indian cinema heritage foundation


  • Real Name: Amarnath Bhardwaj
  • Born: 13 October 1923 (Hafizabad, District Gujranwala)
  • Primary Cinema: Punjabi

A gentleman and sober actor of Indian cinema, Amarnath Bhardwaj, popularly known as Amarnath was born on October 13, 1923 in a Punjabi Brahmin family of Hafizabad (District of Gujranwala, now in Pakistan). However, some sources indicate his date of birth as October 23, 1925. He grew up as a very handsome and tall young man, who fitted the mould of a film star. He passed his matriculation and got a job in a bank. Since his childhood, he dreamt of being a hero and he left the job of the bank job to pursue his dream career in films. He got the chance to play the role of an “extra” in Roop K. Shorey's film Shalimar (1946). His first film as a hero was a Punjabi movie Kamli (1946) produced by Thakur Himmat Singh

He got his major break in Pancholi Art Pictures Hindi movie Patjhar (1946), in which vivacious Meena Shorey was his heroine. Thereafter, he featured in many important and leading roles. He was offered a role in Ranjit Movietone’s production Chheen Le Azadi (1947). After the partition, he moved to Bombay and acted opposite Akhtari in the romantic film Papiha Re (1948). He came into prominence with the release of Swayam Siddha (1949). After that he acted in many notable films like Barsat Ki Ek Raat (1948), Kamal Ke Phool (1950), Sheesh Mahal (1950), Jalte Deep (1950), Johari (1951), Lachak (1951), Bahu Beti (1952), Izzat (1952), Danka (1954), and Hathkadi (1958).  

In 1950, he was roped in by Jaggi Ramapal to act in the Punjabi film Mutiyar. Ghazal-king Talat Mahmood made a debut in Punjabi cinema with a beautiful ghazal Ae gham mujhe jaane de in this film. His next Punjabi film Posti (1951), directed by K.D. Mehra, was a box-office bonanza. Amar Nath played the role of village post master, who fell in love with the village belle Shyama, while another beau Manju was also after him. He played the stellar role of Munshi opposite Manju in Vanjara (1954). Sardul Kwatra scored musical hits like Charkhe diyan ghookan ne, Maraan kandhaan ute leekaan, Wasta e pyar wich wichhod etc. which were instrumental in making the film a smashing hit. Amar Nath enacted the role of Patwari Ramdas opposite Shyama in the Punjabi film Lara Lappa (1953). Next year, Amar Nath was paired with Begum Para in PS Picture’s musical hit Ashtalli (1954). After playing the lead roles in these Punjabi movies, he remained away from Punjabi Cinema for almost a decade. In the last phase of his illustrious career, he played the role of a police officer in Dara Singh’s Jagga (1964). 

In the year 1950, Amar Nath had a bumper crop of eight films like Dolti Naiyya (1950), Jalte Deep (1950), Nai Bhabhi (1950), Sheesh Mahal (1950), Veer Babruwahan (1950) and Hanuman Patal Vijay (1951) etc. to display his acting skills as hero. Next year he appeared in five films of which Jauhari (1951), Nai Zindagi (1951) and Lachak (1951) are worth mentioning. In 1952, his five films: Bahu Beti, Izzat, Nirmal, Nirmohi and Draupadi Vastraharan were screened while his four films: BahadurNavdurga and  Paapi were released in 1953. Danka andToofan were released in 1954. In the next three years three films each were released. (1955: Andher Nagri Chaupt Raja, Haseena and Jalwa); (1956: Badshah Salamat, Baghi Sardar and Kala Chor) and (1957: Agra Road, Jeevan Saathi and Maya Nagri). In 1958 six films like Chetak Aur Rana Pratap, Hathkadi, Mr. Q, Pahla Pahla Pyar, Post Box 999  were released. Only two films Bus Conductor and Rani Roopmati were released in 1959. 

Amar Nath appeared in more than 100 odd movies enacting different roles ranging from a handsome chocolate hero to a rough and tough leader of rebels or a strict and watchful policeman. In the late 40s and early 50s, he was popular in B & C grade movies as a hero. However, as a character artist he got chances to act in many A grade films. He was seen in Choron KI Barat (1960), Dekha Jayega (1960), Diler Haseena (1960) and Nache Nagin Baje Been (1960) released in the year 1960. In 1961, his four films Black Shadow, Daku Mansur (1961), Gypsy Girl (1961) and Senapati were released. Thereafter, his appearance on the silver screen was few and far between. The notable films released during this period were: Anpadh (1962), Kala Chashma (1962), Char Darvesh (1964), Punarmilan (1964), Veer Bhimsen (1964), Spy In Goa (1966), Ankhen (1968), Khiladi (1968), Teri Talash Mein (1968), Vatan Se Door (1968), Soldier (1969) etc. His last appearance on the big screen was in Kaun Ho Tum (1970).