Shafi Inamdar

Profession: Supporting Actor , Actor, Actress, Director, Story Writer
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Personal Details

  • Also Know as :- Shafi Inamdar
  • Profession:- Supporting Actor , Actor, Actress, Director, Story Writer
  • Gender :- male
  • Birthdate:- 23 Oct 1945
  • Status:- Married
  • Debut Year:- 1984
  • Active Years:- 13 Mar 1996

Physique Details

Shafi Inamdar became immortal with TV show Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi

Coming from a small village in Kokan, Shafi Inamdar rose to great heights thanks to his in-born talent in arts and drama. Further under the guidance of theatre guru Pravin Joshi, a legendary actor of the 50’s, Shafi was blessed by the art of theatre. In the mid 70’s Shafi became a name to reckon in Gujarati theatre, particularly as a specialist in One Act plays. Later he started his own drama company Hum Production and made a name globally in theatre.

In Bollywood he did many films like Ardh Satya, Aaj Ki Awaaz, Ghayal, Arjun etc. But it was his TV serial Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi telecast on Doordarshan in 1984 that made him a real star!

Shafi Inamdar displayed his adoration for theatre at young age. 


Shafi Inamdar was born in the scenic Kokan belt of Maharashtra in small village of Pangari. During his school days he was interested in drama and won many prizes for his acting.


He was creatively blessed and when he came to Mumbai for further studies his creativity got new wing. At St. Joseph's High School in Mumbai, where he studied from class VIII to X and came in contact with school drama and drama competition. He won many awards for his school in drama competitions.


He joined Mumbai’s K.C. College with Science as his subject on his parents wish to become a doctor but Shafi had already chosen his field hence even at college he was more busy at drama and theater activity than in the class room. Shafi brought pride to his college too by doing good dramas and also winning intercollegiate competitions!


Shafi Inamdar got a mentor in Pravin Joshi who polished his skills


Gujarati theatre artist Pravin Joshi was a legendary drama artist who regaled theater lovers at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Mumbai with is famous one-act plays in the mid 50’s. He was also associated with prestigious Indian National Theatre (INT) and had acted and directed several plays. He gave Gujarati theatre a commercial status in the 60’s and 70’s.


Once during an intercollegiate drama competition he was the judge and was overwhelmed by Shafi Inamdar’s play. After the play he invited Shafi at his place and urged Shafi to join him as his assistant.  Shafi was delighted.


Thus under his able guidance Pravin Joshi, Shafi Inamdar got the golden opportunity to polish his skills. Under him he learned many aspects of drama like intelligence of space on stage, set design, lighting, and use of body and voice to make the role more effective.


Another most important thing that Shafi learned from Pravin Joshi was the art of reading the pulse of audience. He learned the taste of middle and upper middle-class Gujaratis of Bombay and urban Gujarat hence all his plays were super hit as he touched the nerves of his audience.

Shafi Inamdar married theatre actress Bhakti Barve


Shafi Inamdar married theatre artist Bhakti Barve, who was famous as Marathi news reader on Doordarshan in early 70’s. Later she became famous for her villous role as the newspaper editor in Naseeruddin Shah's satirical comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaroon.


Bhakti Barve was a Maharashtrian but she had done many plays in Gujarati under the direction of Shafi Inamdar. During this phase love blossomed between the two and the duo married.


Barve was known for her many plays adapted from English playwright George Bernard Shaw like Pygmalion and `My Fair Lady'. She died in a road accident.

Shafi Inamdar established his own theatre company – Hum Production


After learning the tricks of theatre world Shafi Inamdar created big name for himself. Since his guru Pravin Joshi, was a master of One Act plays hence Shafi began with One Act plays and won instant success. He directed and acted in about 30 one act plays in Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and English from 1973 to 1978.


Further like his guru, Shafi got associated with the revered Indian National Theatre (INT) and later, went a step ahead of his guru as he also joined India’s greatest theater association IPTA (Indian Peoples Theatre Association), which had popular artist like Balraj Sahni, A.K. Hangal, Kaifi Azmi, Sahir Ludhianvi, K.A. Abbas etc.


