Remembering Rajendra Nath, popular Hindi film comedian of yesteryears, on his 11th death anniversary today.
The well-known comedian Rajendra Nath Malhotra, commonly known as Rajendra Nath, was a popular face in Hindi films made in the 1960s — 1970s. The younger brother of actor Prem Nath, he was born on June 8, 1931, and studied in Darbar College, Rewa. Originally from Peshawar, his family eventually settled in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh after the Partition in 1947. He had eight brothers and four sisters. One of his sisters, Krishna married Raj Kapoor later and another, Uma, married Prem Chopra.
With older brother Prem Nath already working as an actor in Bombay, the younger Malhotra too came to the city looking to join a college for higher studies. However, he ended up joining a theatre group and later on, Prithivi Theatre. The comic actor had to struggle to make his mark in the film industry. Initially he would do minor roles, but eventually, he bagged the role of the comedian in Dil Deke Dekho (1959), directed by Nasir Hussain. The new actor grabbed the attention of many eminent directors in the industry. He was seen in a lot of Asha Parekh movies like Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963), Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961), Teesri Manzil (1966), Baharon Ke Sapne (1967) and Pyar Ka Mausam (1969) thereafter. He gifted himself a Triumph sports car after his success.
His popularity rose and he experimented by accepting the role of a villain in Hamrahi (1974). Nath also played the lead roles in a few films. However, he is best remembered as one of the most popular and prolific comedians in Indian cinema with a list of 187 successful films.
One of Rajendra Nath’s most commendable performances was in Manoj Kumar’s Purab Aur Paschim (1970) though his role was not a full-fledged comedy role. He was also a part of Nepal’s first movie called Maitighar (1966) which was shot in Kathmandu, Nepal. He also worked in some Punjabi films.
He died on 13 February 2008 after a cardiac arrest.