Upendra Limaye

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Upendra Limaye
उपेंद्र लिमये
Upendra Limaye 1.jpg
Stage, television, screen actor, drama director
Born (1969-11-08) 8 November 1969 (age 50)[1]
ResidenceMumbai, Maharashtra, India
Spouse(s)Dr Swati

Upendra Limaye (born 8 November 1969) is an Indian film actor, who won the National Film Award for his role in the Marathi film Jogwa. [2][3]

On the centenary of Indian cinema in April 2013, Forbes included Limaye's performance in the film on its list, "25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema[4]".


Upendra Limaye is a versatile actor who has performed a wide variety of roles on stage, screen and television, earning several prestigious awards for his acting.

He has acted in numerous experimental plays, Marathi parallel films, television serials, Hindi mainstream movies and a few South Indian films. He has worked with renowned stage and film directors like Madhur Bhandarkar, Ram Gopal Verma, Amol Palekar, Rajiv Patil, Jabbar Patel, Satish Alekar, Vinay Apte, Waman Kendre, Chandrakant Kulkarni, Anant Mahadevan, Karupaniannan and others.

He began acting in school, in plays organised for social gatherings. Developing a liking for the stage, in college he opted to major in dramatic art. While studying, he co-founded, with three like-minded friends, an Experimental Theatre platform called ‘Parichay’, which produced a variety of plays over the course of next 9 years. And his various roles in those plays established him as an accomplished actor and brought him into prominence. This led to parts in Marathi parallel cinema and eventually in Hindi mainstream movies.

A multi-faceted actor with an astounding range, he brings a searing intensity and honesty to his performances. When he commits to a role, he is known to go all the way to bring the character alive. His essential integrity illuminates and deepens even the most ordinary of the characters he portrays.

His fresh, sincere and inspiring approach to acting was evident in his lead role in the Marathi film, ‘Jogwa,’ directed by noted film maker Rajiv Patil. His controlled, understated yet forceful performance earned him the Best Male Actor award at the 56th National Films Awards in 2010, making him the first Marathi actor to be honoured with the distinction in the awards’ history. Besides ‘Jogwa’, he has appeared in several National award-winning films, like ‘Mukta,’ ‘Bangarwadi,’ ‘Sarkarnama,’ ‘Dhyasparva’, ‘Chandni Bar,’ ‘Page 3,’ ‘Traffic Signal,’ to mention a few. He continues to be in popular demand by Marathi, Hindi and South Indian film makers.

Upendra Limaye is married to Dr. Swati and has a daughter, Bhairavi and a son, Ved.

Family Background[edit]

He was the first member of his family to become a stage, television and screen actor. He had no hereditary ‘gift’ to bank on. Nor any of the advantages of the privileged. His rise as an acclaimed actor was the result of many unnoticed things. Passion, hard work, learning from actual experience, an open, enquiring, receptive mind avidly imbibing influences from all around him, humility to listen to and learn from the noted, established personalities in his field he came to work with, faith in himself. And, above all - as he frankly admits it - sheer luck. Luck in being at the right place at the right time and meeting the right people who gave him opportunities, boosted him, helped him hone his craft and evolve into a sincere, committed, professional artist.

Upendra Limaye was born and grew up in a middle-class, conservative family in Pune’s Sadashiv Peth. His upbringing was shaped by a curious mixture of both: orthodoxy and somewhat liberal leanings. His father’s side was strictly conventional, adhering to the respected, age-old traditions. But his mother’s family, living nearby, was somewhat open and liberal, drawn to humour, poetry, artistic pursuits, tasteful cinema etc. Thus, he grew up, assimilating the best of both. He respected traditions, yet harboured a yearning for innovation.[5]

School Plays[edit]

Upendra Limaye studied up to the 10th standard in New English High School, Tilak Road, Pune. He was more interested in extra-curricular activities than studies. This prompted him to start taking part in the school’s social gatherings plays. He didn’t know it then. But the seeds of his career were sown in those school dramas. The school nurtured the growth of dramatic art. And his drama teacher, Mrs Bhanutai, supported and encouraged him, boosting his confidence in his ability to act. He took part in several school drama competitions, also became the school’s cultural representative, and developed a real liking for drama.

For Junior College, he took admission in Bharti Vidyapeeth. Here, too, the cultural atmosphere was just right. He continued acting in plays, took part in various inter-collegiate drama contests, even won some awards for his acting. Yet, he remained merely curious about the field of acting, imbibing inputs for his craft from whatever sources were available at the time.

That changed in the 11th standard when one day he happened to see a professional drama called, ‘Padgham’, directed by Jabbar Patel. With its student union theme and powerful performances, ‘Padgham’ exerted a profound effect on Upendra. For the first time, he felt the sheer strength of drama. He sensed its amazing power to entertain, influence and move audiences. He was awed by its potential to offer artists a limitless field for personal creativity and expression. Now he knew he wanted to be an actor.

