Benjamin Gilani born on November 20, 1946, is a versatile and noted actor who has acted in theatres, TV serials and both in commercial and parallel cinemas. He was born and raised in Delhi, India. Benjamin Gilani studied English Literature from Delhi University and then went on to become a graduate from Films and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, India in the year 1972. Noted ace Bollywood actors
Naseeruddin Shah and
Tom Alter were also his batch mates in FTII and in the year 1977 this talented trio opened a theatre company named Motely Productions and also launched a play named Awaiting for Godota. After acting in few theatre for a time Benjamin Gilani started teaching English Literature at St. Stephen’s College,
New Delhi. He juggled his career between teaching and acting. From late 70’s through the 80’s and 90’s actor Benjamin Gilani featured in a number of successful and critically acclaimed both commercial and parallel Hindi movies such as Pyaasa Dil, Mukti, Bhumika: The Role,
Junoon, Kalyug, Meri Kahani, Pratibha, etc. He also went on to feature in TV shows mostly for Doordarshan channels like Bombay Meri Hain, Apna Jahan, Zindagi,
The Great Maratha, Rahaat, Junoon,
Noor Jahan, and many more… Benjamin Gilani also starred in successful Hindi films like
Mirch Masala, Waqt: Race against time, 8x10 Tasveer, etc. Recently, in the year 2013, Benjamin Gilani appeared in Hindi movies like Rising of the Zombie, Baromas, and
Game and in the 2014 TV movie Sun silk Real FM. Benjamin Gilani is a very talented and multi-faceted actor and we feel proud to have him on our TV and Movie Industry.
Another Version Of Bio :
Benjamin Gilani is a veteran Indian actor, who has worked in India films, TV serials, and plays. Benjamin was born in Dhariwal town of Gurdaspur district in Punjab on 20 November 1946. He has mastered theatre before getting into Indian cinema. Benjamin is of Iran origin as his name suggests (Gilani). His ancestors had migrated from Gilan (Iran) to Kashmir. Benjamin's grandfather and his brother later settled in Jagraon near Ludhiana. His father was posted to Batala at the time of his birth in the year 1947. His father worked as a judge in Punjab State Civil Services. Due to communal riots at the time of independence, his mother was sent to Dhariwal town of Gurdaspur district for the safety of both the child and her. Benjamin spent his early childhood in many cities of Punjab because his father had a transferable job.
In the year 1959, he was sent to a boarding school. He did his early schooling at Bishop Cotton School. It was this time when the seed of acting was sown into him when the Shakespearean, a Company visited his school for a play. He is a postgraduate from Delhi University. He has studied at St Stephen's College, Delhi, where he met
Kiran Bedi, who was his immediate senior. He later joined St Stephen`s College as a professor of English Literature. He didn’t quit theatre and kept working on it simultaneously with his teaching. He then took a life-changing, and bold decision to pursue drama and acting from Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Pune in the year 1972, where Naseeruddin Shah and Tom Alter were his batchmates. He completed his diploma in the year1974.
Three years after his diploma, he founded 'Motleys Productions' which is a Mumbai-based theatre company with his batch mates Naseeruddin Shah and Tom Alter.His first play, which was recognized by the audience was Waiting For Godot that was played on 29 July 1979 at Prithvi Theatre. It was later revived in 2009 for group`s 30th - anniversary celebration. At this time Benjamin Gilani was already into films and was seen working with some of the great names of that time. In the year1977, he acted in the movie “Alaap” as Kishan. He got recognized for his work and did two films namely “Devata” and “Junoon” (
Rashid Khan) in 1978. He got his next film “Mirch Masala” in which he played a schoolmaster.
He portrayed Jawaharlal Nehru in 1993 film “
Sardar.” He also acted in many other movies like “Hum Dum,” "Waqt: The race against time," “8x10 Tasveer,” “Game,”, “
Bajirao Mastani.” He has also worked in TV serials alongside films. He acted in TV serial known as “Kathasagar” in the year 1985 for two years. In the year 1993, he was a part of TV serial known as The Great Maratha. He also worked in TV series “
Tujhpe Dil Qurbaan,” “Amarpali,” “
Sahib Biwi Gulam,” “Junoon,” “Bhootnath,” “
Hotel Kingston,” “Bunty Babli Ki Mummy.” He is currently working on four projects “Kaun,” ”Shamaa,” “The Great Maratha,” and “
Disney Q Family Mastermind.”