Remembering Bob Christo on his 6th death anniversary.

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Robert John Christo, popularly known as Bob Christo, was an Australian-Indian civil engineer and actor in Hindi films. Starting with Sanjay Khan’s Abdullah (1980), he went on to act in over 200 Hindi films in the 1980s and 1990s, including Qurbani (1980), Kaalia (1981), Nastik (1983), Mard (1985), Mr India (1987), Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1993) and Gumraah (1993), mostly playing roles as a henchman or an Army General

Born in Sydney, Australia, Christo was a qualified Civil Engineer. He had two brothers, Helmut and Mike. Known for his brawny physique and bald headed look, Bob arrived in Mumbai, India whilst awaiting a work permit to expatriate to Muscat. It is in Mumbai where he was introduced to Bollywood actress Parveen Babi who enabled him his first steps into the world of Hindi films.

He received his first break, as a typecast villain in the Hindi movie Abdullah in 1980.Christo decided to stay in India and appeared in over 200 movies in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. His film career had restricted him to typecasted roles as an antagonist to the main villain, or a British Indian army officer in pre-war related movies.

He had appeared in many of Amitabh Bachchan’s hit movies in the 1980s and early 1990s including Mard, Kaalia, Geraftaar, Agneepath, Toofan, Jaadugar etc. to name a few. Amitabh Bachchan’s famous dialogue ‘Hum Jahan Khade hote hain line wahin se shuru hoti hai’ (The queue starts from where I stand) was actaully mouthed first by Bob Christo in the movie. It is only after him Bachchan says his lines.

During later stages of his life, he relocated to Bangalore in early 2000, where he started working as a Yoga instructor and remained inactive from the Hindi movie industry from 2003. Partly due to how little is known about him and partly due to the number of movies in which he has appeared, Bob Christo has a cult following of sorts. On 17 June 2008, Adil Ray officially announced, as part of the BBC Asian Network’s Bollywood month, his intention to search for the legend, Bob. However, he was unsuccessful.

The 72-year-old actor died of “rupture of left ventricle valve” in Bangalore on 20 March 2011. Tributes poured from all over India. He is survived by his wife Nargis and two sons, Darius and Sunil. He has two daughters, Monique and Nicole from previous marriage.

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Celebrating Cinema

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