Naseeruddin Shah

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Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah02.jpg
Naseeruddin Shah in 2011
BornNaseeruddin Shah
(1950-07-20) 20 July 1950 (age 64)
Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India
OccupationActor, Environmentalist
Years active1972 – Present
Notable work(s)Karma, The Perfect Murder, A Wednesday, Sarfarosh, Khuda Ke Liye, Monsoon Wedding, Masoom,Zinda Bhaag, The Extraordinary Gentlemen, Iqbal
Spouse(s)Parveen Murad, also known as Manara Sikri (deceased)
Ratna Pathak Shah (1982–present)
ChildrenHeeba Shah
Imaad Shah
Vivaan Shah
RelativesZameerud-din Shah (brother)
AwardsPadma Bhushan, Padma Shri, National Film Award
SignatureNaseeruddin Shah Signature
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Not to be confused with Naser al-Din Shah Qajar.
Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah02.jpg
Naseeruddin Shah in 2011
BornNaseeruddin Shah
(1950-07-20) 20 July 1950 (age 64)
Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India
OccupationActor, Environmentalist
Years active1972 – Present
Notable work(s)Karma, The Perfect Murder, A Wednesday, Sarfarosh, Khuda Ke Liye, Monsoon Wedding, Masoom,Zinda Bhaag, The Extraordinary Gentlemen, Iqbal
Spouse(s)Parveen Murad, also known as Manara Sikri (deceased)
Ratna Pathak Shah (1982–present)
ChildrenHeeba Shah
Imaad Shah
Vivaan Shah
RelativesZameerud-din Shah (brother)
AwardsPadma Bhushan, Padma Shri, National Film Award
SignatureNaseeruddin Shah Signature

Naseeruddin Shah (born 20 July 1950) is an Indian film actor and director. He is widely considered to be one of the finest Indian stage and film actors. He is an influential actor of the Indian Parallel (New Wave) Cinema. Shah has won numerous awards in his career, including three National Film Awards, three Filmfare Awards and one Venice Film Festival. The Government of India has honoured him with both the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan civilian awards for his contributions to Indian cinema.

In 2013, his second Pakistani film Zinda Bhaag was selected as an official entry from Pakistan to the 86th Academy Awards in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. It also won four international awards at the [1] MISAFF ( the premiere South Asian film festival of Canada before release. His contribution of works made him one of the greatest actor of Indian Cinema particularly known as Bollywood.

Early life[edit]

Shah was born into a Muslim family in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh state of India. Naseeruddin Shah did his schooling at St. Anselm's Ajmer and St Joseph's College, Nainital. He graduated in arts from Aligarh Muslim University in 1971 and attended National School of Drama in Delhi. He has been successful in mainstream Bollywood cinema as well as in Parallel Cinema. He has appeared in international films, notably playing Captain Nemo in the Hollywood adaptation The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

His elder brother, Lt. General Zameerud-din Shah PVSM, SM, VSM, was recently appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.

His nephew (cousin's son) Salim Shah is also a TV and film actor.[2]


Shah has acted in movies such as Nishant, Aakrosh, Sparsh, Mirch Masala, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai, Trikal, Bhavni Bhavai, Junoon, Mandi, Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!, Ardh Satya, Katha, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, etc.[3] In the very early stages of his career he acted in the film Dil Aakhir Dil Hai directed by noted director Ismail Shroff, with Rakhi where she played the character of Naseer's elder girlfriend Kusumji whom he was forced to marry unwillingly because he is quite younger than her (in the film). One of his most important films, Masoom (1983) was shot at St Joseph's College, Nainital.

He became active in mainstream Bollywood cinema with the 1980 film Hum Paanch. His next major success in mainstream films was the 1986 multi-starrer film Karma where he acted alongside veteran Dilip Kumar. Starring roles for films such as Ijaazat (1987), Jalwa (1988) and Hero Hiralal (1988) followed. In 1988 he played opposite his wife Ratna Pathak as Inspector Ghote, the fictional detective of H. R. F. Keating's novels in the Merchant-Ivory English language film The Perfect Murder.

