indian cinema heritage foundation

Mazhar Khan

  • Born: 22 July, 1953 (Mumbai)
  • Died: 16 September, 1998 (Mumbai)
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi
  • Parents: Hameeda Balooch
  • Spouse: Rubaina Mumtaz Khan, Zeenat Aman
  • Children: Azhar, Azaan, Zahaan

Film and TV actor, producer, and director Mazhar Khan is known for films such as Gang (2000), Shaan (1980) and Bombay Fantasy (1983). He featured in more than 40 Hindi films essaying villain and supporting roles through the 1980s and early 1990s. He also appeared in the Hollywood science fiction film Terminal Entry (1987), playing a negative role. He was also noted for his role in the television serial Buniyaad, and also acted in the British mini-series Traffik.

Born on 22 July, 1953, he made his acting debut with the film Sampark (1979). This drama film directed by Inder Sen, saw him play Brindavan Biharilal, the adopted brother of Heera (Girish Karnad), who are employed by Ram Pyare Misra (Kulbhushan Kharbanda). 

He made a bigger impact the following year with his performance in the action crime film Shaan (1980) directed by Ramesh Sippy. He essayed the character of Abdul, the street beggar in the film, amidst a star cast that comprised Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Raakhee Gulzar, Shatrughan Sinha, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Parveen Babi, and Bindiya Goswami. The song Naam Abdul hai mera from the film, picturised on Khan, became popular. Playing a homeless cripple, who reveals information about the villain Shakaal's contraband warehouse, which is destroyed by the lead trio, his character is murdered in retaliation by Shakaal. 

He went on to appear in several films during the 1980s, playing a variety of characters. These include Dhanwan (1981), Ek Hi Bhool (1981), Haathkadi (1982), Mehndi Rang Layegi (1982), Bindiya Chamkegi (1984), Kamla (1984), Sohni Mahiwal (1984), Bhavani Junction (1985), Jaan Hatheli Pe (1987), and Awara Zindagi (1989). Among his last film appearances was Angaar (1992), after which he quit acting.

Making a foray into television, he featured in serials such as Buniyaad (1987) playing a character named Roshanlal, Himalaya Darshan (1988), Traffik (1989), and Bombay Meri Hai. 

Making his debut as a producer with the film Bombay Fantasy (1983), the film was an adventure romance directed by Pankaj Dheer. Its cast featured Zalim Khan, Shabana Murti, and Vibhushan Singh Paul. 

His second and last production was Gang (2000), which he also directed. It released after his demise in 1998. A gangster drama, it starred Kumar Gaurav, Jackie Shroff, Nana Patekar, Javed Jaffrey, Juhi Chawla and Imtiaz Khan in pivotal roles. The film is said to have begun production in 1990 and was delayed for 10 years because of director Mazhar Khan's ill health. Post his death, his assistant director Mashkoor Chowdhary helped complete the film for release on 14 April, 2000. 

On the personal front, he was married to Rubaina Mumtaz Khan, niece of Dilip Kumar, with whom he had a son. He was also married to actress Zeenat Aman, leading star of her times, with whom he had two sons. 

Mazhar Khan died of kidney failure on 16 September, 1998.