Mac Mohan was a Bollywood actor, known for his ‘Sympathetic Villain-type’ roles in many of his over 218 films, but was most famous for the ‘Sambha’ character he played in Ramesh Sippy's Sholay (1975), the sidekick of the feared dacoit ‘ Gabbar Singh’. In many of his movies, his screen name would remain as Mac, and this was unique for any actor around the world. Mac Mohan was born as Mohan Makijany in Lucknow on 24th April, in the year 1938. There are sources that say his family was originally from Karachi, both Lucknow and Karachi being parts of British India, at that time. He died of cancer, a tumor in his right lung, on May 10th 2010, in Andheri, Mumbai. Other than “Sholay”, he was famous for his roles in “ Don” (1978) - the Amitabh Bachchan Blockbuster, “ Karz” (1980) - the Rishi Kapoor Thriller, and “Pehchaan: The Face of Truth” (2005) - the Vinod Khanna Starrer. His wife's name was Minny Makijany, whom he married on 30th June 1986, and they had 3 children. She is a Doctor of Ayurveda and it was said that when his father was a patient in Juhu's Bhartiya Arogya Nidhi Hospital, they began seeing each other and finally got married in 1986. He was related to several Bollywood personalities; Director and Producer ManjariMakijany, Actor Vikrant Makijany, and Actress Vinati Makijany, are his sons and daughter respectively.
, the Director, whose children are Rajiv Tandon and Raveena Tandon, was his brother-in-law. In Lucknow, when he was there, Sunil Duttwas said to be his classmate. Mac Mohan landed in Mumbai in the late 50’s to become a cricketer initially, but joined the Filmalaya School of Acting, and started out with theatre. He began his Bollywood career by working as an assistant to
, a famous Director, and went on to act in the same Director's movie, “ Haqeeqat” (1964), starring Dharmendra as Captain Bahadur Singh. The story was based on the Sino-Indian war of 1962, and the movie won the Second Best Feature Film Award at the
National Film Awards
of 1965. His last appearance was a guest role in the comedy movie, “Atithi Tum KabJaoge?” in 2010 that was produced by
and directed by AshwniDhir. Reliable sources say that he spoke and wrote excellent English like the British, and was fluent in Marathi, Sindhi, Bhojpuri, and Punjabi. He was also good in Gujarati and Haryanvi, and had acted in several movies of all these languages, besides Hindi, English, Russian, and Spanish. He was an avid reader of the magazine, Reader’s Digest. He was cast as ‘Karni’ in the Italian TV Mini-Series of 300 minutes, “I misteridellagiunglanera” (1991), meaning and in English, “The Mysteries of the Dark Jungle”, which was telecast in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and Austria, in the respective languages, besides in English. Bollywood actor KabirBedi also stars in the main role, as ‘Kammamuri’, in this TV series. It was based on the novel - the story being set in British India - that of a British army officer’s losing his daughter to kidnappers and about the later stages where that daughter falls in love with a native Indian who was actually a prince and had lost his whole family as a child, and was now a freedom fighter.