He has acted in several multi-starrer Bollywood films as well, such as Ghulami (1985), Tridev (1989) and Vishwatma (1992). In 1994, he acted as the villain in Mohra, his 100th film as an actor. He forayed into Malayalam cinema the same year, through T. V. Chandran's critically well acclaimed drama Ponthan Mada. The film portrayed the irrational bonding of a feudal serf (played by Mammootty) and a colonial landlord (played by Shah). He strongly believed that the distinction between art and commercial films had largely reduced, especially with the directors of the former also making commercial films. In 2000 his dream of playing Mahatma Gandhi was realised when he played Gandhi in Kamal Hassan's critically acclaimed Hey Ram which focused on the assassination of Gandhi from the assailant's point of view. He won a lot of critical acclaim by playing the role of Mohit, the drunken coach to a deaf and mute boy in Iqbal, which was written by Vipul K Rawal with Shah specially in mind.[citation needed] Shah acted superbly as Gulfam Hassan – a Ghazal singer cum terrorist mastermind, in the 1999 Aamir Khan starrer Sarfarosh. He also worked brilliantly in Neeraj Pandey's critically acclaimed A Wednesday (2008).

Later, he starred in international projects such as Monsoon Wedding in 2001 and a Hollywood comic book adaptation The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003 (co-starring Sean Connery) where he played the role of Captain Nemo. His portrayal of Nemo was very close to the design of the graphic novel, although his Nemo was far less manic. He worked in an Indian adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, titled Maqbool and Rajiv Rai's Asambhav opposite Arjun Rampal and Priyanka Chopra in 2004. He then went on to work in The Great New Wonderful (2005). He was most recently seen in The Dirty Picture (2011). Shah's upcoming films include The Hunt where he plays a recluse growing marijuana in his forest retreat.

He made his Pakistani film debut in Khuda Ke Liye by Shoaib Mansoor where he played a short cameo.

Other media and art forms[edit]

Naseeruddin Shah playing Pozzo in Motley's production of Waiting for Godot at The Doon School, 2009.

In 1977, he, Tom Alter and Benjamin Gilani formed a theatre group called Motley Productions. Their first play was Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, which was staged at the Prithvi Theatre on 29 July 1979.[4]

In 1988,[citation needed] he acted in the eponymous television series based on the life and times of Mirza Ghalib, directed by Gulzar and telecast on DD National.[5][6]

In 1989, he acted as the Maratha King Shivaji in another eponymous television series Bharat Ek Khoj based on Jawaharlal Nehru's book The Discovery of India.[citation needed]

In 1999, he acted as a special agent in the TV series Tarkash on Zee TV. He played the role of a retired agent haunted by nightmares who is re-inducted as he apparently knows something about a dreaded terrorist somehow connected with his past.[citation needed]

In 1998, he played the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the play Mahatma Vs. Gandhi, (which looked at the Mahatma's relation with Harilal Gandhi, his first son).[7] With this, he achieved his objective of portraying Mahatma Gandhi, a role he had auditioned for in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi.[8] In 2000, he again portrayed the Mahatma, this time on film, in Hey Ram.[citation needed]

He played the villain with the dual identity of a ghazal singer and a Pakistani spy who supports terrorism in India in Sarfarosh (1999).[citation needed]

He played the role of Mohit, a drunken coach, in the critically acclaimed Iqbal. The role was specially written keeping him in mind by Vipul K Rawal, the writer of the film. It was recently[when?] voted as one of ten Hindi films that is considered ideal training and motivational material.[by whom?]

He was the first of several celebrity actors, who played the role of narrator in the popular audiobook series for kids Karadi Tales.[citation needed] He was the narrator in the film Paheli — the Indian entry to the 2006 Academy Awards.[citation needed]

He has been awarded the life membership of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy of Film & Television.[citation needed]

As a director[edit]

Naseeruddin Shah has been giving performances with his theatre troupe at places such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Lahore. He has directed plays written by Lavender Kumar, Ismat Chughtai and Saadat Hasan Manto.

His directorial debut in movies, Yun Hota To Kya Hota, was released in 2006. It stars several established actors such as Konkona Sen Sharma, Paresh Rawal, Irfan Khan, newcomer Ayesha Takia, his son Imaad Shah and his old friend Ravi Baswani.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Naseeruddin Shah with wife Ratna Pathak Shah, 2010 at Lahore.

