Remembering Iftekhar, the actor who immortalized the role of the police officer in Hindi cinema on his birth anniversary (22/02).

BollywooDirect
2 min readFeb 22, 2024

Remembering #Iftekhar, the actor who immortalized the role of the police officer in Hindi cinema on his birth anniversary (22/02). Iftekhar was born in Jalandhar and was the oldest of five siblings. He finished school and then studied painting in Lucknow. He loved singing and admired singer Kundanlal Sehgal. In his twenties, Iftekhar went to Calcutta to try out for a music composer, Kamal Dasgupta, who worked for HMV. Dasgupta liked Iftekhar so much that he suggested him for an acting role. Iftekhar’s first film was “Taqraar” in 1944, produced by Art Films-Kolkata. When India was divided, Iftekhar’s family moved to Pakistan, but he had to leave Calcutta because of violence. He went to Bombay with his wife and daughters, where life was tough at first. He got help from actor Ashok Kumar, whom he met in Calcutta, and got a part in the film “Muqaddar” in 1950. Iftekhar acted in more than 400 movies from the 1940s to the early 1990s. His brother, Imtiaz Ahmed, became a well-known TV actor in Pakistan. Iftekhar started as a lead actor in the early days of Bollywood but later played roles like fathers, uncles, and police officers. He was known for playing good guys but sometimes played villains too. One of his famous villain roles was in the film “Deewaar” (1975). In the 1960s and 1970s, Iftekhar often played police roles. He had memorable parts in many classic Bollywood films like “Deewaar,” “Zanjeer,” and “Sholay.” He also acted in an American TV show “Maya” and English-language films “Bombay Talkie” and “City of Joy.”

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