Govardhan Asrani, popularly known as Asrani, is a distinguished Indian actor and director whose illustrious career in Bollywood has stretched across five decades. With a remarkable portfolio of over 350 Hindi films, Asrani has showcased his versatility by taking on lead, character, comedic, and supporting roles. His most iconic performance remains his portrayal of a jailer in the legendary film “Sholay,” and he’s also celebrated for his appearances in 25 movies alongside Rajesh Khanna between 1972 and 1991.
In Hindi cinema, he adorned the comedian’s mantle from 1966 to 2013 and often played the role of the lead hero’s close friend between 1972 and 1994. He even took center stage as the main lead in a few Hindi films like “Chala Murari Hero Banne” and “Salaam Memsaab.” In the realm of Gujarati films, Asrani was a leading hero from 1972 to 1984 and transitioned into character roles from 1985 to 2012. Alongside his acting, he also directed six films from 1974 to 1997.
Early Life and Background:
Asrani was born into a middle-class Sindhi family in Jaipur. His father established a carpet shop, and he grew up with four sisters and three brothers—two older and one younger. Asrani displayed little interest in business matters and faced challenges with mathematics. He pursued his education, completing his matriculation at St. Xavier’s School and obtaining his graduation degree from Rajasthan College, Jaipur. Simultaneously, he worked as a voice artist at All India Radio, Jaipur, to finance his education.
He eventually married actress Manju Bansal, whom he fell in love with while collaborating on films such as “Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar” and “Namak Haram.” After tying the knot, the couple shared the screen in several films, including “Tapasya,” “Chandi Sona,” “Jaan-E-Bahaar,” “Jurmana,” “Nalayak,” “Sarkari Mehmaan,” “Narad Vivah,” and “Chor Sipahee.” In “Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar,” Asrani portrayed the character Champak Boomia / Amit Desai, while Manju played Kesari Desai. His performance in this role earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Comedian. Later, they collaborated on “Hum Nahin Sudhrenge,” a home production directed by Asrani in 1980.
Asrani, known for his mononymous stage name, has had a prolific and versatile career in the Indian film industry spanning over five decades. He’s acted in more than 350 Hindi films, taking on lead roles, character roles, comedic roles, and supporting roles. His most notable work includes his portrayal of a jailer in the iconic film “Sholay” and his appearances in 25 films alongside Rajesh Khanna in lead roles between 1972 and 1991.
In Hindi cinema, Asrani began his career as a comedian in 1966 and continued in that role until 2013. He also played supporting roles as the close friend of the lead hero in numerous films from 1972 to 1994. Additionally, he took on leading roles in a few Hindi films such as “Chala Murari Hero Banne” and “Salaam Memsaab.” In Gujarati films, he served as the lead hero from 1972 to 1984 and transitioned into character roles from 1985 to 2012. Furthermore, Asrani explored his talents as a director, helming six films between 1974 and 1997. His contribution to Indian cinema has made him a respected figure in the industry.
|Year||Movie Title||Genre||Asrani’s Role(s)|
|1967||Hare Kanch Ki Chooriyan||Family Drama||Supporting Role|
|1968||Teesri Manzil||Musical Thriller||Supporting Role|
|1972||Raja Jani||Romance||Supporting Role|
|1973||Abhimaan||Musical Drama||Supporting Role|
|1973||Bobby||Musical Romance||Supporting Role|
|1973||Namak Haraam||Drama||Supporting Role|
|1974||Aap Ki Kasam||Drama||Supporting Role|
|1974||Chupke Chupke||Comedy||Supporting Role|
|1975||Aandhi||Political Drama||Supporting Role|
|1975||Do Jasoos||Comedy Thriller||Supporting Role|
|1977||Amar Akbar Anthony||Action Comedy||Supporting Role|
|1980||Naram Garam||Romance, Comedy||Supporting Role|
|1982||Namak Halaal||Action Comedy||Supporting Role|
|1982||Satte Pe Satta||Comedy, Drama||Supporting Role|
|1983||Rang Birangi||Comedy||Supporting Role|
|1984||Kisi Se Na Kehna||Comedy||Supporting Role|
|1987||Achha Bura (Short Film)||Drama||Lead Role|
|1991||Hum||Action Drama||Supporting Role|
|1994||Hulchul (TV Series)||Comedy||Lead Role|
|1995||Coolie No. 1||Comedy||Supporting Role|
|1997||Yes Boss||Romantic Comedy||Supporting Role|
|1998||Dulhe Raja||Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2003||Koi Mil Gaya||Sci-Fi, Drama||Supporting Role|
|2004||Dhoom||Action Thriller||Supporting Role|
|2005||Deewane Huye Paagal||Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2006||Phir Hera Pheri||Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2007||Bhool Bhulaiyaa||Horror Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2008||Race||Action Thriller||Supporting Role|
|2010||Tees Maar Khan||Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2010||Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?||Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2012||Bol Bachchan||Action Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2013||Himmatwala||Action Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2015||Dilwale||Action Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2016||Mastizaade||Adult Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2019||Total Dhamaal||Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2019||De De Pyaar De||Romantic Comedy||Supporting Role|
|2020||Coolie No. 1||Comedy||Supporting Role|
Awards and Nominations:
Asrani has had a successful career in Bollywood, and he has received recognition for his contributions to the film industry. Here are some of his notable awards and nominations:
National Film Awards:
- 1999: National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Dharavi.”
- 1974: Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar.”
- 1977: Filmfare Award for Best Comedian for his role in “Choti Si Baat.”
- 1999: Nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Comedian for his role in “Dulhe Raja.”
These awards and nominations highlight Asrani’s versatility as an actor, from his comedic roles to his more serious performances.
Asrani, the renowned Indian actor, has led a private life with several significant aspects. He was born on January 1, 1940, in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, into a middle-class Sindhi family. His father operated a carpet shop, and Asrani grew up alongside four sisters and three brothers.
Asrani’s educational journey took him to St. Xavier’s School for his matriculation and Rajasthan College in Jaipur for his graduation. To support his education, he worked as a voice artist at All India Radio, Jaipur.
In terms of his personal life, Asrani married actress Manju Bansal, whom he fell in love with while working on various films together. They acted in several films as a couple, including “Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar” and “Namak Haram.” Their partnership extended to Asrani directing “Hum Nahin Sudhrenge,” a home production in 1980.
Asrani’s personal life has been intertwined with his professional journey, and his contributions to the Indian film industry have left an indelible mark.