Kabir Bedi is one of India's most famous international actors. In a career spanning nearly 46 years, Kabir has dabbled in film, television, theatre and radio, both, in India and abroad. On the occasion of his 71th birthday today, we bring you 10 interesting facts about his life and illustrious career that you may not have known.
1) In the James Bond film 'Octopussy' (1983), he played the villain's aide, Gobinda, who battled Roger Moore. He is the only Bollywood actor to appear in a James Bond movie till date.
2) He has always been grateful to Raj Khosla, who directed him in 'Kuchhe Dhaage' (1973), as his look of a dacoit with beard in this film is what got him the role of an Asian pirate in 'Sandokan'. It was an Italian TV mini-series which broke viewership records across Europe and made Kabir a known face globally.
3) He also starred in the popular American television soap opera 'The Bold and The Beautiful' as Prince Omar Rashid for over a year.
4) Since 1982, Kabir has been a voting member of the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a jury responsible for deciding the Oscar awards. He is also a voting member of the Screen Actors Guild.
5) Kabir Bedi is one of the most respected personalities in Italy. By decree of the President of the Italian Republic of June 2, 2010, Kabir 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.
6) Kabir has been married four times. He wed his longtime partner Parveen Dusanj a day before his 70th birthday. Parveen is born British and is four years younger to Kabir's daughter Pooja Bedi. Kabir and Parveen, who have an age gap of 29 years, have been together for 10 years now.
Parveen Dusanj and Kabir Bedi
7) Kabir's mother, Freda Bedi, was a British woman born in Derby, England, who rose to fame as the first Western woman to become a Buddhist nun.
8) Hindi film producer Johnny Bakshi has been Kabir's friend ever since he first came to Mumbai and the two have collaborated for films like 'Manzilen Aur Bhi Hain' (1974) and 'Vishwasghaat' (1976).
9) In 2007, he starred in 'Ch@t', an Italian radio show where he reprised the role of 'Sandokan'. He also dubbed for Sir Ben Kingsley's character 'Nizam' in the Hindi version of the Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer 'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time'.
10) Kabir Bedi tried penning his autobiography several times but gave up as he didn't feel he has lived the way other people have and he didn't want to influence anyone with his story.