Thus Shafi in the early 70’s was head over heal in theater doing shows all around India and aboard. To give a boost to his creativity he established his own theatre group Hum Productions in 1982 and directed, produced and acted in various plays.


Shafi Inamdar was discovered by Shashi Kapoor


Shafi Inamdar was a devoted theatre artist and had no plans to join Bollywood but destiny had other plans.


Once when had stage his most popular play Nila Kamra, written by legendary Urdu writer Ismat Chugtai, at Prithvi Theatre, eminent film star and filmmaker Shashi Kapoor happened to watch the play. The play was Shafi Inamdar’s first Hindi play.


Shashi Kapoor was impressed by Shafi Inamdar’s fabulous performance and striking personality. 


Shashi Kapoor was producing Vijeta (1982) and was looking for a tall, handsome and good actor who could play an important part of an Air force Wing Commander.  Kapoor found Shafi Inamdar apt for the role and approached him for the film offer. Initially Shafi tried to skip the film citing his date problems and his engagement in plays but Shashi Kapoor signed him and adjusted his date issue.

The film was an average hit but Shafi Inamdar had left his mark on the screen. Film critics wrote rave reviews about his excellent act and he was flooded with films.


Shafi Inamdar became a star after Ardh Satya


Govind Nihalani, who had directed Shafi Inamdar in his debut film Vijeta, repeated him in his next film Ardh Satya. In this film he gave him a pivotal role of an honest cop Hyder Ali.


Though a parallel movie, Ardh Satya was a huge commercial success and opened doors of commercial cinema for Shafi Inamdar.


He did many  Bollywood commercial films like B.R. Chopra’s Aaj Ki Awaaz, Ramesh Sippy’s Saagar, Rajkumar Santoshi’s Ghayal, Mehul Kumar’s KrantiveerRahul Rawail’s Arjun, Sanjay Khan’s Kala Dhanda Goray Log, Mohan Kumar’s Amrit etc


His last film was Nana Patekar’s Yeshwant (1997).


In his over 15 years career in Bollywood,  he was nominated by Filmfare award for his exceptional performance in Aaj Ki Awaaz (1983).






Shafi Inamdar became immortal with is TV show Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi


More than his films and theatre, Shafi Inamdar became popular with his super hit TV show Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi that was telecast on Doordarshan in 1984.


The highlight of the TV serial was that it was family drama laced with humor just like today's hit TV show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah.


Incidentally just as Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah is written by popular journalist and author Taarak Mehta, likewise Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi was written by Hindi literature’s most popular satirical writer Sharad Joshi, who had even written two most successful comedy films Amol Palekar’s Chhoti Si Baat (1975) and Aamir Khan’s Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991).


Besides an excellent script,  the show was a success due to it powerful cast that included Swaroop Sampat, Rakesh Bedi and Satish Shah and of course Shafi Inamdar.


The serial was such a hit that he run for 61 episodes when generally a serial run for maximum 25 weeks!!


Besides India the serial was even popular in London and Canada. In those days VCR (Video Cassette Recorder) were in rage and in foreign countries there was huge demand of  Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi TV serial cassettes.


Shafi Inamdar became a TV star and did many other television serials like Aadha Sach, Aadha Jooth, Mirza Ghalib and Teri Bhi Chup meri Bhi Chup




Shafi Inamdar died March, 13, 1996. He was just 50 years.

# Released Date Type Credited As Movie
1 01 Jan 1999 Film Supporting Actor Anyay Hi Anyay
2 13 Mar 1998 Film Supporting Actor Barsaat Ki Raat
3 07 Feb 1997 Film Supporting Actor Yeshwant
4 11 Oct 1996 Film Supporting Actor Zordaar
5 05 Jul 1996 Film Supporting Actor Hahakaar
6 08 Dec 1995 Film Supporting Actor Meri Mohabbat Mera Naseeba
7 30 Nov 1995 Film Supporting Actor Akele Hum Akele Tum
8 11 Aug 1995 Film DirectorStory writer Hum Dono
9 14 Jul 1995 Film Supporting Actor Takkar
10 17 Feb 1995 Film Supporting Actor Nishana