Arey O! Sambha, Kitne Aadmi Thae….
When Gabbar Singh aka Amjad Khan uttered these words on the silver screen the audience went gaga over a villain for the first time more than the hero. 39 years later the aura of Gabbar Singh still continues to hunt film buffs. Even the present generation is mesmerized by his menacing villainy. July 27 marks the death anniversary of this great actor who left for heavenly abode on 27 July 1992 at the age of 51. Raaga.Com pays the legendary actor a humble homage.
Born on 12 November 1940 as Amjad Zakaria Khan in Peshawar during pre independence, Amjad Khan is the son of famous actor Jayant who was a topnotch villain of the 50’s and 60’s.
As a child young Amjad had a penchant for acting and drama. When he was just 4 years old his uncle N.K.Ziri gave him his first break in Bollywood in the film CHAR PAISA. Later at the age of 13 years he had the opportunity to work under the great film maker Raj Kapoor in his movie AB DILLI DUR NAHIN.
For those who think Amjad Khan made his debut in SHOLAY, let me correct. In fact prior to SHOLAY, Amjad Khan had begun assisting the legendary filmmaker K Asif, who made MUGHUL-E-AZAM, for his under production movie LOVE AND GOD. Later another great filmmaker Chetan Anand (elder brother of Dev Anand and Vijay Anand) had first spotted him and offered him a role in his movie HINDUSTAN KI KASAM, opposite Raaj Kumar. The movie failed hence when Ramesh Sippy cast him SHOLAY, he decided to lunch him in a big way and hence he was given wide media coverage and introduced officially in SHOLAY.
Amjad Khan in an interview said, “I am blessed to have the opportunity of working under great filmmakers like Chetan Anand in HINDUSTAN KI KASAM and assisting the great film legend K Asif during the making of LOVE AND GOD.”
Readers would be aware that initially actor Danny Denzongpa was offered the coveted role of Gabbar Singh in SHOLAY because he was riding high as the most popular villain thanks to some of his hit movies like KHOTTE SIKKAY, DHUND, CHOR MACHAYE SHOR, 36 GHANTE, KALA SONA etc. However he declined the role as he had committed to filmmaker and dear friend Firoz Khan for his movie DHARMATMA.
Later in an interview Danny had candidly confessed, “If I had done SHOLAY then Indian Cinema would have lost a fantastic actor like Amjad Khan.”
NOTE: IN the next issue read how Amjad was discovered for SHOLAY and his success there after