Mehmood

A large void is left in Bollywood with the death of comedian Mehmood. It seems like some of the laughter has disappeared from the world.

Mehmood was the son of actor/dancer Mumtaj Ali and brother of character-actress Minoo Mumtaz. He started off his career in show business very early in life and has acted in over 300 films. Mehmood always wanted to make people laugh and therefore he started as Johnny Walker's student in the field of the comedy. And no doubt he mastered the art brilliantly.

Starting with bit roles in films like Guru Dutt's "Pyaasa", where he played the star's wicked brother, Mehmood quickly made his presence felt. His first major break in films was in Parvarish in 1958 when he landed a role parallel to Raj Kapoor. He was paired opposite Shobha Khote and later with Aruna Irani which became hit pairs.

A time came during the 1960s when Mehmood's place in the Hindi cinema became more important than that of the leading man. In Films like "Gumnam", "Pyar Kiye Jaa", "Dil Tera Diwana", "Sasural" and "Humjoli", Mehmood's acting genius overshadowed the role of the leading men like Manoj Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar and Jeetendra respectively. He became such a threat that no hero was willing to share screen space with Mehmood!

Mehmood’s most remembered role was in Padosan (1968) where he played a Carnatic music teacher. Mehmood also directed and acted in films like "Bhoot Bungla", "Kunwara Baap", and “Ginny Aur Johnny". Mehmood also introduced some extraordinary talent to Hindi cinema. Mehmood gave music composer Rahul Dev Burman his first break in "Chote Nawab". Later, Burman composed some of his best scores in Mehmood's films like "Bhoot Bungla" (where Mehmood also coaxed Burman to play one of the leads), and "Padosan".

Mehmood was no doubt the king of comedy who revolutionised the concept of comedy in Hindi cinema. Mehmood's health had been poor for several years and he had gone to Pennsylvania for treatment where he died in his sleep. He was 72.

SeasonsIndia pays tribute to the comic legend, Mehmood.

 
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