Madan Puri

Profession: Actor , Supporting Actor
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  • Also Know as :- Madan Puri
  • Profession:- Actor , Supporting Actor
  • Gender :- male
  • Status:- Married
  • Active Years:- Till Today

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Madan Puri
Indian Film History
Madan Puri
Indian Film History
Madan Puri
Indian Film History

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Madan Puri – An ace villain of the 60’s and 70’s

Want to remember the famous dialogue – ‘Yeh bachon ke khelne ki cheez nahin! Haath kat jaaye toh khoon nikal aata hai’ uttered by Raaj Kumar in the film Waqt. The man who takes out the knife to kill Raaj Kumar is Madan Puri, the renowned villain of the 60’ and 70’s who did many hit films and worked with the top most filmmakers of India like Shakti Samanta’s Howrah Bride, Vijay Anand’s Kala Bazar, B.R.Chopra’s Waqt, Yash Chopra’s Deewaar, Raja Nawathe’s Gumnaam, O.P. Ralhan’s Phool Aur Pather, Manoj Kumar’s Roti Kapada Aur Makaan, N.N. Sippy’s Chor Machaye Shor, Subhash Ghai’s Vidhaata etc.

Besides doing villain’s roles with panache Madan Puri even displayed his acting prowess in a verity of roles in films like Kati Patang (1970), Guddi (1971), Anuraag (1973), Daag (1973), Geet Gaata Chal (1975), Dulhan Wahi Jo Piya Man Bhaaye (1977), Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se (1978).

He was the elder brother of Bollywood’s celebrated villain Amrish Puri.

Note: For readers’ knowledge let me clarify that he had no relation with actor Om Puri as most people believe that Om Puri was Amrish Puri brother.

Madan Puri was cousin of legendary singer K.L. Saigal


Madan Puri was the cousin of legendary singer K.L.Saigal hence when he came to Mumbai; K.L.Saigal helped him in renting a room and a break in films.  


On Saigal’s recommendation Madan Puri started as junior artist in the film Khazanchi (1941).  In this film he has a brief appearance in the Sawan Ke Nazare Hai…. He is seen riding a cycle with group of boys.


His big break came in the year 1946 when he signed an A-grade film Ahinsa with top actress of 40’s Suriya. The film was hit and he did many films with Suriya like Jeet, Vidya etc.


His other films include Anmol Rattan (1950), Ada (1951), Diwana (1952), Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955), Nau Do Gyarah (1957), Pyar Ka Sagar etc.


In all the above movies Madan Puri played a positive role. Though Madan Puri was making money but still real success eluded him.

He had arranged marriage with Sheela Devi Puri.  

Madan Puri gains stardom as villain in Howrah Bridge

Madan Puri who made debut in 1941 as junior artist finally won stardom 17 years later with Shakti Samanta’s action thriller Howrah Bridge (1958).

In this film director Shakti Samanta changed Madan Puri’s positive image and gave him a negative role of a Chinese smuggler John Chang, who run a bar restaurant and behind the business does smuggling.

To look like a Chinese, Shakti Samant gave an excellent make-up which made Madan Puri look exactly like a Chinese. As Madan Puri had small eyes it helped him a lot to get into the skin of character of John Chang superbly.

The film was a bumper hit and Madan Puri in the role of John Chang, the Chinese gangster became quite popular. To cash-upon Madan Puri’s Chinese gangster image, Shakti Samanta repeated his role in his next action thriller China Town (1962). Madan Puri, yet again played Chinese gangster Joseph Wong, who is opium smuggler.  The film had Shammi Kapoor in dual role, one a dreaded smuggler Mike, working for Joseph Wong, and other a simpleton, Shekhar, who is hired by police to uncover the gang by becoming Mike. The film was huge hit and made Madan Puri a popular villain. 

Readers would be surprised to know, that writers Salim Javed had borrowed the script of Amitabh Bachchan’s super hit film Don from this film.

Madan Puri became famous for his Chinese look and did few more films as Chinese in films like Singapore (1960), Jaali Note (1960), Kala Bazar (1960), Dilli Ka Thug (1958) etc.