So, after the 12th exam, he told his family he was going to join Lalit Kala Kendra, the Centre for Performing Arts, to major in dramatic art. No one objected to his decision. His father just told him, "Do whatever you like to do, but be at the top!" A familial injunction he has scrupulously tried to fulfill till date.

Enrolling in Lalit Kala Kendra marked the first turning point in his life.

But immediately after joining the college, to earn his upkeep, he secured a job with Pune’s Alurkar Music House, the only regular job he has ever held. The job, as destiny would have it, lasted just a year. For not long after, he met three like-minded theatre devotees, Sanjay Pawar, Subodh Pande and Abhay Godse who, like him, yearned to do something different in the theatre field. So, in 1988, the four friends got together and founded an Experimental Theatre platform called ‘Parichay’, and launched their novel dramatic movement.

In the next decade, Upendra acted in numerous experimental and commercial plays (see Theatre). With his talent getting recognised and lauded, barely three years after the founding of Parichay, he began getting parts in Marathi parallel cinema, produced by well-known film makers. He was now a versatile and recognised actor.

Looking back now, he feels, "it was the best period of my life…a sort of romantic, idealistic phase where we dreamt of doing great work, of producing pure art without any commercial compromise."[5]


Films by Upendra Limaye

Year Title Language Role Other notes
1994 Mukta Marathi Activist
1995 Bangarwadi Marathi Shekoo
Katha Don Ganpatravanchi Marathi Rohodas
1998 Sarkarnama Marathi Sapkale
2000 Kairee Marathi Deshpande Teacher
2001 Dhyasparva/Kal Ka Admi Marathi/Hindi Press Owner
2003 Chandni Bar Hindi Gokul
2004 Savarkhed: EK Gaav Marathi Surshya
2005 Page 3 Hindi Inspector Bhonsale
2006 Jatra Marathi Ramdas Mali
Blind Game Marathi Karamchand
Shiva Hindi Bapu
Sivappathigaram Tamil Inspector
2007 Darling Hindi Inspector Reddy
Traffic Signal Hindi Manya Langda
Pranali Hindi Sultan
2008 Urus Marathi Mahadev
Sarkar Raj Hindi Kantilal Vora
Contract Hindi Goonga
2009 Made in China Marathi Kailash
Jogwa Marathi Tayappa Won Maharashtra State Government Awards for Best Actor
National Film Award for Best Actor
2010 Mee Sindhutai Sapkal Marathi Shrihari
2010-11 Dhoosar Marathi Arjun
2010-11 Mahaguru Marathi Shankar
2011 My Name is 340 Hindi 340
2013 Kokanastha Marathi Gautam
2013 Tuhya Dharma Koncha? Marathi Kavadu
2014 Gunaaji Konkani/Marathi/Hindi Gunaaji
2014 Yellow Marathi Swimming Coach
2017 Vitha Marathi
2017 Sur Sapata Marathi Anna Bhosale
2018 Mulshi Pattern Marathi Vitthal
Upendra Limaye at IFFI 2010 Goa


  • Best Actor

Natya Gaurav Award Year : 1996 Play Jallai Tuzi Preet

  • Best Actor

Kalnirnaya Award Year : 1996 Play Jallai Tuzi Preet

  • Best Actor

Maharashtra Times Award Year : 2005 Film Page 3

  • Best Actor

Hamlog Award Year : 2005 Film Page3

  • Best Actor

Rashtriya Ratna Award Year : 2006 Film Page 3

  • Best Actor

Kalarang Award Year : 2009 Film Sarkar Raj / Urus

  • Best Actor

National Film Award Year : 2009 Film Jogwa

  • Best Actor

Shivaji Ganeshan Award Year : 2009 Film Jogwa

  • Best Actor

V. Shantaram Award Year : 2009 Film Jogwa

  • Best Actor

Baburao Painter Award Year : 2009 Film Jogwa

  • Best Actor

Sanskriti Kaladarpan Award Year : 2009 Film Jogwa

  • Best Actor

Maharashtra Times Award Year : 2009 Film Jogwa

  • For Outstanding

Contribution to his Profession Maharashtra Ratna Puraskar Year : 2010

  • For Outstanding

Contribution to his Profession Ninad Puraskar Year : 2010


  1. ^ "Upendra Limaye Profile" (PDF).
  2. ^ "'जोगवा'साठी उपेंद्र लिमयेला राष्ट्रीय पुरस्कार". Maharashtra Times. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  3. ^ Bramhe, Shripad (31 January 2010). "'तोयप्पा' साकारताना..." Sakaal. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  4. ^ "25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema | Forbes India". Forbes India. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Upendra Limye - Biography". www.upendralimaye.com. Retrieved 23 June 2019.

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