Remembering Sanjeev Kumar on his 79th birth anniversary.

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Sanjeev Kumar (born Harihar Jethalal Jariwala 9 July 1938–6 November 1985) was a noted film actor. He won several major awards including two National Film Awards for Best Actor for his performances in the movies Dastak (1971) and Koshish (1973). He acted in genres ranging from romantic drama to thrillers. Unlike his peers, Sanjeev Kumar did not mind playing roles that were non-glamorous, such as characters way beyond his age. Movies like Sholay and Trishul exemplify his talents. Kumar also proved his ability to do comedy in films like “Pati Patni aur Woh”, “Angoor”, “Biwi O Biwi” and “Hero”. He is well remembered for his versatility and genuine portrayal of his characters.

His performances in the films like Charitraheen, Angaare, Grihapravesh, Chehre Pe Chehra, Sawaal, Yaadgaar which became box office flops was appreciated by critics and during its subsequent screening in television.He always demonstrated a willingness to take on unconventional roles that challenged him as an actor. His role as Mirza Sajjad Ali, a chess-obsessed Lucknowi (citizen of Lucknow), in Satyajit Ray’s classic Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977) exemplified that aspect. Perhaps his best-remembered roles were in the blockbuster films Sholay (1975) and Trishul (1978). His portrayal of the character Thakur, from Sholay, released in August 1975 was one of his stellar performances. In Naya Din Nayi Raat (1974), Sanjeev Kumar reprised the nine-role epic performance by Sivaji Ganesan in Navarathri (Tamil; 1964), which was also previously reprised by Akkineni Nageswara Rao in Navarathri (Telugu; 1966). This film enhanced his status and reputation as a serious player in Bollywood. He stood his ground against leading superstars such as Rajesh Khanna in Bandhan, Aap Ki Kasam, Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor in the Yash Chopra multi-star cast film Trishul (1978) and with Dilip Kumar in the Subhash Ghai film Vidhaata (1982).

During the early 1980s, Sanjeev Kumar took to acting primarily in supporting roles. In 1980, he starred in a Punjabi movie Fauji Chacha. He did 3 films opposite Tamil actress L.Vijaya Lakshmi which were Husn Aur Ishq, Badal which became hits.Their first film was Alibaba Aur 40 Chor which was unsuccessful.Raja Aur Runk, released in 1968, starring Sanjeev Kumar was a great success. He did Kangan, Rivaaz, Zindagi, Beraham, Archana, Do Ladkiyan opposite Mala Sinha. He did films like Priya, Anubhav, Gustaaki Maaf, Bachpan, Khuddar with Tanuja. He was paired with Rakhee in Angaare, Paras, Trishna, Shriman Shrimati, Hamare Tumhare.His hits with Leena Chandavarkar included Apne Rang Hazar, Manchali and Anhonee. He was paired regularly with Sulakshana Pandit in Uljhan, Waqt Ki Deewar and with Moushmi Chatterjee in Itni Si Baat, Daasi. He has done many regional films in different languages including Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Sindhi and his mother tongue Gujarati.

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