Birthday: 29-12-1917
Date of death: 12-12-2005
Star sign: Capricorn

Ramanand Sagar is an Indian filmmaker, director, and writer who has made numerous hit films in Bollywood and enthralled the audiences over few decades. But he became a household name by directing the famous TV serial ‘ Ramayan’ which had Arun Govil and Deepika in the cast. This TV serial was telecast on Doordarshan and could keep the viewers intact for hours on Sunday afternoon every week. The serial was appreciated even in non-Hindi speaking areas.

Ramanand was born in Lahore (Pakistan) on 29 December 1917. He came to Mumbai after Partition and worked as assistant manager in Prithvi Theatres of Prithviraj Kapoor. Earlier, during the era of silent movies, he was based in Punjab and worked as a clapper boy too. After meeting Kapoor, he directed a few plays for the theater company. He shot to fame as a tory-writer with Raj Kapoor’s Barsaat that had Nargis in the cast, and the film was a hit. He then worked in a couple of movies likes ‘ Raj Kumar’, ‘Palgham’,’Rajput’ for which he wrote the screenplay and dialogues.

The film ‘Paigham’ fetched Ramanand best dialogue writer award from Filmfare; the movie had Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala and Raaj Kumar in lead roles. In ‘Rajput’ (1958), he again wrote the screenplay and the film featured notable actors like Gemini Ganesan, Pran, Padmini, and Vyjayanthimala. The film was a remake of Tamil film Vanjikottai Valiban. Even ' Rajkumar' was a biggest blockbuster movie that had Sadhana and Shammi Kapoor. In 1969, he directed his first movie'Ghunghat' for Gemini Studios that was produced by S.S. Vasan. The film was declared a hit and had Asha Parekh. Pradeep Kumar and Bharat Bhushan in the lead cast. S. S. Vasan gave him another chance to direct a movie ‘ Zindagi’ (1964) which had star cast like Rajendra Kumar, Vyjayanthimala, Raaj Kumar. But it was with ‘Arzoo’(1965), ‘ Aankhen’(1968) and ‘’Geet’(1970), he established himself as a successful filmmaker. He directed all these movies under Sagar Art Productions, and every film was a milestone in Ramanand Sagar’s career. He repeated same magic at the box office with film ‘Charas’ (1976) that featured Dharmendra and Hema Malini.

Ramanand Sagar will be remembered for songs in films like ‘Arzoo,' ‘Geet’ and ‘Aankhen’. He received the best director award from Filmfare for his directorial ability in 'Aankhen'. He repeated actors like Sadhana, Dharmendra, Rajendra Kumar and Hema Malini in many movies as he found them as the lucky mascot. After Charas, his magic spell in box-office seemed to have vanished away as he directed many off-beat stories that proved a disaster for his career. Later after switching to TV(with Ramayan), he made a few more successful TV series such as ‘ Sai Baba’, ‘ Krishna’, ‘ Luv Kush’, ‘ Vikram Aur Betaal’ and ‘ Alif Laila’.
Ramanand proved lucky for Doordarshan and resumed his magic on the small screen. He passed away on 12 December 2005 in Mumbai. He is the recipient of Padma Shri in 2000 by Government of India.

Mehboob Khan Hindi Actor

Mehboob Khan

Mehboob Khan was a pioneer producer-director of Hindi cinema. He shot to international fame by making social epic ‘Mother India’ (1957) which was a nominee for the Academy Award for the Best Foreign film. He signed Nargis for the role of a suffering mother when she was just 26 years old, but the script required Nargis to perform a much -matured role on the screen. This film is also considered as the best film of Nargis Dutt to date.  Mehboob also supported the growth of film industry by setting up the Mehboob Studios in local Bandra area and brought out color films from his studio. Earlier, he set up his own production company ‘Mehboob Productions’ too. Soon, in 1946, he directed the musical hit ‘Anmol Ghadi’ which featured singing stars Surendra, Noorjehan, and Suraiya in leading roles. Later, his own production company churned out box office blockbuster movies such as the romantic drama ‘Andaz’ (1949), the swashbuckling musical ‘Aan’ (1951), and melodrama ‘Amar’ (1954).  Mehboob was also instrumental in bringing up the career of Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Nadira, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar and Raj Kumar. Due to his sudden demise, he could not make many memorable movies. But he was a very influential filmmaker who was therefore selected as a member of the jury at the 2nd Moscow International Film Festival.  Mehboob was born on 9 September 1907 in Gujarat. The director had to struggle to come up in life. Before making an entry into the film industry, he worked as a horseshoe repairer in a stable. Not knowing how to become a director he luckily happened to visit a shooting spot of Chandra Sekhar (South) and showed his interest to work with Chandra. Seeing his skills and interest, Chandra gave him a small job in film studios of Bombay. Mehboob thus became an assistant director in silent films era. Later, he joined Sagar Film Company and directed notable films like ‘Ek Hi Rasta’ (1939) and ‘Alibaba’ (1940).  “Mother India’ was a milestone work of the filmmaker that fetched him National Film Award too. Nargis was the ultimate choice of Mehboob Khan. Nargis was the first Indian to receive the Best Actress award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for her role, and the film was dubbed in various languages like French, Russian, Spanish, etc. Mehboob Khan had passed away on 28 May 1964.

