Tom Alter, Tiku Talsania, Utpal Dutt, Asrani: Bollywood's unsung heroes

Updated: 29 September, 2020 12:27 IST | Nikita Wagh
  • Tom Alter

    Tom Alter: A renowned film and theatre artist, Alter didn't get much to do in Bollywood films. He was a British officer in Kranti, a doctor in Khoon Bhari Maang and so on. For the kind of talent he possessed, Bollywood could have done so much more with him.

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  • Annu Kapoor

    Annu Kapoor: Over the course of his career though he hasn't got the kind of roles that do justice to his acting prowess. Only an actor of humungous talent could pull off the character of a crazy newspaper editor like Kapoor did in Mr India. Only recently, he has been able to show his acting prowess a lot more through films like Vicky Donor (2012), Jolly LLB 2 (2017), Dream Girl (2019).

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  • Vijay Raaz

    Vijay Raaz: As the paan-chewing P.K. Dubey in Monsoon Wedding, Raaz's character won a lot of appreciation for the Mira Nair film. His hilarious act in Run - "Kauwa Biryani" - was the only saving grace of the movie. Over the years he has showcased his acting prowess in films like Jungle (2000), Deewane Huye Paagal (2005), Kya Dilli Kya Lahore (2014), Gully Boy (2019), Gulabo Sitabo (2020) and Lootcase (2020).

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  • Asrani

    Asrani: He will forever be remembered for his hilarious two-minute act in Sholay, but Asrani was capable of doing a lot more. His supporting roles in Abhimaan and many other films were appreciated. Sadly, he got typecast as a comedian and mostly did repetitive roles.

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  • Utpal Dutt

    Utpal Dutt: Who can ever forget the moustache twirling gentleman from Golmaal! The film wouldn't be one of Hindi cinema's all-time classics without Dutt and his eccentricities. His funny acts in Naram Garam, Rang Birangi and Shaukeen were also excellent and deserve to be appreciated.

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  • Ravi Baswani

    Ravi Baswani: His comic timing in Chashme Buddoor and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro was nothing short of legendary. However, he never got the kind of roles his talent deserved. Over time, he faded away from the limelight and was seen in minuscule roles in major films. Baswani passed away on July 27, 2010, aged 63, at a time when he was planning his directorial debut. He remained a bachelor throughout his life. In the picture with Naseeruddin Shah in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.

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  • Tiku Talsania

    Tiku Talsania: Having done supporting roles in over 100 films, Talsania has been a constant presence in Hindi films. But he has only got stereotypical comic characters though he is capable of doing much better, as evident from his work on television.

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  • Rajit Kapur

    Rajit Kapur: Best known for his legendary portrayal of detective Byomkesh Bakshi during the DD days, Kapur’s film career has centred around his notable performances in Shyam Benegal films, Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda and Zubeidaa among others. He could have done a lot more in mainstream cinema if only he was given impactful characters.

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  • Kabir Bedi

    Kabir Bedi: The suave Bedi may have become a big star in Europe, but he has never got his due in Bollywood. He was exceptional as the villain in Khoon Bhari Maang, but nothing as challenging has come his way since.

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  • Rakesh Bedi

    Rakesh Bedi: A popular face on Indian television, Bedi could have offered a lot more to Hindi cinema, but never got the deserved opportunity. Bedi held his own against the likes of Farooque Sheikh, Deepti Naval and Ravi Baswani in Chashme Buddoor and made a significant impression in Saath Saath.

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  • Dinesh Hingoo

    Dinesh Hingoo: Character actor Dinesh Hingoo seen here next to Johnny Lever in a still from the 1999 film Laawaris has played mainly comic roles, and has appeared in almost 300 films. He played supporting roles in films like Qurbani, Saajan, Humraaz, Baazigar, No Entry, Judaai and has also acted in several TV serials on Doordarshan.

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  • Sadashiv Amrapurkar

    Sadashiv Amrapurkar: A man who came up with two award-winning acts in radically diverse villainous roles -- Ardh Satya and Sadak – it wouldn't be wrong to say that Bollywood wasted his talent. Over the last two decades, Sadashiv, who passed away in 2014, had done unmemorable roles in Hindi films and, in the last few ventures, wasn't even part of a noted Bollywood film.

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  • Deven Verma

    Deven Verma: An exceptionally talented actor, Verma has won awards for his funny portrayals in Angoor, Chor Ke Ghar Chor and Chori Mera Kaam. For some reason, he is not spoken of in the same breath as other noted comedians.

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  • Satish Shah

    Satish Shah: He made us laugh uncontrollably just by playing a corpse in Kundan Shah's classic comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. That says something about his skill. If only he was offered half as good roles for the rest of his career.

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  • Makarand Deshpande

    Makarand Deshpande: A theatre doyen, he has been grossly underutilised by Bollywood, playing either a drunkard or a goon. He still managed to make an impact in RGV films like Jungle and Satya.

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  • Raghuvir Yadav

    Raghuvir Yadav: An international-award-winning actor, Yadav has done some legendary roles in films and the small screen. He played the drug addict Chillum in Salaam Bombay and was the lead character in the TV series Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne. Suitable roles haven't come his way.

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  • Saurabh Shukla

    Saurabh Shukla: Kallu Mama of Satya, Shukla's name has become synonymous with the character. Although it proves how wonderful his portrayal of the gangster was in the film, it also reiterates how Bollywood typecasts versatile talents.

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  • Ashish Vidyarthi

    Ashish Vidyarthi: The actor who won a National Award for his supporting act in Govind Nilhani's 'Drohkaal' was subsequently ignored. Bollywood's loss has become South cinema's gain, where Vidyarthi has become a much-in-demand villain.

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  • Sharat Saxena

    Sharat Saxena: Daaga of Mr India fame, Saxena made a serious impression as the villain in Ghulam. Since then, he has been relegated to bit roles in big films.

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About The Gallery

Although not touted as superstars, these actors also made their mark, albeit silently. On Tom Alter's death anniversary on September 29, we pay tribute to Hindi cinema's underrated talents.

First Published: 29 September, 2019 08:33 IST