Sanjeev Kumar was one of the most versatile actors of his era. It is sad that the man who played older roles in many of his films died at the age of 47 due to a congenital heart problem. A national award winner, Sanjeev has even played 9 characters in one film, Naya Din Nayi Raat. He has played some of the iconic roles in several films which have gone onto become some of the biggest blockbusters in Bollywood.
Today on the late actor's birthday we pen done some of his most loved and remembered roles.
1. Sholay – Who can forget Sanjeev Kumar's portrayal of ' Thakur' a physically handicapped man who mentors two small time crooks take on the biggest dacoit Gabbar Singh. Also starring Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and Jaya Bachchan. One of the biggest Bollywood blockbusters, this movie has become a cult favourite and has been the inspiration of many film-makers and films. Sanjeev Kumar as' Thakur' is still remembered and his role is considered to be an iconic character of all times.
2. Aandhi – Loosely based on the life of politician and former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Sanjeev Kumar and Suchitra Sen play an estranged couple. Directed by Gulzar, the movie has some beautiful renditions by R. D Burman and sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. The role of JK played by Sanjeev, an estranged husband of an ambitious politician and how he ends up playing second fiddle to her career and ambitions, bagged him the Filmfare Award For Best Actor.
3. Pati, Patni Aur Woh- A slight manoeuvre from his usual serious and grim roles, Sanjeev plays a philandering husband to Vidya Sinha. The movie was a comedy and very different from the other movies and his experiment with comic relief was certainly loved by audiences, as he was once again nominated for The Best Actor at Filmfare Awards.
4. Koshish – This movie is considered as a landmark movie in Indian cinema. The reason being two of the best actors of the time Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bachchan known for their impeccable dialogue delivery, play a deaf and mute couple. The movie shows the life of a deaf and mute couple and the challenges they face bringing up a child who is born normal without any disabilities. Sanjeev's performance in the film bagged him the prestigious National Award for Best Actor.
5. Trishul – A revenge drama directed by Yash Chopra, this movie was the biggest hit of the year 1979 and had Sanjeev Kumar play father to Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor. A revenge drama full of manipulations and action, Sanjeev's role was one of the highlights of the film as he has to make a tough choice in being just to his illegitimate child and other children. This movie was also nominated for multiple awards at the Filmfare Awards ceremony.
6. Dastak – This movie may not be a household name, but nevertheless Sanjeev Kumar still bagged a National award for his film. The movie revolves around the life of a newly married couple who move into a red light area and the trials and tribulations they face while living there.
7. Naya Din Nayi Raat – This movie further created an impetus in the popularity of Sanjeev Kumar. He played a record 9 characters in this film, a feat which has not been achieved as yet by anyone in Bollywood.
8. Anamika – Sanjeev Kumar teams up with his co-star of several films Jaya Bachchan in this mystery thriller where he falls in love with a woman suffering from amnesia. The music and songs by Kishore Da and Lata Mangeshkar are remembered as well. 'Meri bheegi bheegi si' and 'baahon main chale aao' have been etched in the hallmark of the best Bollywood songs forever.
9. Seeta Aur Geeta – Yet another comedy film wherein Sanjeev Kumar shares screen with Dharmendra and Hema Malini. The movie that was set well ahead of it's time as it became an inspiration for several movies revolving identical twins in Bollywood as well as Hollywood.
10. Angoor – This movie has also been one of the favourite comedy movies of all times. Sanjeev Kumar is back to comedy and plays a double role in this film along with Deven Varma. The movie is completely based on comedy of errors and is a total laugh riot.