AMOL PALEKAR : The 1970s, an interesting time for Hindi cinema saw the emergence of film actors who played the
character of the common man with aplomb and came to occupy almost a cult figure along the
megastars of the day. Amol Palekar, the man with the winsome smile, born on November 24, 1944, was
Considered the powerful precursor of the Abhay Deols and Ayushmann Khuranas of present-day
Bollywood, Amol Palekar carved a niche for himself with his depiction of the ordinary man with dreams
in his eyes and a light wallet. The aspirations and plans, happiness and dejection, cunningness, and devil-
the may-care attitude of the characters that he played on screen resonated deeply with the masses. Who
can forget the endearing casual demeanor of Sanjay in Rajnigandha (1974) or the hilarious machinations of
Ram Prasad Dash in Golmaal (1979)?
Born in a middle-class Marathi family in Bombay (now Mumbai), Palekar is a trained artist having
studied fine arts at the J.J. School of Art in Mumbai. He started his career as a painter and as an
artist, he had seven solo exhibitions. He also participated in many collaborative shows at the time.
However, it is undoubtedly his acting career that brought him name and fame. He won accolades
both as a theatre artist and a film actor in Marathi and Hindi. His acting in regional languages
including Bengali and Malayalam also won him critical acclaim.
Amol Palekar’s debut film was the Marathi Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe directed by Satyadev Dubey
(1971). He was cast by Basu Chatterjee in Rajnigandha (1974) which went on to be a hit. This was
followed by Chhoti Si Baat, which proved to be another surprise hit, consolidating his image as the
He was chosen by Hrishikesh Mukherjee to play the inimitable Ram Prasad Dash, a middle-class young
man wooing a business tycoon’s (Utpal Dutt) daughter (Bindiya Goswami) in Gol Maal. Palekar won
the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his role in the film.
He continues to be known for his outspokenness on a variety of topics ranging from freedom of
speech to propaganda through films. Amol Palekar considers himself an agnostic atheist. He has
been quoted as saying that he is willing to act again if he is given a challenging enough role.