Kader Khan (1937-2018): The versatile genius who was a star in his own right

Updated: Jan 02, 2019, 12:04 IST | mid-day online correspondent

The veteran actor, Kader Khan breathed his last on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 due to prolonged illness

Kader Khan (1937-2018): The versatile genius who was a star in his own right
Kader Khan. Picture Courtesy: mid-day archive.

It aches to write about Kader Khan in the past tense. The versatile actor, who is known for his impeccable performances, and has rendered his work since decades to the Hindi film industry, has left for heavenly abode. The 81-year-old breathed his last on 1 January 2019 on New Year's Day. Due to prolonged illness, and contracting pneumonia at the last stage, Kader Khan finally gave up on life, and has etched a special place in the history of Hindi film industry, which is truly irreplaceable.


The thespian, who was born in Afghanistan, was suffering from PSP (Progressive Supranuclear palsy) which is an uncommon brain disorder that affects movement, control of walking (gait) and balance, speech, swallowing, vision, mood, and behaviour, and thinking. The disease results from damage to nerve cells in the brain.

In the past few years, he cut the chords with the mainstream Hindi film industry because he couldn't adapt to the changing work culture in Bollywood. His elder son, Sarfaraz Khan, even admitted to this fact and said, "The industry started functioning quite differently. The corporates came in, dosti-yaari sab khatam ho gayi, and it was just kaam se kaam. This put him off completely. Many of his well-wishers reasoned with him- but he was adamant."


Born in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 22, Khan made his acting debut in 1973 with Rajesh Khanna's Daag. However, it was at the age of one, when Kader Khan's family migrated to Mumbai. They lived in the slums and Khan was enrolled in a municipal school. He got enrolled in school and later he graduated (1970-195) from Ismail Yusuf College affiliated to Mumbai University. Khan was a promising student and started teaching as a civil engineer professor at M. H. Saboo Siddik College of Engineering, Byculla.

However, Kader Khan was destined to reach heights! His story took a filmy turn. It all began at an annual day function in college, where the evergreen superstar Dilip Kumar was invited as the judge. Kader Khan had participated in one of the plays and heaped praises for the same. Dilip Kumar was mighty impressed by his performance, so much so that he signed Khan for his next two films - Sagina Mahato and Bairaag.

Not only an acclaimed actor, comedian, but Kader Khan was also a renowned dialogue-writer. He penned dialogues for Randhir Kapoor-Jaya Bachchan's Jawani Diwani. He also wrote dialogues for Coolie No. 1, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Karma and Sultanat. Till date, the actor featured in over 450 films and wrote dialogues for over 250 movies.


Also as a screenwriter, Kader Khan often joined hands with the legendary Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra. The films they've worked together as a unit are Dharam Veer, Ganga Jamuna Saraswati, Coolie, Desh Premee, Suhaag, Parvarish and Amar Akbar Anthony and films with Mehra include Jwalamukhi, Sharaabi, Lawaaris, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar.

Khan was paid handsomely for writing dialogues for the cult film Roti (1974). Kader Khan was an encyclopedia of acting and most popularly recognized for working with famous actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Govinda, etc and in films by David Dhawan. He played varied roles of supporting actors and gained equal prominence as the star of the film.

He also wrote screenplays for films starring Amitabh Bachchan like Agneepath and Naseeb. In 1991, he won the Filmfare Best Comedian Award for the movie 'Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri'. From 1984 to 1999, he was nominated nine times for Filmfare Best Comedian Award for different films. The AFMI (American Federation of Muslims from India) recognized him for his achievement and service to the Muslim community in India.


He was married and has two sons Sarfaraz and Shahnawaz Khan. Kader Khan had a great command over Urdu, Hindi, English and Pashto language. As dialogue and scriptwriter, Kader Khan has also written dialogues for super hit movies like Sharaabi, Coolie, Lawaaris, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar and Amar Akbar Anthony.

He has definitely left behind his piece of work as his memorial for generations and generations to come...

Also Read: Veteran Bollywood Actor Kader Khan Passes Away At Age 81

Catch up on all the latest entertainment news and gossip here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

Bollywood celebs spotted around town

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK
The Guide Restaurant Awards 2019
Vote for your fave Bombay Adda from 6 nominees

Vote for your fave Bombay Adda from 6 nominees