Keshto Mukherjee

Profession: Actor , Supporting Actor
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  • Also Know as :- Keshto Mukherjee
  • Profession:- Actor , Supporting Actor
  • Gender :- male
  • Birthdate:- 07 Aug 1925
  • Status:- Married
  • Active Years:- 03 Mar 1982

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Keshto Mukherjee
Indian Film History
Keshto Mukherjee
Indian Film History
Keshto Mukherjee
Indian Film History

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Keshto Mukherjee – The actor who became synonymous as an official drunkard of Bollywood!!


Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan besides being Bollywood's Superstar the trio share another thing in common and that is all the three actors are known for portraying drunkard’s role brilliantly! Dilip Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan have won Filmfare award for their roles in Devdas while Amitabh Bachchan's mastery as a drunkard needs no certification! His mirror act in Amar Akbar Anthony speaks volumes of his art but there is one actor in the annals of Indian cinema whose act as a drunken has left film buff dumbfounded – Yes, you have guessed him right – he is none other but Keshto Mukherjee, the actor who became synonymous as an official drunkard of Bollywood!!


Surprisingly a teetotaler (a person who never consumes liquor) in real life, Keshto Mukherjee portrayed a drunkard performance with such panache and authority that even actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan have saluted his act and openly confessed to having inspired from his performance. What made Kesto gel into the drunkard act was his incredible dialogue delivery dashed with spontaneous laughter - Hey Hey! Besides, his innocent expression, the squint of his eyes and the slender curl of hair that dangled on his face added a cherry on the cake!!!


In a career spanning 30 years, he did many hit films like Sholay, Padosan, Bombay to Gao, Kesto, Chupke Chupke, Chacha Bhatija, Azaad, Inkaar, Gol Maal, Khubsoorat Parichay, Aap Ki Kasam, etc.  The list is long.

He was born in Mumbai. He was married. He has one son; Babloo Mukherjee a comedy actor who acted in TV and films. There was a rumor that

Sushmita Mukherjee, the lady who played Kitty in the Doordarshan TV serial Karamchand was Keshto Mukherjee's daughter but Sushmita Mukherjee declined in an interview to Times of India. She said she hailed from Delhi.


Keshto Mukherjee was discovered by film legend Ritwik Ghatak

Bengal film legend Ritwik Ghatak who brought a revolution in Arts Cinema in India along with Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen discovered Keshto Mukherjee in the year 1952. The film was Nagarik, a Bengali movie, which was Indian cinema's First Art Film. But alas due to financial constraints the film was delayed and released 24 years later in 1977!!! Thus the film proved a dud for Keshto Mukherjee. Though the film did not release, but the credentials of Keshto Mukherjee having worked with film genius Ritwik Ghatak worked wonders. Filmmakers treated him with respect!!

Hrishikesh Mukherjee gave wings to Keshto Mukherjee's talent

Hrishikesh Mukherjee was the first filmmaker who showed faith in the comedy of Keshto Mukherjee and gave him a small comedy role in his Dilip Kumar staring film Musafir (1953). The film was an average hit but Keshto Mukherjee was able to leave his impact as a proficient comedian. Hence Hrishikesh Mukherjee repeated him in his next Raj Kapoor staring Aashiq (1962 film) and the Dev Anand starrer Asli Naqli (1963). Both the film became hit. Thus began the unending journey of Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Keshto Mukherjee. The duo worked in many hit films together like Majhli Didi (1967),

Chupke Chupke(1975), Gol Maal (1979), Khubsoorat (1980), etc.



Keshto Mukherjee also became a favorite of film veteran Bimal Roy

After Hrishikesh Mukherjee gave an opportunity to Keshto Mukherjee in his social drama films, veteran filmmaker Bimal Roy was much impressed by Keshto Mukherjee's mastery and his inborn talent to create laughter.  Since Bimal Roy made sober films on serious social subjects hence he was in hunt of a good comedian who could infuse laughter and make his film light. Thus Keshto Mukherjee had the pleasure of working with the movie maverick Bimal Roy in his film Parakh (1960) staring the great actor Motilal and Sadhana. The film was a huge hit and thus began the relation between Keshto Mukherjee and Bimal Roy . The two worked in Prem Patra (1962).



