Today marks the 79th birth anniversary of Flamboyant Bollywood actor, Producer and Director Feroz Khan.

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In the days of the big picture, of Dolby digital, six-track stereophonic sound, there was one man who was the pasha of cool. Feroz Khan strode the silver screen like a colossus making movies on a jaw-dropping scale that bewitched and bedazzled audience.

The actor was born to a father with Afghan roots and a mother of Iranian origin and brought up in Bangalore. Khan first made his mark in 1965 when his film ‘Oonche Log’ clicked with the audience. He then went on to woo the audience with the mushy musical ‘Arzoo’ where he played a sacrificing lover.

The actor, who appeared in more than 50 films, became one of India’s best-loved heroes with his role in the 1980 hit film Qurbani. For his flamboyant style, with cowboyish swagger and cigar toting persona which revolutionised the style quotient of the otherwise conventional Filmi hero, he is known as the Clint Eastwood of the East and a style icon in the industry.

Khan was known to push boundaries. As a producer and director, he made Dharmatma, the first Hindi-language movie made on location in Afghanistan and inspired by the Oscar-winning Hollywood epic The Godfather.

But it was with the 1980 gangster film Qurbani that he scored his biggest hit as an actor, producer and director, introducing foreign locations to Bollywood that are now the norm. In the days before hype and publicity, Qurbani generated an enormous buzz. There was ‘Aap jaisa koi meri’ sung by Nazia Hassan and scored by Biddu which was the ‘Dum Maro Dum’ of the Eighties. Interestingly both anthems were filmed on the lovely Zeenat Aman.

In 1986, he directed and starred in ‘Janbaaz’ which was a box office hit. After he directed and starred in ‘Yalghaar’ in 1992, the charismatic actor took a long break from acting and took to producing and directing films.

Feroz Khan died as a result of cancer on 27 April 2009 at the age of 69 in Bangalore.

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Celebrating Cinema

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