At the age of 19, and against the wishes of his family, Naseeruddin married Parveen Murad, also known as Manara Sikri (the second name was given to her after her mother took a man named Sikri as her second husband). His wife, who was a doctor, was then in her mid-thirties and almost double his age. Parveen (alias Manara) was the step-sister of the actress Surekha Sikri. Their daughter, the actress Heeba Shah, was born when Naseeruddin was only 20 years old. The marriage did not work out and the couple were separated (but not divorced) when Heeba was still a toddler. For the next 12 years, Parveen did not permit Naseeruddin to set eyes on his daughter, or to even speak to her on the phone.[9] Neither did she agree to a divorce, bargaining very hard for a phenomenal alimony, which Naseeruddin could not afford as he was at that time a "struggler," an aspiring young actor with no regular income. Parveen's idea was that Naseeruddin's family should cough up the vast amount she demanded, but since they had been opposed to this marriage in the first place, they refused to enrich her. She then took Heeba with her and relocated to Iran.[10]

In 1975, Naseeruddin came into contact with Ratna Pathak when the two of them acted in a play together.[11] They fell in love with each other and co-starred in several films like Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, Mirch Masala and The Perfect Murder.[12][13] Since his marriage contract stipulated that he would not marry again while he was married to Parveen (although Muslim law permits bigamy for men), Naseeruddin could not marry Ratna until he had paid the enormous alimony and secured a divorce from Parveen. This took many years, and meanwhile, Naseerudding and Ratna began living together without marriage. In 1981, Parveen agreed to a slight reduction in the money demanded as alimony, but made the stipulation that Naseeruddin should give up "all claims whatsoever, permanently" in the matter concerning custody of the now 12-year-old Heeba. Since Naseeruddin could hardly recognize his daughter, and since she would be an adult in a few years anyway, Naseeruddin agreed to this, the money was paid, and the divorce was finalized. Within a few months, the reason why Parveen had made this arrangement became known: Parveen died of cancer. She had carefully concealed her condition from Naseeruddin for a reason: before she died, and on the basis of the divorce settlement, Parveen left Heeba in the custody and guardianship of her brother, who lived in Iran. Naseeruddin was not to see Heeba for several more years. As an adult, Heeba came to India for higher education and began visiting her father occasionally and this was the beginning of a relationship which remains fraught but cordial. Naseeruddin has promoted Heeba's career as a stage actress and Ratna enjoys a cordial relationship with her.

Shortly after Parveen's death, Naseeruddin married Ratna. They became the parents of two boys, Imaad Shah and Vivaan Shah, both of whom are aspiring stage actors. Ratna Pathak Shah is the daughter of Dina Pathak, a veteran character actress, and the sister of the actress Supriya Kapoor, who is the wife of the actor Pankaj Kapoor and step-mother to the film star Shahid Kapoor.


Civilian Awards
Padma ShriIndia's fourth highest civilian award1987Awarded
Padma BhushanIndia's Third highest civilian award2003Awarded
National Film Award
National Film Award for Best ActorSparsh1979Won
National Film Award for Best ActorPaar1984Won
National Film Award for Best Supporting ActorIqbal2006Won
Filmfare Award
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor AwardJunoon1980Nominated
Filmfare Best Actor AwardAakrosh1981Won
Filmfare Best Actor AwardChakra1982Won
Filmfare Best Actor AwardBazaar1983Nominated
Filmfare Best Actor AwardMasoom1984Won
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor AwardKatha1984Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor AwardMandi1984Nominated
Filmfare Best Actor AwardSparsh1985Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor AwardSir1994Nominated
Filmfare Best Villain AwardMohra1995Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor AwardNaajayaz1996Nominated
Filmfare Best Villain AwardChaahat1998Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor AwardChina Gate1999Nominated
Filmfare Best Villain AwardSarfarosh2000Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor AwardIqbal2006Nominated
Filmfare Best Villain AwardKrrish2007Nominated
Filmfare Best Actor AwardA Wednesday2008Nominated
Filmfare Best Supporting Actor AwardThe Dirty Picture2012Nominated
Venice Film Festival
The Volpi Cup (Award for Best Actor)Paar1984Won

Other Awards[edit]



