Remembering Om Prakash, one of Hindi cinema’s most versatile character actors, on his 98th birth anniversary today.
Om Prakash (19 December 1919–21 February 1998) was a character actor. He was born in Lahore, now India as Om Prakash Chibber. He used to play the role of Kamla in the stage play by the famous Dewan Mandir Natak Samaj Koliwada. Starting his career in 1942, he was a popular supporting actor from the 1950s until the 1980s.
Om Prakash played the leading man in films like Dus Lakh, Annadata and Charandas ‘Sadhu aur Shaitan’. His pivotal roles in the films Dil Daulat Duniya, Chupke Chupke, Julie, Joroo Ka Ghulam, Aa Gale Lag Jaa, Pyar Kiye Jaa, Padosan and Buddha Mil Gaya are considered to be among his best along with Daddu in Namak Halaal and De Silva in Zanjeer. His roles in ‘Sharabi’, ‘Bharosa’, ‘Tere Ghar Ke Samne’, ‘Mere Humdum Mere Dost’, ‘Loafar’, ‘Dil Tera Diwana’ were also appreciated.
He is known for his roles in comedy films. One of his best performances in his later years were Naukar Biwi Ka, Sharaabi (1984) and Chameli Ki Shaadi, where he played a role that was pivotal for the movie.
He joined All India Radio in 1937 on a monthly salary of Rs 25. He was known as “Fateh Din”, a radio personality and his programmes made him popular all over Lahore and Punjab.
Om Prakash was a versatile actor with 307 films to his credit. One can never forget his comic performances in Howrah Bridge, Dus Lakh (he won his first major award for this performance), Pyar Kiye Jaa, Padosan, Sadhu Aur Shaitaan, Dil Daulat Duniya, Chupke Chupke, Namak Halaal, Gol Maal and Chameli Ki Shaadi. His performance as Dilip Kumar’s elder brother in Gopi gave his career new impetus. He proved that he could play mature roles with equal ease and depth: Films like Chacha Zindabad, Khandan, Haryali Aur Raasta, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai, Pati Patni, Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare, Mere Hamdam Mere Dost, Annadata, Ek Shriman Ek Shrimati, Doli, Chirag, Amar Prem, Aankh Micholi, Ek Hasina Do Diwane, Anuraag, Zanjeer, Sagina, Aa Gale Lag Jaa, Loafer, Roti, Julie, Khushboo, Lawaaris, Bandish, Sharaabi and Chameli Ki Shaadi.
Om Prakash had a special rapport with Amitabh Bachchan and both worked in many successful films spanning from Zanjeer to Sharaabi.
Prakash produced many films Sanjog (1961), Jahan Ara (1964) and Gateway of India (1957).