Remembering one of Hindi cinema’s most popular and versatile character actors, Om Prakash, on his 100th birth anniversary.
His versatility was unique. True, actors like Pran and Ashok Kumar achieved iconic heights, elevating the status of a character actor. Comical and negative roles were performed with the same flair but Om Prakash, for his stupendous contribution to Indian cinema, remained unsung. Awards eluded him even though he carried many a film on his shoulders.
His trademark drawl was a feature. “Arre bhaagwan” he would blurt and make his presence felt strongly on the screen. He was a natural. To have begun as a radio artist and created a niche for himself in the highly competitive and demanding world of Hindi cinema was some achievement for this brilliant actor. He could make you laugh and cry and win hearts with his flawless and convincing acting.
Om Prakash showed no signs of nerves when pitted against some of the biggest names in the industry. In “Gopi”, he matched the great Dilip Kumar when playing his elder brother, in “Buddha Mil Gaya” he gave a fine display of his repertoire, In “Annadata”, he dominated the movie with his class act, he was the central figure in “Dus Lakh”, “Apna Desh” brought the best out of him in a negative role. The list could go on because Om Prakash gave his best, whatever be the challenge.