Saturday, Oct 23, 2021 | Last Update : 06:59 AM IST
Mehmood was undoubtedly one of the greatest comedians of Indian cinema. He was an actor, singer, director and also a producer, but the inimitable Mehmood is best known in Bollywood as a comedian. On 23 July 2004, Mehmood died in his sleep in the American state of Pennsylvania, where he had traveled to for treatment of cardiovascular heart disease after suffering from poor health over several years. His fans were able to pay homage to him at Mehboob Studio in Bandra, Mumbai. On his death anniversary, let us remember the comedy genius who will stay in our hearts forever.
His huge fan following spoke of his dedication and talent. He was able to carve a niche for himself, which has made him be remembered as an artist who not only introduced himself in the industry but gave a platform for many upcoming actors. He was and is the ‘King of Comedy’ undoubtedly, but he was also the ‘King of Hearts’.
Few facts about Mehmood :
During Amitabh Bachchan’s struggling phase in Mumbai, it was Mehmood who helped him and offered him a room at his own house.
He was one comedian whose photo used to be on posters with the lead actor. Directors signed him knowing audience wanted to see Mehmood and his comedy on the big screen.
Mehmood was linked-up with Aruna Irani but they did not admit their relationship. Some reports also suggested that they got married. His official second marriage, however, was with Tracy Ali.
Before coming in Bollywood, he was a tennis coach of Meena Kumari. He was also a driver of filmmaker PL Santoshi. During coaching time, he met Meena Kumari sister Madhu and fell in love with her. He allegedly forced her to get married to him threatening suicide.
In some ways, Mehmood was destined to be in cinema. He began as a child actor in Ashok Kumar’s ‘Kismet’ (1943). But it was Guru Dutt who spotted the young lad and gave him his first break.
Mehmood went on to develop his own style of comedy. At his peak, he was paid more than the film’s hero and it’s easy to see why. With top dollars rolling in, he was living a flamboyant life. A big spendthrift, he bought a farm just to keep his horses.
Mehmood had great faith in the young Amitabh. Ameen Sayani, the radio broadcaster, once asked him about his horses. “The fastest horse is Amitabh,” Mehmood replied. “The day he picks up speed he will leave everyone behind.”
Towards the end, however, an ageing Mehmood who cared for Bachchan as a younger brother became bitter and lashed out at him in interviews. It was one of the ugliest fallouts in Bollywood but Bachchan kept a dignified silence.