After the success of these films he became an iconic villains of A-grade films and did many super hit films like  Phool Aur Pather (1966), Sawan Ki Ghata (1966), Love in Tokyo (1966),  Gumnaam (1965), Waqt (1965), Ayee Milan Ki Bela (1964) , Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), Kohraa (1964), Mr. X in Bombay (1964), Ziddi (1964), Bees Saal Baad (1962) etc.


Madan Puri ruled the 70’s as most sought after villain


In the 70‘s Madan Puri had tough competition from new emerging villains like Premnath, Ajit, Amjad Khan, Prem Chopra  and Danny but still among these villains Madan Puri had his own space and continued to be in demand.


He was the favorite and most sought after villains of celebrated filmmakers like Manoj Kumar’s Roti Kapada Aur Makaan, N.N. Sippy’s Chor Machaye Shor, Yash Chopra’s Deewaar, Subhash Ghai’s Vidhaata, Shakti Samanta’s The Great Gambler, B.R.Chopra’s Dastan etc.


Besides villain, Madan Puri was a competent character actor


Though Madan Puri was known as a brutal villain but he was also a competent character actor. Interestingly filmmaker Shakti Samanta who changed his fortune as villain with Howrah Bride was instrumental in experimenting with his image as a kind hearted jailor in the Aradhana (1969).


Readers would be surprised to know that Shakti Samanta had taken a great risk in Aradhana because he had not only changed Madan Puri’s cruel man image into a kind-man but had altered the lead heroine Sharmila Tagore’s image too.


Sharmila Tagore who played sexy and glamorous role was de-glamorized and made an old lady. Also the film had no top hero; instead Shakti Samanta had introduced a new actor, Rajesh Khanna. Hence before the movie’s first day first show he was quite worried and anxious of people’s reaction. But as the saying goes fortune favors the brave likewise people loved Shakti Samanta’s innovation and the film became super hit.


Madan Puri later did many emotional and kind-hearted roles and was accepted too. His famous films as good Samaritan were Kati Patang (1970), Guddi (1971), Anuraag (1973), Daag (1973), Geet Gaata Chal (1975), Dulhan Wahi Jo Piya Man Bhaaye (1977), Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se (1978).






Madan Puri became immortalized in Kranti


Interestingly just as Shakti Samanta tapped the brilliant actor in Madan Puri and exploited his histrionics to the hilt likewise actor filmmaker Manoj Kumar too was obsessed by Madan Puri’s talent.


From his first film Shaheed (1965) to his last film Santosh (1989) Manoj Kumar always had a special role for Madan Puri in his films. In fact in his film Shor (1972), he had no worthy role for Madan Puri, yet he roped him in a guest appearance. The two worked together in 13 films.


The unique Jodi of the two yielded some immortal roles particularly, the role of the anti-Indian and British loyalist, Sher Singh, who is cruel and vicious Indian Sepoy (solider) working for British in Manoj Kumar’s most iconic and successful film Kranti (1981).


In first half Madan Puri displays his villainy brilliantly as the ruthless Sepoy who has no sympathy for Indians; he lashes the Indian freedom fighters brutally and sings glory of British Empire.


But, in the climax, he has change of heart as he is moved by the true patriotism and devotion of Indian freedom fighters. His heart melts and he secretly helps Indian freedom fighters to escape from prison but when he is caught by British Officer; he daringly kills the British officer and in the process sacrifices his life with Vande Matram on his lips!

The role won him wide acnd is regarded as his career best performance.




He died on    13 January 1985 due to heart attack in Mumbai.

# Released Date Type Credited As Movie
1 01 Jan 2006 Film Supporting Actor Uttarayan
2 01 Jan 1991 Film Supporting Actor Lakhpati
3 28 Feb 1989 Film Supporting Actor Santosh
4 22 Jul 1988 Film Supporting Actor Saazish
5 23 Oct 1987 Film Supporting Actor Thikana
6 24 Apr 1987 Film Supporting Actor Madadgaar
7 01 Jan 1987 Film Actor Khazana
8 01 Jan 1987 Film Supporting Actor Vishaal
9 11 Dec 1986 Film Supporting Actor Khel Mohabbat Kaa
10 09 Nov 1985 Film Supporting Actor Sautela Pati