Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A great human being Remembering the actor-filmmaker who personified style Obituary: Feroz Khan

Known for his flamboyant persona, Feroz Khan was an actor, director and producer who had a long innings in the Hindi film industry. The actor known for his stylish films "Dharmatma" and "Qurbani" continued to charm audiences with his inimitable style till as late as 2007.

"He always had a star feel in him. He was stylish and elegant even in his old age. He remained a style icon. I met him three or four times after my father's death. Even in his old age he remained stylish and suave and proved that even baldness can be beautiful," Dinesh Gundu Rao, a Karnataka legislator, told IANS.

Members of the Hindi film industry also mourned his death.

"Feroz Khan was, is and will always be there for me. I have no qualms in saying that my life is inspired by him. He is basically a reason why I became a filmmaker. He is a hero figure to me. His death is a very sad moment for all of us," said Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Gupta.

Other friends of the actor here remember him as a fun loving person who loved Bangalore, the city of his birth.

"He loved Bangalore where he was born. He stayed in Bangalore most of the time in his farmhouse. More than Mumbai, it was in Bangalore that he had spent a larger part of his life. He was part of the racing world of Bangalore. He had shot many films in his farm house in Bangalore," Shivu, a close friend of the actor, fondly recalled.

Feroz Khan was born in Bangalore -- his father Sadiq Ali Khan Tanoli was a Pathan from Ghazni province of Afghanistan and his mother Fatima was an Iranian. He has three brothers Sanjay Khan, Sameer Khan and Akbar Khan.

The actor did his schooling in Bangalore after which he went to Mumbai to pursue a career in Bollywood. He made his debut in "Didi" in 1960. Getting good roles was not easy for the actor and he ended up working in a lesser known English film "Tarzan Goes To India".

But he went on to act in popular films like "Arzoo", "Aurat" and "Safar" as well as playing important roles in his own directorial ventures "Qurbani" and "Dharmatma". He won a Filmfare award for best supporting role in "Aadmi Aur Insaan" in 1970 and was honoured with the lifetime achievement award in 2000.

In 1972, Feroz Khan debuted as director and producer with "Apradh", made under the banner of F.K. Films Pvt Ltd. But it was his second film "Dharmatma", based on the then successful Hollywood thriller "Godfather”, which catapulted him into the big league of Hindi film industry. "Dharmatma", the first Indian film to be shot in Afghanistan, became a blockbuster.

After the success of the film, Feroz Khan became a name to reckon with as an actor, director and producer. His another big hit was "Qurbani" in which he teamed up with Vinod Khanna and Zeenat Aman.

In the Eighties and Nineties, he made films like "Dayavan" and "Yalgaar".

While struggling to find a firm foothold in Bollywood, Feroz Khan married Sundari in 1965. They had a son Fardeen Khan, who is an actor, and a daughter Laila, a painter married to tennis player Rohit Rajpal. Fardeen tied the knot with Natasha Madhwani, daughter of yesteryears actress Mumtaz who had played the leading role in many of Feroz Khan's films.

His brother Sanjay is also an actor and both of them worked together in the hit film "Mela". His brother Akbar too is in films and recently produced and directed "Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story", while Sameer stays in Bangalore.

He also launched his son Fardeen with "Prem Aggan" in 1998 and directed him again in the 2003 film "Janasheen", but both failed at the box office.

Feroz Khan was last seen in the 2007 comedy "Welcome" with Akshay Kumar and Anil Kapoor.

He passed away late on Sunday (April 26) at his farmhouse in Bangalore after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 69.

Indo-Asian News Service

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