Ajit Khan or better known by his stage name, Ajit, is a prominent Hindi film actor. He was born on January 27, 1922 as
Hamid Ali Khan in Golkonda, Hyderabad State. His career spanned for nearly four decades, where he acted in more than 200 films. He studied at the Govt. Junior College in Warangal, Telangana. His father is Bashir Ali Khan, who was the personal driver of Osman Ali Khan of Nizam. Ajit has three sons, namely Shehzad, Zahid and Arbaaz Ali Khan.
Ajit started his career as a hero and became notable as the lead actor in films like ‘Nastik’, ‘
Milan’, ‘Bada Bhai’, ‘Baradari’ and ‘Dholak’. His remarkable acting was appreciated as the second lead in the 1957 drama film, ‘
Naya Daur’ and ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ in 1960. Director K. Amarnath, who helmed his film, ‘Bekasoor’, advised him to change his name into something shorter and they ended up deciding on using “Ajit”.
He ran away from his home to pursue his acting career. He sold his college textbooks to go to Bombay and then started his career during the 40’s. Initially, luck was not in favor of him. His first few films like ‘Shahe Misra’, ‘Sikander’, ‘Hatimtai’, ‘
Aap Beeti’, ‘Dholak’, ‘Sone Ki Chidiya’ and ‘Chanda Ki Chandni’ were all flop. Most of his films were with
Nalini Jaywant. Later, he shifted to villain roles and his first film as a villain was the 1966 Hindi film, ‘
Suraj’, helmed by T. Prakash Rao. This was followed by Prakash Mehra’s Hindi action-thriller film, ‘
Zanjeer’ and the Bollywood action drama film, ‘Yaadon Ki Baaraat’ in 1973.
Some of his popular films include ‘Naya Daur’, ‘
Shikari’, ‘Nastik’ and a lot more. He acted with almost all the biggies in the industry, including
Dev Anand and many more. During the mid 70’s, he acted in over 57 films, in which he appeared mostly as a villain. He became popular for his epic dialogues such as “
Mona Darling”, “Lion and Lily don’t be silly”, which he used in some of his films. He usually portrayed the educated, cultured, well-groomed and heartless villain sporting a western look, white leather shoes, matching overcoats and big sunglasses.
He died due to a massive heart attack on October 21, 1998 in Hyderabad at the age of 76. His oblivion started after a bypass surgery in the year 1981. Since then, he stopped acting, but the industry was unable to find a villain who could match his popularity.