1977BhumikaSunil VermaHindi
1977Tabbaliyu Neenade MaganeShastriKannada
1978JunoonSarfaraz KhanHindi
1979SparshAniruddh ParmarHindi
1979SunayanaNo NameHindi
1980AakroshBhaskar KulkarniHindi
1980Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata HaiAlbert PintoHindi
1980Bhavni BhavaiGujarati
1980Hum PaanchSurajHindi
1981Umrao JaanGohar MirzaHindi
1983Jaane Bhi Do YaaroVinod ChopraHindi
1983KathaRajaram Purshottam JoshiHindi
1983MasoomD.K. MalhotraHindi
1983PratidanPrabhat RoyBengali
1983Woh Saat DinDr. AnandHindi
1984Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho!Advocate MalkaniHindi
1984HoliProfessor SinghHindi
1985GhulamiSP Sultan SinghHindi
1985TrikaalRuiz PereiraHindi
1985Mirch MasalaSubedarHindi
1985KhamoshCaptain BakshiHindi
1986KarmaKhairuddin ChishtiHindi
1987JalwaInspector KapilHindi
1987Yeh Woh Manzil To NahinTrivediHindi
1988Hero HiralalHero HiralalHindi
1988The Perfect MurderInspector GhoteHindi
1989TridevJay SinghHindi
1989Mane (The House)RajshekarKannada
1990Police PublicSr. Inspector Mahar Singh GadhwalHindi
1991Ek GharHindi
1991LakshmanrekhaAmar KapoorHindi
1992VishwatmaSuryapratap SinghHindi
1992Electric MoonRambuhj GoswamiHindi
1992ChamatkarAmar Kumar (Marco)Hindi
1993Kabhi Haan Kabhi NaaFather BreganzaHindi
1993SirProfessor Amar VermaHindi
1994Ponthan MadaSheema ThampuranMalayalam
1994MohraMr. ZindalHindi
1994DrohkaalDCP Abbas LodhiHindi
1995NaajayazRaj SolankiHindi
1995TakkarInspector De CostaHindi
1996ChaahatAjay NarangHindi
1997Bombay BoysMastanaHindi
1998ChinagateMajor Sarfaraz KhanHindi
1998Such a Long JourneyJimmy BilimoriaHindi
1999SarfaroshGulfaam HasanHindi
1999Bhopal ExpressBashirHindi
2000Hey RamMahatma Gandhi Simultaneously made into Tamil DebutHindi/Tamil
2001Monsoon WeddingLalit VermaHindi
2002The League of Extraordinary GentlemenCaptain NemoAmerican
2002Encounter: The KillingInspector BharuchaHindi
2003MaqboolInspector PurohitHindi
2004AsambhavSameer "Sam" HansHindi
20043 DeewareinIshaanHindi
2004Main Hoon NaBrig. Shekhar SharmaHindi
2005The Great New WonderfulAviHindi
2006Being CyrusDinshaw SethnaHindi
2006KrrishDr. Siddhant AryaHindi
2006Valley of FlowersYetiFrench, German, Hindi
2007AmalG.K. JayaramHindi
2007Khuda Ke LiyeMaulana WaliUrdu (partly English, Pashto)
2007Dus KahaniyaanHindi
2008Shoot on SightTariq AliHindi
2008Jaane Tu Ya Jaane NaAmar Singh RathoreHindi
2008A Wednesday.Hindi
2008Mere Baap Pehle AapHindi
2009Barah AanaShuklaHindi
2009FiraaqKhan SahabHindi
2009Today's SpecialAkbarHindi
2009Bolo RaamN.S. NegiHindi
2010Peepli LiveSalim KidwaiHindi
2010RaajneetiBhaskar SanyalHindi
2010Allah Ke BandayWardenHindi
20117 Khoon MaafDr. Modhusudhon TarafdarHindi
2011That Girl in Yellow BootsDiwakarHindi
2011The Blueberry HuntColonelHindi
2011Zindagi Na Milegi DobaraSalman HabibHindi
2011The Dirty PictureSuryakanthHindi
2011Chaalis ChauraasiPankaj Purushottam Suri (Sir)Hindi
2012MaximumPolice OfficerHindi
2013Sona SpaBaba DayanandHindi
2013Mad DadHindi
2013Khasi Katha– A Goat SagaButcherBengali
2013Amma 3DHindi, Tamil, Telugu
2013Zinda BhaagPehlwanPunjabi (partly Urdu)
2013John DayJohn DayHindi
2013The Coffin MakerAnton GomesIndo-American
2013Sunglass / Taak JhaankBengali/Hindi
2014Nalupu RaniRawat SinghTelugu
2014Dedh IshqiyaIftekhar (Khalu Jaan)Hindi
2014Finding FannyFerdieKonkani-English



  1. ^ Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival
  2. ^ "Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap – Audience Reviews .. Must Watch .. :) | NG". Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Naseeruddin Shah". Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  4. ^ "Still waiting, for Mr Godot". The Indian Express. 21 August 1997. 
  5. ^ Shahab Ansari (4 December 2013). "Naseeruddin Shah says he visited parts of Lahore in disguise". The News International. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Prachi Pinglay (23 July 2006). "Magazine / Interview:`I did all kinds of films'". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  7. ^ A review of the play Mahatma Vs. Gandhi
  8. ^
  9. ^ Interview
  10. ^ Interview
  11. ^ Interview
  12. ^ Tags: (17 August 2009). "Did you know why Heeba Shah agreed to play the role of the young Daadisa?". Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Naseeruddin Shah's son falls off train". The Times of India. 24 November 2006. 

External links[edit]