Kishore Pradhan: Among the millennials, he is best remembered for his small role as a railway stationmaster in Jab We Met with this iconic dialogue 'Akeli ladki khuli tijori ki tarah hoti hai'. But the veteran actor, who breathed his last on January 12, 2019, acted in more than 100 Marathi theatre plays, and about 18 English plays. Kishore Pradhan also starred in Lage Raho Munna Bhai as one of the professors and Milind Soman starrer Rules: Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula.
Iftekhar: There was the time in Bollywood when having Iftekhar as a police officer in a film was a must. He donned the khaki in legendary films like 'Zanjeer' and 'Don'. In addition, he also shocked many with his portrayal of the dreaded criminal in 'Khel Khel Mein', and who can forget the crooked industrialist in 'Deewar'?
Utpal Dutt: 'Golmaal' wouldn't have been what it is without Dutt and his eccentricities. His funny acts in 'Naram Garam', 'Rang Birangi' and 'Shaukeen' were also excellent and deserve to be appreciated.
Saeed Jaffrey: As Lalan Mian, the character who runs a paan beedi shop in 'Chashme Buddoor', Jaffrey was likeable. He did roles worthy of praise in 'Gandhi', 'Masoom', 'Mashaal', 'Dil' and, of course, 'Shatranj Ke Khiladi'.
Viju Khote: Another actor who became famous courtesy 'Sholay', Khote was the 'Kaalia' in Gabbar's gang. Other notable films include 'Qurbani', 'Karz', 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak' and 'Andaz Apna Apna' (as the hilarious Robert).
A. K. Hangal: The ultimate character actor, Hangal (second from right) is best remembered as Imaam Saab from 'Sholay'. He mostly played the man of principles, most notably in 'Namak Haraam', apart from father/relative of the leading characters. In some movies, he was also the loyal servant.
David Abraham: He excelled as the support cast in classic comedies such as 'Chupke Chupke', 'Gol Maal', 'Khubsoorat' and 'Baton Baton Mein', mostly playing a relative of the lead character.
Jagdish Raj: Like Iftekar, Raj also specialised in playing the police officer. If anything, he only went one step ahead, and established a record for playing the police official in films the most number of times.
Rajendra Nath: His comic timing was incredible, and Nath used his skill to great effect in successful films like 'Dil Deke Dekho', 'Teesri Manzil', 'Baharon Ke Sapne' and 'Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai'. He usally was Shammi Kapoor's best friend in most of his movies.
Keshto Mukherjee: The man who did not drink in real life was an absolute laught riot as the drunkard on-screen. Even his brief appearances in 'Bombay to Goa', 'Padosan' and 'Sholay' enriched the films with laughter.
Mac Mohan: Most remembered as Sambha of Gabbar Singh's gang in 'Sholay', he also portrayed the side villain in numerous flicks through the 70's and 80's. These included 'Don', 'Karz', 'Satte Pe Satta', and 'Shaan'.
Om Shivpuri: Vardan from the original 'Don', Shivpuri portrayed positive roles as well as characters with grey shades in career spanning over two decades. He acted in over 175 films, 'Koshish', 'Aandhi', 'Khubsoorat', 'Disco Dancer' and 'Hatya' being some of his memorable ones. For trivia enthusiasts, he was the husband of Sudha Shivpuri, who played the iconic 'Baa' in 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi'.
Satyen Kappu: Another 'Sholay' legend, Kappu was Ramlal, Sanjeev Kumar's loyal servant. In a career spanning four decades and nearly 270 films, he portrayed almost every character an actor could - father, police officer, uncle, doctor, apart from a few villainous roles as well. Kappu's notable films include 'Deewaar', 'Kati Patang', 'Don', 'Zanjeer' and 'Namak Halaal'.
Deven Verma: One of Bollywood's best comedians, Verma has never quite got his due. His comic acts in 'Khatta Meetha', 'Angoor' among others are still capable of eliciting plenty of laughs.
Ram Sethi: The yesteryear actor, who was recently seen in a commercial for a bike, was once a common feature in Big B films. As Bhairon in 'Namak Halal', Harnamam in 'Laawaris' and Pyarelal in 'Muqaddar Ka Sikander', Sethi was a wonderful support base for Bachchan.
Shriram Lagoo: A legend of Marathi theatre and cinema, Lagoo has acted in over 100 Hindi films, mostly as the father of the lead actor. His memorable movies feature 'Immaan Dharam', 'Gharaonda', 'Muqaddar Ka Sikandar', 'Laawaris' and 'Souten'.
Asrani: The comedian has become synonymous as the 'angrezo ke zamane ka jailor' from 'Sholay'. His noteworthy supporting roles include those in 'Abhimaan', 'Chupke Chupke' and 'Mere Apne'.
Goga Kapoor: He was mostly the henchman of the main villain, but did make a significant impact as Dinkar Rao in 'Agneepath' and the large-hearted Don in 'Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa'.
Sharat Saxena: Dagga from 'Mr. India', Saxena has featured in close to 160 films in a career that kick-started in the 70's. He has played bit roles in successful films like 'Tridev', 'Ghayal', 'Khiladi', 'Ghulam' and 'Baghban'.
Dalip Tahil: It was referring to his character in 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak' that Aamir Khan sang the evergreen 'Papa Kehte Hain'. Over the years, Tahil also had featured in 'Ram Lakhan', 'Tridev', 'Deewana' and 'Darr' among others. His negative role in 'Baazigar' was well appreciated.
Tun Tun: Uma Devi Khatri, better known by her screen name Tun Tun, is often called the 'first woman comedienne of Hindi cinema'. She entered the Hindi film industry as a singer and eventually moved on to acting. Music composer Naushad Ali asked Dilip Kumar to cast her in one of his films, and she appeared in 'Babul' (1950). It is he who renamed her as Tun Tun to suit her comic persona. She went on to act in Guru Dutt's classics like 'Aar Paar' (1954) and Pyaasa (1957). In the 1960s and 1970s, she was a comic relief in several Hindi films. She also starred in Amitabh Bachchan's 'Namak Halaal' (1982).
Even as lead actors continue to rule the roost in the film industry, a few character artists, who play small but significant roles, create a lasting impression with their acting skills. Veteran actor Kishore Pradhan, who was a talented character actor passed away last week (January 12, 2019), here's a tribute to these unsung heroes...
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