Remembering Bollywood’s yesteryear actor Mahipal on his 11th death anniversary today.

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Mahipal was a popular Bollywood actor who worked mainly in Historical, Mythological and Fantasy films. During a career which flourished in the black and white era of Hindi cinema, Mahipal acted in several well-known films of the 50s and 60s.

Mahipal Chandra Bhandari better known by his first name Mahipal was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan on December 24, 1919. Since his schooling day, Mahipal showed interest in dance, drama, poetry, and acting.

Mahipal came to Mumbai in the 1940s and made his film debut in the 1942 film Nazrana. He went on to work with directors like Sohrab Modi and later with Wadia Brothers — Homi Wadia and JBH Wadia, however it was his work with V. Shantaram that got him lasting acclaim.

He worked in several mythological and historical films with actresses like Nirupa Roy, Mala Sinha, Shyama, and even Meena Kumari.

His notable films include V.Shantaram’s Navrang, Sampoorna Ramayan, Jai Santoshi Maa, Zabak, Parasmani etc.

He also did a series of fantasy films based on Arabian Nights including, Alibaba and 40 Thieves (1954), Aladdin Aur Jadui Chirag (1952) and Alibaba ka Beta (1955), which gave him popularity even in Gulf countries.

His movies, many of them musicals, were known for music, classical dance, and memorable songs. He acted in mythological movies and in stunt movies with the same brilliance. He broke the convention of old Hindi movies, in which only women danced, and leading ladies were said to be reluctant to perform with him, for fear of being outshone.

His last film was Jai Baba Amarnath (1983).

Mahipal died of a cardiac arrest in Mumbai on May 15, 2005 at the age of 86.

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Celebrating Cinema

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