Anupam Kher @ 65: His five most memorable performances

Shyama Sudra



He’s one of the Indian Film Industry’s most celebrated actors, with a career spanning 38 years. He may not have been the lead in all of his projects, but Anupam Kher has always been an actor who audiences have never been able to forget no matter which role he plays. As he turns 65, looks at his most memorable roles; ones that made audiences laugh, cry, gasp in horror and cheer. 

B V Pradhan – Saaransh’ (1984)
The first major role that got Kher recognised was originally not to be his. The role of B V Pradhan, a father trying to come to terms with his son’s death, trying to live a righteous life by doing what he believes is the right, and standing up against those who oppose him, this still remains one of Kher’s most talked about performances, which got all the filmmakers knocking on his door.

Dr Michael Dang – ‘Karma’ (1986)
The role of Dr Michael Dang came as a surprise to many. Despite having a number of projects under his belt by the time ‘Karma’ came to Kher, here the actor was squaring up to the likes of Dilip Kumar, Nutan and Naseeruddin Shah, as well as Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff who were budding actors in their own right at the time. However, it was Kher’s negative role that got people talking. Impressed with the way he could chameleon into a character nobody had ever expected him to take on, he proved there was more to come in terms of his talent.

Dharamveer Malhotra – ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (1995)
By the time Aditya Chopra approached Kher with his debut directorial, he was already a popular choice. However it seems Chopra wanted Kher to play a different kind of father figure in this film. Instead of the rich, high society father who drives his son’s life into a family business of some kind, Kher is seen playing the father who is his son’s friend. Adding an element of comedy which fills the audience’s heart with joy, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ had Kher play Dharamveer Malhotra as the father everyone desires, who backs his offspring no matter what. 

Mr Bhamra – ‘Bend it like Beckham’ (2002)
‘Bend It Like Beckham’ was a first for many things, which definitely put British Asian cinema on the market. Connecting particularly British Asians and seeing Kher playing another father role, the film had the actor playing another father figure. However, instead of placing him off as a villain, Kher was humble in his approach to this character. His performance got the audience to understand why he thought and felt the way he did about his daughter and society.

Prakash Rathod – ‘A Wednesday’ (2008)
Pitting Naseeruddin Shah against Anupam Kher was the main thing that got viewers to fill the cinema halls for ‘A Wednesday’ and deliver they both did. However, though these two actors were playing hero and villain, Kher and Shah matched each other in performance throughout in this film. Playing a retired police commissioner trying to defeat the bomber who claims to have planted bombs all around the city of Mumbai, Kher is electrifying and adds as much tension and suspense to his role as Shah does. Despite being in a frame full of other actors, it’s Kher who has all eyes geared towards him.

Kher has always been unconventional in all the different roles he has taken and will be taking on in the future. From humble beginnings, he has managed to make all the right moves, and will always be a joy to see on screen. wishes the actor a very happy 65th birthday.