Early Life of Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher was born on March 7, 1955, in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. He completed his schooling in D.A.V. School, Shimla and later attended Himachal Pradesh University where he performed in plays. He then attended National School of Drama in Delhi, where he nurtured his passion for acting. He moved to Mumbai where he struggled as an actor, sleeping on railway platforms before he discovered fortune in the movies.
Film Career of Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher made his Hindi film debut in the 1982 film ‘Aagman’, but his first major breakthrough role was of a retired middle class Maharashtrian man who has lost his son, in the 1984 film ‘Saaransh’. He portrayed this character when he was aged merely 28 himself and his performance was critically acclaimed, just as the film. It earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.
He has had many comic roles but has also played the villain, such as his acclaimed performance of a terrorist Dr. Dang in the 1986 film ‘Karma’. His performance in the 1988 film ‘Vijay’ earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor and his role in 1989’s ‘Daddy’ was honoured with the National Film Award - Special Jury Award/Special Mention for a feature film and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance. Amongst the several comic roles that Kher has played in his illustrious career, five have been recognised with the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in a Comic Role - those in films ‘Ram Lakhan’ (1989), ‘Lamhe’ (1991), ‘Khel’ (1992), ‘Darr’ (1992) and ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (1995). The last two count among the many films where Kher has shared screen space with megastar Shah Rukh Khan, the others being ‘Chaahat’ (1996), ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ (1998), ‘Mohabbatein’ (2000) and ‘Veer-Zaara’ (2004). His performance of the role of a police commissioner in the critically and commercially successful ‘A Wednesday’, is acclaimed, in addition to his many such appreciated performances.
In 2002, Anupam Kher ventured into direction with the film ‘Om Jai Jagadish’. He also produced and starred in the film ‘Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara’, for which he again received the National Film Award - Special Jury Award/Special Mention for a feature film and also the Best Actor Award at the Karachi International Film Festival. Kher expanded his reach beyond the territories of the country and became known as an actor internationally with the films ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ (2002), ‘Bride and Prejudice’ (2004), ‘The Mistress of Spices’ (2006), ‘Lust, Caution’ (2007), ‘Speedy Singhs’ (2011), television show ‘ER’ and most recently the 2012 Academy Award-winning film ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, alongside Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. In 2011, he starred alongside Mohanlal and Jayaprada in the Malayalam romantic drama film ‘Pranayam’, which he considers to be one of the seven best films of his career. He has also featured in a number of Marathi films such as ‘Thoda Tuza... Thoda Maza’, ‘Kashala Udyachi Baat’ and in Punjabi films like ‘Yaaraan Naal Bahaaraan’. In 2009, Kher gave his voice to the character of Carl Fredricksen, in the Hindi version of Disney-Pixar 3D animated film ‘Up’. This was his first voice dubbing role. In 2014, he starred in the British film ‘Shongram’, a fictional romantic drama set in the backdrop of the factual historical events of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
Anupam Kher has most recently appeared in Hindi films ‘The Dirty Politics’, alongside Om Puri and Jackie Shroff and ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’, co-starring Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor.
Other Ventures of Anupam Kher
Besides films, Anupam Kher has also written and starred in a play on his own life - ‘Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai’, directed by Feroz Abbas Khan. He released his own book ‘The Best Thing about You is You!’ in 2011. He has recently served as the chairman of the Indian Film Censor Board and previously as the director of the National School of Drama (NSD), from 2001 to 2004. In 2007, he started in his own film production company Karol Bagh Productions, along with actor Satish Kaushik, who was his batch mate from NSD. Their first film ‘Tere Sang’ was directed by Kaushik. In 2010, Kher was appointed as the goodwill ambassador of Pratham Education Foundation, which strives to improve education of children in India.
Anupam Kher has also been a television presenter, having hosted TV shows such as ‘Say Na Something To Anupam Uncle’, ‘Sawaal Dus Crore Ka’, ‘Lead India’ and the most recent ‘The Anupam Kher Show - Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai’ that aired on Colors TV and became a big hit on its first episode when Shah Rukh Khan was invited as the guest. The show has completed its two seasons thus far.
Awards and Honours received by Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher is a veteran actor who has been conferred the following awards and honours:
Personal Life of Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher is a Kashmiri Pandit and is married to fellow actress Kirron Kher, who is a Member of the Indian Parliament from Chandigarh. Their son is actor Sikandar Kher.
Selected Filmography of Anupam Kher