Asrani is one of the most popular actors form the golden era of Hindi cinema. He is one of the few actresses who over a career spanning over more than three decades been through a wide range of characters from being a sidekick, crowd puller comedian, villainy avatars, male leads , thus has traversed upon almost all areas of acting. He has acted in a whopping thirty five films in Gujarati which is a record for a Hindi actor. Asrani in the past has been part of some of Indian cinema classics like Sholay, Chupke Chupke, Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander, Hera Pheri, and many more in various parts which itself is a testimonial of his vast versatility and illustrious filmography. Asrani undoubtedly will be remembered as one of the all-time greatest comedian’s in Bollywood and his frequent associations with Stalwarts like Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Gulzar, Priyadarsan itself document his achievements in Hindi cinema.
Asrani was born in to a middle class Hindu family with seven siblings. After initial reluctance to studies at childhood, he completed his matriculation from St, Xaviers School after which he graduated from Rajasthan College. Asrani then went on to serve as the voice artist in All India Radio, Jaipur even though he had already aspired to become an actor by then. After taking acting lessons from Sahitya Kalbhai in 1961 and 62, he moved to Mumbai to seek opportunities in Bollywood. After meeting up with ace director Hrishikesh Mukherjee, he was advice to attend FTII , Pune to learn. After graduating from FTII in 1967 he landed in his first film appearance in the year 1967.
Asrani is married to “Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar” fame actress Manju Asrani, the two of them incidentally worked together on the movie and many more. It was during the time of movies like Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar and Tapasya that the two fell in love which led to their marriage in the subsequent years. The couple has a son Naveen Asrani.
Film debut and ensuing releases ( 1967-1973) Asrani got his big break through Kishore Sahu’s social drama flick Hare Kanch Ki Chooriyan, where he appeared in a supporting role alongside Biswajeet in the lead. His “young college friend” part with the male lead ensured him a safe take off. He was then seen in supporting roles in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s hit drama’s Guddi and Mere Apne in the year 1971. However he was offered his first prominent role in Mukherjee’s next directorial Bawarchi, alongside Rajesh Khanna and Jaya Badhuri in the lead. The top grossing flick saw him coming up with a worthwhile performance for the first time. Asrani then went on to play side-lined supporting roles in movies like Parichay, Anamika and Amitabh Bachchan’s Abhimaan , the latter two having him in meaty roles getting him noted among the film circles in the year 1973 which ended well with the acclaimed movie Namak Halaal. Asrani kept the boxes ticking with important releases like Aap Ki Kasam, Ajnabee which were tests of both his comic sensibilities and restrained on screen soothing parts. Career best phase in classic movies ( 1975-1976) Asrani went on to be a part of iconic landmarks of Indian cinema in the year 1975 starting off with Ramesh Sippy’s cult classic action adventure film Sholay featuring a star studded ensemble cast consisting of Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini and many others in the lead. The movie saw Asrani playing funny over the top gimmicky jailer , the character which was moulded from Charlie Chaplin’s performance in the 1940 classic “The Great Dictator” and saw him elevating his reputation of handling humour effortlessly which led to many more such roles in the future. The movie marks one of his finest works till date at comedy. Meanwhile Asrani’s mentor and long-time accomplice Hrishikesh Mukherjee in his epic comedy flick Chup Chup Ke. The comedy of errors outing had pairing with huge names like Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Om Prakash and many more in the lead and yet again was seen scoring big time with his sparkling comic repartees. The movie also unexploited a new facet of Asrani’s comic sensibilities. Asrani was then seen in Rishi Kapoor’s comedy of errors movie Rafoo Chakkar after which he was called upon by maestro Basu Chatterjee for his romantic drama film Chhoti Si Baat appearing in pivotal role opposite Amol Palekar and Vidhya Sinha. The movie saw him playing a boastful self-indulgent guy who tries to woo a girl much to the disliking of the quiet, subdued protagonist after her in the first place. His seasoned and highly witty portrayal of the seemingly funny character fetched him The Filmfare Award that year for Best Comedian in 1975. Array of other releases ( 1976-1990) In the following years Asrani went on to play the male lead, comic avatars, supporting roles in movies like Tapasya, Alaap, Kalabaaz, Badalte Rishtey. Asrani continued his popular antics during the period and maintained his repute of being an grade one comedian by coming up with stellar performance in his ensuing releases. Agreement Sitam Nikkah Himmatwala Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander Muqabla Bade Miyan Chote Miyan Mela Post 2000 releases in supporting and comic roles ( 2000- 2016) Hera Pheri Chal Mere Bhai Lajja Aaghaaz Awara Paagal Deewana Dil Vil Pyar Vyar Ek Se Badkhar Ek Hulchul Kyon Ki Garam Masala Chup Chup Ke Bhagam Bhag Dhamaal Yariyaan Billu All The Best De Dana Dan Bodyguard Agent Vinod Bol Bachchan Joker R.Rajkumar Dillagi Yeh Dillagi Mastizaade
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|1||29 Dec 2023||Film||Supporting Actor||Superdhamaal.com|
|2||27 May 2022||Film||Supporting Actor||3 Shyaane|
|3||18 Feb 2022||Film||Supporting Actor||Baap No Bagicho|
|4||22 Oct 2021||Film||Supporting Actor||Babloo Bachelor|
|5||06 Aug 2021||Film||Supporting Actor||Oye Mamu|
|6||31 Dec 2020||Film||Supporting Actor||Khalli Balli|
|7||29 Nov 2020||Film||Supporting Actor||It's My Life|
|8||31 Jan 2020||Film||Actor||Sabne Bana Di Jodi|
|9||22 Nov 2019||Film||Supporting Actor||Family 420|
|10||19 Jul 2019||Film||Supporting Actor||Shaadi Ke Patasey|