Naseeruddin Shah is an experimental actor and associated with theater. He had treated art-cinema as his serious endeavor requiring the dedication, discipline, and integrity. Throughout his career, he subjected his own acting to a process of rigorous artistic self-analysis and reflection. He was the discovery of filmmaker
Shyam Benegal, who introduced actors like Shabana,
Smita Patil and others in the Indian cinema. Undoubtedly, this actor has acted in some serious films such as Sparsh, Paar and Iqbal( three national awards). For his performance in Paar, he received the best actor in the Venice Film Festival. His growth even in art-cinema was slow, as he had acted in women-oriented films of
Shabana Azmi or Smita Patil. Later, he was chosen to play lead roles in films of
Sai Paranjpye’ Sparsh, where he played a blind character. Even in Gautam Ghosh’s Paar, he identified himself as village-man that fetched him an award at national and international level.
From mainstream cinema, he shifted his focus to commercial cinema and acted in Karma, Tridev, Ghulam, Mohra, Sarfarosh. Jane Bhi Do Yaron,
The Dirty Picture, and so on. He acted in a negative role in ‘Sarfarosh’ with
Aamir Khan and in 'Asambhav’ with Priyanka Chopra and Arjun Rampal. He even had given a superb performance in two Mahesh Bhatt’s films 'Sir’ and ‘Naajayaz’ and’ two more blockbuster movies 'Krrish’ and ‘
A Wednesday’ respectively. In 2006, he made his debut as a director and made film ‘Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota’, starring Ratna Pathak Shah and
Ankur Khanna with
Konkona Sen Sharma,
Ayesha Takia, and
Irrfan Khan. He is the only actor who have acted in
Mira Nair, Mrinal Sen, Gautam Ghosh, T. V. Chandran, Kamal Haasan’s films. He acted in TV series such as
Mirza Ghalib directed by Gulzar and Maratha king Shivaji in DD serial
Bharat Ek Khoj. He was an actor was auditioned to play the male lead in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, but he was not selected. Later he made his dreams come true by playing the role of Mahatma Gandhi in a play( Mahatma Vs Gandhi).
The actor was born on July 20, 1950. He was earlier married to Manara Sikri and had a child named
Heeba Shah. After the demise of Manara, he married Ratna Pathak Shah in the year 1982. From this marriage, he has two sons, Vivaan, and Imaad. In 1987, he was awarded Padma Shri and in the year 2003, he was awarded Padma Bhushan by Government of India for his contribution to theater and cinema probably one of the most versatile and complete actors of not only Indian cinema but the entire world cinema.