Birth: 12-11-1940 , Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Amjad Khan was an acclaimed Indian actor and director. He worked in over 130 films in his film career spanning nearly twenty years. He enjoyed popularity for his villain roles in Hindi language films and is most famous for playing the role of the Gabbar Singh in 'Sholay' (1975) and the role of Dilawar in 1978 classic 'Muqaddar Ka Sikandar'.
He was the son of legendary actor Jayant. He was the brother of fellow actor Imtiaz Khan and Inayat Khan who only acted in one film. In 1957, he was cast in the movie 'Ab Dili Dur Nahin', as a child artist.
Khan did schooling at St Theresa's High School, Bandra. He attended R D National College, Bandra and was the General Secretary - the highest elected student body representative. He had already gained a reputation of being a heavyweight "dada" and was feared and respected.
Before Amjad came to films he was a theatre actor. His first film was as a child artist at the age of 17 in the film 'Ab Dilli Dur Nahin' (1957). He had assisted K. Asif in the film 'Love and God' in the late 1960s and had also made a brief appearance in the film which would have been his official film debut. But the film was left incomplete after K. Asif's death in 1971 and it ended up releasing in 1986. In 1973, he made his debut in 'Hindustan Ki Kasam'.
The role of Gabbar Singh, the dreaded Chambal dacoit, remains Amjad Khan's most powerful and memorable performance. In 1975, he was offered the role of a dacoit Gabbar Singh in the film 'Sholay' by Salim who was one of the film's writers. Amjad shot to stardom with the movie. Sholay went on to become a blockbuster, and, as of yet, it is the highest grossing movie in India.
After the success of 'Sholay', Khan continued to play villain roles in many subsequent Hindi films in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s - superseding, in terms of popularity and demand, the earlier Indian actor, Ajit - portraying more sophisticated and urbane criminal bosses, mastermind of bank robberies, murders and conspiracies to seize power. He often acted as villain opposite Amitabh Bachchan as the hero.
Khan was also acclaimed for playing many other unconventional roles. In the critically acclaimed film 'Shatranj Ke Khiladi' (1977), directed by Satyajit Ray, Khan played the helpless and deluded monarch Wajid Ali Shah, whose kingdom, Avadh, is being targeted by British colonialists from the British East India Company. It is the only movie in which he dubbed song. He played a positive role opposite Amitabh Bachchan in Yaarana (1981) where he played Bachchan's character's best friend and in Laawaris as Amitabh's father. In the art film Utsav (1984), he portrayed Vatsayana, the author of the Kama Sutra. In 1988 he appeared in the Merchant-Ivory English film 'The Perfect Murder' as an underworld don. He also excelled at playing comical characters in films such as 'Qurbani' (1980), 'Love Story' and 'Chameli Ki Shaadi '(1986). In 1991, he reprised his role as Gabbar Singh in 'Ramgarh Ke Sholay', a parody of the legendary film which also included look-alikes of Amitabh Bachchan and Dev Anand.
He also ventured into directing for a brief period in the 1980s directing and also starring in 'Chor Police' (1983) ,which was a success and 'Ameer Aadmi Gareeb Aadmi' (1985) which failed to do well at the box office.
Amjad was also the President of the Actors Guild association. As mentioned earlier, he had been a leader in college and was respected in the film industry too.
In 1972, he married Sheila Khan, and the following year, she gave birth to their first child, Shadaab Khan, who acted in a few films. He also had a daughter Ahlam Khan and another son Seemaab Khan.