Anupam Kher was born on March 7, 1955, in Shimla, into a Kashmiri Pandit family. His father Pushkarnath Kher was a clerk, while his mother Dulari is a homemaker. Kher went to D. A. V. School in Shimla and later headed to Delhi to study in National School of Drama (NSD). (All pictures courtesy/mid-day archives)
However, unlike his NSD friends, who headed straight to Mumbai after their graduation, Anupam Kher pursued a teaching career for a brief period. He was a teacher in Lucknow before coming to Mumbai.
Anupam Kher entered Bollywood in 1982 with a film that was coincidentally titled Aagmaan (arrival in Hindi). However, it was through Saaransh (1984) that Kher gained recognition.
At age 28, Anupam Kher played a retired middle-class man in Saaransh, which was about an elderly Maharashtrian couple living Mumbai, who try to come to terms with the death of their only son in a mugging incident in New York. It starred Rohini Hattangadi, Soni Razdan and Madan Jain besides Anupam Kher.
Anupam Kher's most acclaimed role till date has been that of terrorist Dr Dang in Karma. The Subhash Ghai directorial starred Dilip Kumar, Nutan, Naseeruddin Shah, Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor, Poonam Dhillon, Sridevi, Dara Singh besides Kher.
After Saaransh, Anupam Kher went on to make it big as an actor by his performances in films like Ram Lakhan, ChaalBaaz, Beta, 1942: A Love Story, Tezaab, Parinda, Dil, Saudagar and many more.
At his peak, Anupam Kher was adept at playing villainous as well as comic characters. Be it Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge's happy-go-lucky brat Raj's 'Pops', or Rajjo's foreboding patriarch in 1942: A Love Story, and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai's foot-in-mouth college principal, smitten by Miss Braganza - Anupam Kher's 'old man' has had myriad expressions on screen.
Anupam Kher produced and played the lead role in the critically-acclaimed 2005 film Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara. In the same year, he established his dream project Actor Prepares, which is an acting school in the heart of Mumbai, where he takes time off his schedule to personally impart some of his acting secrets to young and aspiring actors.
In 1985, Anupam Kher married actress-turned-politician Kirron Kher. Their son Sikander Kher is also an actor. Sikander is Kirron's son from her first husband Gautam Berry. They have been cast members in the films Pestonjee, Veer-Zaara, Rang De Basanti and Total Siyapaa.
On a chat show, a few years ago, Kirron Kher had opened up about her love story with Anupam Kher. "We used to call Anupam the group's opening batsman in college since he had several girlfriends and was very flirty. Sabko hasaa hasaa kar phasaa deta tha... mujhe bhi waise hi phasaya...we became friends first and before I knew it, I fell in love with my best friend," she stated.
On being asked whether the romance in their relationship is still alive, she said, "Dekho, romance toh over time does fizzle out... but till date, he's as loyal to me as he was when we first fell in love, and that's more than important."
"But we are total opposites... I'm a control freak and the organised one whereas he's the calm and forgetful one. I'm always fighting with him when he forgets to put the toothpaste cap back on or when he forgets to close the bedroom door," she added.
Anupam Kher is very fond of kids. Some years back Anupam Kher had even hosted a chat show featuring kids, titled Say Na Something to Anupam Uncle.
During the 1990s, he religiously took time off his schedule to teach a regular weekly class at Dilkhush, a school for specially-abled children at Juhu. The connection sparked a desire in Anupam to champion the cause and cater to the needs of such children and he established the Anupam Kher Foundation in 2008 for the purpose.
The actor has been in the Hindi film industry over three decades now and done some memorable roles. Anupam Kher had served as the chairman of the Indian Film Censor Board (2017-2018) and was also director of the National School of Drama (NSD) from 2001 to 2004.
An actor with a repertoire of over 500 movies including international and South Indian projects, Anupam Kher completed around 34 years in the film industry.
Anupam Kher has also appeared in acclaimed international films such as the 2002 Golden Globe-nominated Bend It Like Beckham, Ang Lee's 2007 Golden Lion-winning Lust, Caution, David O. Russell's 2013 Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook, A Family Man (2016), Michael Showalter's The Big Sick (2017) and Hotel Mumbai (upcoming film).
Broadening his horizons, Anupam Kher is also part of NBC show New Amsterdam. Inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in the US, the series follows the brilliant and charming doctor Max Goodwin played by actor Ryan Eggold, the institution's newest medical director who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care.
Anupam Kher was last seen in The Accidental Prime Minister, which delved on former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's tenure.
Here's wishing a very happy birthday to Anupam Kher!
As Anupam Kher turns 64, we look back at the veteran actor's journey in Bollywood through a compilation of some unseen pictures
DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.