Manmohan Desai is an Indian film producer and director. He was born on February 26, 1937, in a Gujarati ancestry. His father, Kikubhai Desai, is also a film producer and the owner of the Paramount Studios (now known as Filmalaya). He studied at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai. His brother, Subhash Desai is also a producer during the 50s. He was also the one who gave Manmohan a break in the Bollywood industry. Manmohan’s first Hindi film was entitled Chhalia, which stars
Raj Kapoor, Rehman, Nutan Pran, and
Shobhna Samarth. Later on, he directed Bollywood films like
Bluff Master (1963),
Dharam Veer (1977), and Desh Premee (1982); all of which were produced by his brother, Subhash Desai.
Under his own production house, he focused mainly in doing stunt films like Circus Queen, Sheikh Challi, and Golden Gang. He earned success after donning action-song-and-dance, as well as family-centered films, which gratifies the tastes of the Indian masses. His films have started a new genre called, Masala. During the 70s until the early 80s, he worked with
Amitabh Bachchan in many of his films that turned out be hit films and had helped Bachchan in bagging the “
Superstar” status. The two collaborated in films like Parvarish (1977),
Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Suhaag (1979), Naseeb (1981), DEsh Premee (1982), Coolie (1983), Mard (1985), and Ganga Jamuna Saraswati (1988). Manmohan has worked with popular Indian actors like Jeetendra,
Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan,
Shammi Kapoor, Raj Kapoor,
Rajesh Khanna, and many more.
He has directed a total of 20 films in his 29 years in the film industry, and 13 of it were phenomenal hits. Manmohan has been a fan of Mohd Rafi, a playback singer, who used to croon in most of his movies, together with
Kishore Kumar. Some of Rafi’s biggest hit songs are Pardah Hai Pardah and Jani Janardhan. He considered the voice of Rafi as God’s voice. En route to the end of his career, he started to lose his magic when making films and began to lose the support of the audiences. The critics even indicted him for self-parody.
He got married to Jeevanprabha Desai, who died in the year 1979. He got engaged to the late film actress, Nanda, in 1992. He is also the father of
Ketan Desai, a film director and the husband of Kanchan Kapoor. Manmohan has produced the films, Allah Rakha (1986) and Toofan (1989); Ketan Desai directed both films. On March 1, 1994, he died due to an accident in Gurgaon. He was popular as the “Miracle man of Bollywood.”