Remembering Deven Varma, Bollywood’s one of the most loved character actors, on his 81st birth anniversary today.
One of the finest actors who taught us how to make people roll on the floor with laughter with subtle humor, Deven Varma’s comic roles in Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterji’s films are still in the audience’s memory, whether it was as Manshukh in ‘Kisi Se Na Kehna’ or as the lovable Bahadur in ‘Angoor’. He has won Filmfare Award thrice for ‘Chori Mera Kaam’, ‘Chor Ke Ghar Chor’ and ‘Angoor’, the last being directed by Gulzar and still considered one of Bollywood’s best comedies.
Varma started his acting career as a stage artist and eventually made his Bollywood debut with a supporting role in Yash Chopra’s ‘Dharmputra’ in 1961, which did not do well.
He shot to fame with his performance in 1975 film ‘Chori Mera Kaam,’ which bagged him his first Filmfare Award for Best Comedian.
Varma, who was married to Ashok Kumar’s daughter Rupa Ganguly, turned producer with ‘Yakeen’ in 1969 and also took to direction two years later with ‘Nadaan.’ He produced and directed Amitabh Bachchan-starrer ‘Besharam’ in 1978.
He also acted in Marathi and Bhojpuri films.
Known as a man of principles, he had consistently refused to act in roles that demanded poking fun at handicapped and physically disabled people, earning respect in the film industry.
Deven Varma passed away in Pune on December 2, 2014 following a cardiac arrest.