Sadashiv Dattaray Amrapurkar (11 May 1950–3 November 2014) was an actor, best known for his performances in Marathi and Hindi films in the period 1983 to 1999.
He received the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role in 1991 for Sadak — the first time the award was instituted. In addition to negative roles, he has done supporting roles and, more recently, comic roles.
Amrapurkar started his career as an actor in Marathi theatre, eventually acting and directing nearly fifty plays, before transitioning to films. He made his film debut with the role of Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 22 June 1897 a Marathi historical film directed by Jayoo Patwardhan and Nachiket Patwardhan.
He won a number of awards in theatre and film. His first film was Govind Nihalani’s Ardha Satya (1983), for which he won a Filmfare Award. He has acted in more than 300 movies in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Oriya, Haryanvi, Telugu and Tamil. In 1993, he won the Filmfare award for Best Actor in a villainous role, the first time this award was instituted.
In 1981–82, Amarapurkar acted in a Marathi stage play, Hands-Up!, alongside stage actors Avinash Masurekar and Bhakti Barve-Inamdar. This play was successful and Amrapurkar was noticed by director Govind Nihalani who was searching for an actor to play the central negative character in his movie Ardh Satya. The movie went on to be a hit and Amrapurkar’s acting was appreciated. His style of dialog delivery was considered unique as compared to the popular Hindi movie villains in those days. Amrapurkar won a Filmfare Award for his performance in the film.
After Ardha Satya, Amarapurkar starred in Purana Mandir, Nasoor, Muddat, Jawani, and Khamosh. In 1987, he starred as the main villain in Dharamendra starrer Hukumat which went on to be a blockbuster that grossed even more than Mr. India. From 1988 he increasingly appeared in villainous roles in films like Mohre, Khatron Ke Khiladi, Kaal Chakra, Eeshwar, Elaan-E-Jung, Farishtay, Veeru Dada, Naaka Bandi, and Begunaah.
In the mid-1990s he migrated towards supporting roles and comic roles such as in Aankhen, Ishq, Coolie №1, Gupt: The Hidden Truth, Aunty №1, Jai Hind, Master and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United. He played the role of Dr. Khanna in the 1996 film Chhote Sarkar. He did a number of stunning roles in Marathi films such as Kadachit, Vaastupurush, Doghi, Savarkhed ek Gaav, and Ara Ara Aaba Ata tari Thamba. His last Hindi screen role was a cameo in the short film by Dibakar Banerjee, Bombay Talkies (2012).
He did a cameo in the Waheeda Rahman-starrer Swayam in 1991. He played the role of a tough, upright cop who reprimands his children for leaving an elderly widow to fend for herself on the streets. The film touched on the problems old people face with the breakdown of the joint family system. It was a subject close to Sadashiv’s heart and he did the role for free.
Amrapurkar was a philanthropist, social activist, and was engaged in a number of social organizations like Samajik Krutadnyata Nidhi, Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, Snehalaya, Lokshahi Prabodhan Vyaspeeth, Ahmednagar Aitihasik Vastu Sangrahalaya and many others. He always had a soft spot for the rural youth and strove for their development.
In March 2013, he protested water waste during Holi festival near his residence in Mumbai.
Despite playing a variety of roles in Bollywood, and winning awards for his performances, Amrapurkar’s heart was somewhere else; he wanted to use his skills and resources for social causes. As a performer, he was talented and hard working. But he was more of a social activist than an actor. Amrapurkar also lent his support to the Anna Hazare movement in 2011 and was active in engaging citizens during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections by holding several discussions to make voters aware of their rights.