At the age of 28, Anupam Kher played the role of a 65-year-old retired school teacher in his debut film, Saaransh, helmed by Mahesh Bhatt. Though it must have been a challenge for him to essay a character almost thrice his age then, the actor pulled it off with great conviction, and received praise and critical acclaim.
34 years ago, on this very date, Saaransh had released that established Anupam Kher’s acting career. The Shimla-bred actor enrolled and passed out of Chandigarh’s Punjab University and the National School of Drama in Delhi (an institute where he would later be the Chairman), with a gold medal in acting. He then took up teaching dramatics in Lucknow till finally landing up in Mumbai starting off his glorious career on the silver screen with National award-winning roles in Saaransh and Daddy. He carried forward his golden streak in films like Karma, Lamhe, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge,Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara, Khosla Ka Ghosla, A Wednesday and Special 26 to name a few.
He extended his genius into production of such national and international award winning films such as Bariwali and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara.
Making his country proud at the global level, the thespian went international and worked with acclaimed directors such as Gurinder Chaddha, David O Russell, Ang Lee and Woody Allen. He is credited to be the only Indian actor to have shared screen space with the legendary actor Robert De Niro in the Oscar nominated movie Silver Linings Playbook.
Currently one of India’s most successful crossover actor, Kher has the distinction of having bagged two nominations at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for Silver Linings Playbook (2013) & The Big Sick (2018) and a BAFTA nomination for The Boy With A Topknot. In addition to his popular shows, Sense8 and The Indian Detective, the thespian has just wrapped NBC’s medical drama and now been signed on to BBC’s highly anticipated drama, Mrs Wilson.
Not one to rest on his laurels, in 2005 Anupam Kher established his dream project Actor Prepares, a premier acting school in Mumbai, where he takes time off his hectic schedule to personally impart some of his acting secrets to tomorrow’s actors and superstars.
In 2008, years of hard work and planning finally culminated in the establishment of The Anupam Kher Foundation to spread education among less privileged children and to provide palliative care to people with life-limiting diseases. Since 2015 he has been appointed the Ambassador for the UN’s HeForShe Campaign, which strives for gender equality.
The seasoned actor has won two highest civilian honour including Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, two National Awards and eight Filmfare Awards, among other awards, special mentions and recognition, over the span of his three and a half decade long career. With a filmography that is over 500 films strong, Kher has also added value to Indian theatre with his notable works.
Sharing the news with his fans on his social media, Kher said, “And I complete 34 years in movies. #Saaransh, my first film was released on 25th of May, 1984. While everyone told me that playing a 65-year-old in the movie could have been the biggest mistake of my life, it became a defining moment of my life and there was no looking back. It has been an amazing journey so far. My ups and downs have taught me so much about people, life and entertainment business. Thank you @MaheshNBhatt Saab and the audience for showering upon love and support.”