Happy Birthday, Pankaj Kapur.

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Happy Birthday, Pankaj Kapur.

Pankaj Kapur (born 29 May 1954) is a theatre, television and film actor. He is the father of actor Shahid Kapoor with his first wife, Neelima Azeem. He has appeared in several television serials and films.

His most acclaimed film roles to date have been that of Inspector P.K. in Raakh (1989), Dr. Dipankar Roy in Ek Doctor Ki Maut (1991) and Abba ji, (based on Shakespeare’s King Duncan) in Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of Macbeth; Maqbool (2003), all three roles which got him National Film Awards.

In the 1980s, he became a household name through the TV series Karamchand, a comedy television series in the detective genre. And in the millennium, Office Office, a comic satire on prevalent corruption in India.

He made his film debut with Shyam Benegal’s film Arohan (1982). Following that he played the role of Mahatma Gandhi’s second secretary, Pyarelal, in the Richard Attenborough film Gandhi in 1982. Later he dubbed for Ben Kingsley in the Hindi version of the film.

Thereafter he appeared in a string of art films that came under the parallel cinema category, with leading art films directors, starting with Shyam Benegal’s Mandi (1983), Kundan Shah’s comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro again in 1983. This was followed by Saeed Akhtar Mirza satirical Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho! (1984), Mrinal Sen’s Khandhar (1984), and Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s suspense thriller Khamosh in 1985. He appeared in many art films, many of which went on to win National Film Awards.

In 1986, he switched to television, with the role of Karamchand jasoos(detective) in the detective-comedy, Karamchand, also starring Sushmita Mukherjee. Over the years he has been seen in numerous TV serials, including, Kab Tak Pukaroon (Doordarshan) Zabaan Sambhaal Ke (a remake of the English TV series, Mind Your Language), Lifeline with Vijaya Mehta, Neem ka Ped and finally comic interludes in Philips Top 10.

Meanwhile, his tryst with art cinema continued, as he starred in films like Chameli Ki Shaadi (1986), Ek Ruka Hua Faisla (1986), and Yeh Woh Manzil To Nahin (1987). In 1987, his comic side was visible again in the commercial action film Jalwa, also starring Naseeruddin Shah.

His first National Film Award came with the 1989 film, Raakh, which also starred Aamir Khan.

He starred in the classic Punjabi film Marhi Da Diva (1989). He featured in the 1992 Mani Ratnam film Roja directed. (Roja was made in Tamil and later dubbed in Hindi, Marathi, Telugu and Malayalam.)

In 2000 he returned to television with the serial Office Office a satirical take on the prevalent corruption in India.

In 2003 he appeared in Maqbool, Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. His antagonistic performance as the short-statured, potbellied, shuffle-footed Abbaji in Maqbool got him the 2004 National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor. Meanwhile, he released films like The Blue Umbrella (2005), Dus (2005) and Halla Bol (2007). In 2006, he started to be seen again on TV. In the TV series, Naya Office Office, a sequel to his previous series Office Office.

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