Remembering Jagdish Raj, the quintessential police officer for generations in Hindi cinema, on his 6th death anniversary.

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Remembering Jagdish Raj, the quintessential police officer for generations in Hindi cinema, on his 6th death anniversary.
Every Hindi film buff knows Jagdish Raj by sight, even if she may not know his name. The veteran actor, born Jagdish Raj Khurana in 1928, held the title of police inspector or commissioner several times in his long career. It is said that he was typecast as a lawman in 144 films. He is listed in the Limca Book of Records for essaying ‘most roles as PoliceInspector’. Jagdish Raj became a policeman for the first time in Raj Khosla’s C.I.D. (1956) with Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman where, fittingly, he played a character named Inspector Jagdish. But despite getting pigeon-holed as a law-enforcement officer in most films, Jagdish Raj occasionally managed to find other roles. In films like Seema (1955), Pyaar Ka Saagar (1961) and Do Anjaane (1976), he was a doctor. In Dhool Ka Phool (1959) and Insaniyat Ke Devta (1993), he was a man who had to dispense justice.

The responsibility of being a police officer on screen probably crept into Jagdish Raj’s real life as well. In an interview with The Indian Express, his daughter, actress Anita Raaj, said, “His on-screen police uniform is kept crisply ironed in his cupboard. He was always particular about this, and there were umpteen times when he was mistaken for a real police officer or commissioner!” Jagdish Raj passed away on 28 July 2013 after suffering from respiratory ailments. He was 85.

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