Remembering veteran actor Jayant on his 102nd birth anniversary.
Jayant was a famed Hindi film actor whose real name was Zakaria Khan. He is better known as the father of legendary villain Amjad Khan.
Jayant took birth in Nodeh Payan, Peshawar in the erstwhile British India. He migrated to Alwar in Rajasthan to earn his living. Before venturing out into the film industry; he was a police officer in the Alwar State, but he left the job. He had an interest in acting and in 1933; Vijay Bhatt of Prakash Films scouted young Jayant for a screen test role in his Gujarati film ‘Sansar Leela’. From there on they became a formidable duo, as Vijay Bhatt later gave him the screen name Jayant because of his grueling voice and had a well-built personality.
Vijay Bhatt was very impressed with the hard work of Jayant and, later on, cast him in the lead role for his movies such as Bombay Mail (1935), Challenge (1936), Snehlata (1936), His Highness (1937), State Express and Bijli. Jayant has worked in various movies after that such as Sardar (1940), Shirin Farhad (1945), Zevaraat (1949), Pardes (1950) and many more. It was his performances in Madhumati (1958), Leader (1964), Haqeeqat (1964) and Himalay Ki Godh Mein (1965) that cemented his position as one of the greats of Hindi Film Industry.
He has made an immense contribution to Hindi Cinema, and the audiences adored for his humble nature. Till the time he died, he maintained a good relationship with his friend Vijay Bhatt, who gave him his first breakthrough and established him as an actor in the industry.
Jayant was the father of Amjad Khan (popularly known as Gabbar for his portrayal of the character in Sholay), Inayat Khan and Imtiaz Khan and was the grandfather of Shadaab Khan, Ahlam Khan, Seemaab Khan and Ayesha Khan.
He died in June 1975 just two months before the release of Sholay, thus leaving the world before seeing the success of his son.