True a majority of actors including Amitabh Bachchan who turned producers had to bite the dust. In fact, even Shah Rukh Khan tasted failure when he launched Dreamz Unlimited and had to quit film production with the flops like – Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, Asoka and Chalte Chalte. However, it may surprise readers that actors who failed in the acting department did marvels when they turned film producers!
For instance, the great Raj Kapoor, who is regarded as the Showman of Bollywood for his successful RK Films, has a disastrous career as an actor. Frustrated with a long string of flops as an actor with films like Gauri, Jail Yatra, Neel Kamal etc Raj Kapoor in 1949 started RK Films and with Barsaat hit stardom. He directed- produced and acted in the film. The film was such a hit that Raj Kapoor never looked back and became the legendary Showman of India and gave hit films like Awaara (1951), Shree 420 (1955), Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1960), Sangam (1964), Bobby (1973), Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985), etc.
Like Raj Kapoor, even Dev Anand, who initially gave flop films started Navketan Film to survive as an actor. His brothers Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand directed films while Dev Anand acted. The idea worked and with films like Kala Pani, Kala Bazaar, Hum Dono, Guide, Jewel Thief, Dev Anand became a star! In the ’70s Dev Anand turned director with Hare Rama Hare Krishna.
Interestingly, the legendary filmmaker Guru Dutt, who made classics such as Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Chaudhvin Ka Chand was a struggling actor! After his friend Dev Anand made him a director with Baazi, Guru Dutt never looked back.
Similarly another great filmmaker Subhas Ghai started his film career as a super duper flop actor! However, film producer N N Sippy, trusted his creativity and gave him opportunity to direct Kalicharan (1976). The film was a huge hit and thus stated non –stop hit films like Vishwanath (1978), Karz (1980), Hero (1983), Meri Jung (1985), Karma (1986), Ram Lakhan (1989), Saudagar (1991), Khalnayak (1993), Pardes (1997), Taal (1999), etc Subhash Ghai wrote a new history. In 1982, he started Mukta Arts Private Limited which, in 2000, became a public company, with Subhash Ghai as its executive chairman. In 2006, he received the National Film Award, for producing the social problem film Iqbal.
Some other actors who turned into successful film producers were Guru Dutt, Manoj Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Rakesh Roshan, Feroz Khan, Sanjay Khan, etc Among the latest crop of actors who became good film director-producers are Ashutosh Gowariker, Abhishek Kapoor –
Few actors like Rajendra Kumar, Dharmendra, and Jeetendra in their early days took to film production to sustain their careers as actors. The idea worked and the film produced by them turned hit and they were able to continue as stars.
Read – Why actors are turning producers? Is money the only benchmark? Part 5