An Actor’s Actor: An Authorized Biography of Sanjeev Kumar
More than thirty-five years after his death, Sanjeev Kumar remains a role model for all aspiring actors. He could light up the screen in underpants, paunch showing, in one of Hindi cinema’s most lovable song sequences, ‘Thande thande paani se nahana chahiye’ (Pati Patni Aur Woh, 1977). Entirely unselfconscious of his image as a star, he would often be cast as the father figure to a number of his contemporaries, most famously Sharmila Tagore in Mausam (1975) and Amitabh Bachchan in Trishul (1978), or as the elderly Thakur in Sholay (1975) and yet leave an indelible mark with his presence and his acting prowess.
After starting out in B-films in the 1960s, he caught the eye in Sungharsh (1967), where the manner in which he held his own against Dilip Kumar is now stuff of Hindi film folklore. Equally adept at comedy (Angoor and Manchali, for example) and dramatic serious roles (Anubhav and Koshish), he was truly an actor’s actor.
Hanif Zaveri and Sumant Batra’s biography provides a glimpse of star’s personal and professional lives, taking off from the traditional business of the Zariwalas, his romantic involvement with some of Hindi cinema’s biggest names, his lifelong battle with loneliness and his glittering achievements on screen. An Actor’s Actor is a succinct introduction to the life and films of a star who left us tragically at the young age of forty-seven but who continues to live through his unforgettable and remarkable contribution to Hindi cinema.
Publisher: Penguin/Ebury Press