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Rajkumar Santoshi

Rajkumar Santoshi is an Indian filmmaker who shot to fame with Sunny Deol’s films. However, he had begun his career as an assistant to Govind Nihalani.  He learnt filmmaking aspect from Govind. Rajkumar has assisted Govind Nihalani in his five films (notable are Ardh Satya & Vijeta).  Rajkumar Santhoshi was born to filmmaker P.L. Santoshi, who had given a break to actor Dev Anand, music director O.P. Nayyar and even had encouraged playback singer Kishore Kumar. His father was an assistant director for Raj Kapoor’s films Sargam and Barsaat Ki Raat.  Rajkumar Santhoshi was born in Chennai from his father’s second marriage. When his father had moved to Chennai to direct Tamil films, he came across his mother and thus they got married. Since in those days bigamy was prevalent, his father did not divorce his first wife. Santhoshi grew up seeing films of M.G. Ramachandran and Vijay Anand in Chennai (he considered his hometown then). Later on, their family moved to Mumbai and got settled there. Rajkumar quit his high-school studies (XI std) and assisted his father in filmmaking. After his father’s death, he took life seriously and assisted Robin Dharamraj for film ‘Chakra’. Thus, his film journey had begun. He then joined Vidhu Vinod Chopra to do production work but left this job and joined Govind Nihalani as an assistant director.  In 1990, Rajkumar received his recognition with his first film ’Ghayal’ (1990) where he took the credit of a writer and director. Initially, Santoshi wanted to cast Sunny or Kamal Haasan fo ’Ghayal’. But, he met Sunny Deol personally and when Sunny liked the whole story actor Dharmendra came forward to produce the film. After the success of ‘Ghayal’, Santoshi made a female-oriented film ‘Damini’ (1993) which fetched Sunny Deol National Film award for best supporting actor. The film is also considered as Meenakshi Seshadri’s best film to date. Ghayal was remade in Tamil, Telugu and Oriya and the film depicted how a woman fights against society for justice. Santoshi received the best Filmfare Director Award for this film. In 1994, he brought Aamir Khan and Salman Khan together for a film ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ which did not do well in box office.  In 1995, he introduced Dharmendra’s another son Booby Deol and Rajesh Khanna’s daughter Twinkle Khanna in a film ‘Barsaat’ which received a mixed response. In 1996, he again directed Sunny Deol and Meenakshi Seshadri for a film ‘Ghatak’ which was supposed to be done by Kamal Haasan. But actor Haasan had withdrawn from the film for unknown reasons and Sunny had featured in the film. The film was a super hit, and it was the last film of Meenakshi Seshadri too. Later on, Rajkumar became co-producer for ‘Doli Saja Ke Rakhna’ starring Akshaye Khanna and Jyothika. The film was directed by Priyadarshan. He also co-produced another film ‘Jaanam Samjha Karo’ which fared poorly at the box office.  Later Rajkumar directed patriotic films like ‘Pukar’ which fetched Anil Kapoor the National Film Award for the best actor. In 2002, he made the best film of his career ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ which was a biopic on freedom fighter, Bhagat Singh. The film fetched two National awards. Rajkumar is also known for making a film ‘Khakee’ starring Amitabh Bachchan, which was a runaway hit. In 2013, he directed ‘Phata Poster Nikhla Hero’ featuring Shahid Kapoor and Ileana D'Cruz, which received a mixed response.  Rajkumar is married to Manila and has two children Ram and Tanisha. He is planning a film’ Fateh Singh’ with Ajay Devgan now. 

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Rajkumar Santoshi Hindi Actor

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