Film director Asit Sen discovered the ‘drunkard’ in Keshto Mukherjee

Before Keshto Mukherjee became stereotyped as a drunkard, it was famous comedian Johnny Walker in the 50's who mastered the art. But the 60 and 70's Johnny Walker had become a top comedian who charged a bomb for a single film. In the early 70's Bengal filmmaker Asit Sen , who made hit films like Safar, Bairaag, Mamta, Anokhi Raat, and Khamoshi was making social family drama Maa Aur Mamta (1970) with Nutan and Jeetendra in the lead. Since Mehmood and Jagdeep, the 2 famous comedians were busy in other assignments hence film director Asit Sen, offered the role of a drunkard to Keshto Mukherjee.

Interestingly, Kesto played the drunkard's role with such conviction that he brought the cinema house down with his hilarious antics! After the success of this film, Kesto Mukherjee did another drunkard role in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Chupke Chupke (1975). The scene where he pens poetry – Aaj Bagh Mein Khilega Ek Gulab; Aie sakhi pila de ek glass …. Kesto get stuck at this as he is unable to write a perfect Kaafia (Rhyme) of ‘Gulab' then Dharmendra suggests Ek glass Julab!!! The scene is rib-tickling!


Manmohan Desai stereotyped Keshto Mukherjee dedicating a song in his name

The flawlessness with which Kesto played the drunkard with expressive eyes and the inimitable dialogue delivery stereotyped Kesto Mukherjee in the role of a drunkard lifelong. So much that filmmaker Manmohan Desai immortalized Kesto in his film Chacha Bhatija (1977). In this film Manmohan Desai incorporated a song with Kesto's name – The song was

 He re lalla here lalla jhumo jara jhumo nacho jara

Shadi banane ko ‘Keshto’ chala………..

The song was filmed on Dharmendra in a scene where Kesto Mukherjee and Tun Tun get married.


Mehmood extracted the comedian in Kesto Mukherjee without dialogues

Kudos to great comedian and filmmaker Mehmood he was one of the few filmmakers who knew the pulse of comedy. While other filmmakers used Kesto Mukherjee for his drunkard act, Mehmoodextracted comedy from Kesto Mukherjee from his mere facial expression. In his film Bombay to Goa, Kesto keeps the audience on their feet by his speechless comedy. In the entire film, Kesto is seen dozing but even as he sleeps he injects comedy!! That is truly a rarity which only great actors can do!!


Kesto Mukherjeeleft an indelible mark in the cameo role in Sholay!

The mighty of Kesto Mukherjee as a powerful actor can be gauged from the fact that in Ramesh Sippy's milestone hit Sholay, Kesto Mukherjee had a cameo role of just three scenes! As Hariram, the barber cum spy of the Jailor (Asrani), Kesto made his role remarkable with his innocent expression, the squint of his eyes and the slender curl of hair that dangled on his face!!


Kesto Mukherjee added spice to the song Tu Mungla Mungla

The cabaret song Tu Mungla Mungla Main Good Ki Dali filmed on the sizzling Helen in the film Inkaar (1997) became spicy and captivatingly thanks to the antics of Keshto in the backdrop! His hilarious expression made the audience go bananas!


Kesto Mukherjee made Golmaal eternal with his classic drunken act 

Kesto Mukherjee was a permanent feature in every Hrishikesh Mukherjee film but in his film Golmaal (1977) there was no scene to accommodate Kesto Mukherjee. But Kesto Mukherjee had become a lucky mascot for Hrishikesh Mukherjee hence he included Kesto in the climax in a one minute scene. Hats-off to Kesto because in the brief scene where he interacts with Utpal Dutt in the police station is uproarious, particularly, the scene where Kesto removes a bottle from his magical hat is riotous.


Kesto Mukherjee died an unsung death

Kesto Mukherjee died on 3 March 1982, in Mumbai at his residence but alas neither the media nor the film industry paid him homage. He died an unsung death.

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1 09 Feb 1996 Film Supporting Actor Aatank
2 01 Jan 1985 Film Supporting Actor Hum Dono
3 09 Mar 1984 Film Supporting Actor Hanste Khelte
4 14 Oct 1983 Film Supporting Actor Paanchwin Manzil
5 04 Jun 1982 Film Supporting Actor Dil E Nadaan
6 28 May 1982 Film Supporting Actor Ghazab
7 15 Jan 1982 Film Supporting Actor Haathkadi
8 01 Jan 1982 Film Supporting Actor Dial 100
9 18 Dec 1981 Film Supporting Actor Main Aur Mera Haathi
10 08 May 1981 Film Supporting Actor Rocky