Remembering legendary bollywood comedian Mehmood Ali on his 14th death anniversary today.

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Mehmood Ali (29 September 1932–23 July 2004), popularly known simply as Mehmood, was an actor, singer, director, and producer best known for playing comic roles in Hindi films. During his career of more than four decades, he worked in over 300 Hindi films. Mehmood received 25 Nominations for Filmfare awards, 19 for ‘Best Performance in a Comic Role’, while the awards started in 1954, awards for the best comedian category started only in 1967. Prior to that Mehmood also received 6 nominations for ‘Best Supporting Actor’.

As a child, he worked in Mumbai films like Kismet. He later had a number of odd jobs, working as a driver for director P. L. Santoshi. Santoshi’s son, Rajkumar Santoshi, would later cast him in the film Andaz Apna Apna.

After getting married to legendary actress Meena Kumari’s younger sister Madhu and becoming a father, he decided to act to earn a better living starting with a small break as a killer in the film CID. He started off by doing small, unnoticed roles in films like the peanut seller in Do Bigha Zameen and Pyaasa. He later went on to act in lead roles, but he was appreciated for his comedy, some of which was in the Hyderabad region’s Urdu accent.

Towards the end of the 70s, Mehmood’s popularity began to decline as other comedy actors like Jagdeep, Asrani, Paintal, Deven Verma and Kader Khan shot to prominence. Between 1989 and 1999, he made a handful of movies, but most of them were either shelved or made no impression. He acted as Johnny in Rajkumar Santoshi’s Andaz Apna Apna — his last hit film as an actor.

On 23 July 2004, Mehmood died in his sleep in the American state of Pennsylvania, where he had traveled to for treatment of cardiovascular heart disease after suffering from poor health over several years. His fans were able to pay homage to him at Mehboob Studio in Bandra, Mumbai.

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