringing the old palaces and courtyards populated by royals and their supporters back to life".[15]

In 2004, Hamal appeared in a Shiva Regmi directorial film named Hami Tin Bhai, which had an ensemble cast including Shree Krishna Shrestha, Nikhil Upreti, Jharana Thapa, Nandita K.C., and Rekha Thapa.[16] In 2018, it was announced that a sequel would be produced.

Hamal has not limited his career to movies. He began appearing on television shows and commercials in 2004. A popular Nepalese show called Wai Wai Quiz Whiz was his television debut, and he made a guest appearance on Miss Angel Program the same year. Hamal was also endorsed by various companies to star in commercials for products such as steel, soap, and cement. He also endorsed the first bike made in Nepal which is called "Cosmic Ying Yang". In addition, he has been the face of NMB Bank Nepal, Indica Easy, and Global College of Management.

Hamal has also been seen on music videos including Malingo, Hajur Mussukai and Shailung by Bikas Rana, directed by Nitin Chand.

Television hosting

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Hamal has twice been judge for Miss Nepal, once in 1997 with Kamal Rupakheti, Laxmi Keshari Manandhar, and Sanjaya Agarwal. The event was won by Jharana Bajracharya.[17] Ten years later, he was the chief judge of Miss Nepal 2007,[18] alongside Malvika Subba, and Bhusan Dahal. The winner was Sitashma Chand.[19] In 2019, he hosted the Nepali version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.[20]

In the media

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Hamal is often referred to as "Mahanayak",[21][22] and "Rajesh Dai".[23] Karishma Manandhar, the Nepali actress, said that if Hamal ran for Mayor of Kathmandu, she would vote for him.[24]

In 1998, the Nepalese government honoured Hamal for his contribution to Nepali cinema. He has also received honourable mentions from the National Human Rights Commission, the late King Birendra, and Nepal's Armed Police Force. He has several honours from the Federation of Nepali Journalists. In 2015, he was honoured by then-President Dr Rambaran Yadav.[citation needed]

In response to the April 2015 Nepal earthquake, Hamal joined the Building Back initiative, to aid in reconstruction efforts, as a Goodwill ambassador.[25][26] On 14 May 2017, he was the subject of a death hoax when it was reported that he had died after his car was struck by a large truck. Hamal stated that he believed people should be careful when reporting such news.[27]

Awards and nominations

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Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref(s)
1991 National Film Award Best Actor Deuta Won
1992 Chatyang Nominated
1993 Aparadh Won
1994 Sadak Won
1994 Best Supporting Actor Paribhasa Won
1994 Best Actor Prithvi Won
1995 Simana Won
1996 Bandhan Won
1996 CG Digital Award Chhori Buhari Won
1997 Chandal Won
1997 National Film Award Jun Tara Won
1997 Shankar Won
1998 Chor Won
1998 Best Actor Award in Comic Role Mr Ram Krishne Won
1998 Best Actor Rana Bhoomi Won
1999 Chandani Won
1999 Kancha Won
1999 Mato Bolcha Won
2000 Basanti Won
2000 Dhuk Dhuki Won
2001 Nepal Pyaro Chha Won
2002 Sahid Gate Won
2002 Dhan Sampati Won
2007 Yuddha Won
2008 The Yug Dekhi Yug Samma Won
2009 Jay Shiva Shankar Won
2009 Raju Raja Ram Won
2010 Best Actor Award in Comic Role Hath Ma Lagyo Sunya Won
2011 Best Supporting Actor Dharmaa Won
2012 Best Comedian Chhabilal Kanjus Chaina Won

References

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  1. ^ a b c शर्मा, विष्णु (9 June 2022). "५८ लागे राजेश हमाल : कृष्टिसँग अफेयरको हल्लादेखि विद्रोही पात्रसम्म". Online Khabar (in Nepali). Archived from the original on 13 July 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  2. ^ "Nepali films battle stiff odds". The Telegraph. Kolkota. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  3. ^ International, Rotary (August 2010). The Rotarian. Rotary International. Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  4. ^ "An hour with the Mahanayak". The Kathmandu Post. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  5. ^ "My 3 Mistakes – Rajesh Hamal". Wave. Archived from the original on 15 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Rajesh Hamal: Like Never Before". The Nepali Man. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Actor Rajesh Hamal gets hitched". kathmandupost.ekantipur.com. Archived from the original on 11 July 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Wedding bells". kathmandupost.com. Archived from the original on 5 August 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  9. ^ Singh, Rishi (1 August 2008). "Superstar". The Himalayan Times. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Rajesh Hamal – My teenage days – Teenz". teenz.com.np. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  11. ^ KC, Reeti (27 September 2019). "Java in the Himalaya". Nepali Times. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Silver screen milestones". kathmandupost.ekantipur.com. Archived from the original on 4 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Silver screen milestones". kathmandupost.ekantipur.com. Archived from the original on 15 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  14. ^ "How successful have Nepali filmmakers been with the historical genre? – OnlineKhabar". 28 April 2016. Archived from the original on 20 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Silver screen milestones". kathmandupost.ekantipur.com. Archived from the original on 15 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  16. ^ Nepal Yearbook. Institute for Integrated Development Studies. 2006. ISBN 9789994698264.
  17. ^ "Miss Nepal - The Hidden Treasure". missnepal.com.np. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Miss Nepal – The Hidden Treasure". missnepal.com.np. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Sitashma is Miss Nepal 2007". The Himalayan Times. 7 April 2007. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  20. ^ ""Ko Banchha Crorepati" premiers in Nepal". Business Standard India. Archived from the original on 4 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  21. ^ "Mahanayak Rajesh Hamal gets five – year – old admitted to school". My Republica. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  22. ^ Mukhiya, Shiva (5 October 2020). "Rajesh Hamal: The mahanayak is stuck in silence". OnlineKhabar. Archived from the original on 11 September 2021. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  23. ^ "Looking for quick fame? Listen to what Rajesh Hamal has to say – OnlineKhabar". 20 April 2018. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Would you vote for Rajesh Hamal? Karishmaa would". kathmandupost.com. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  25. ^ "The people's superstar helps the people". The Kathmandu Post. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  26. ^ "Hamal named goodwill ambassador for reconstruction". The Kathmandu Post. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  27. ^ "Victim of death hoax". The Himalayan Times. 15 May 2017. Archived from the original on 27 June 2021. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
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