Motilal (actor) life and biography

Motilal (actor) picture, image, poster

Motilal (actor) biography

Date of birth : 1910-12-04
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Shimla, India
Nationality : Indian
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2011-09-28
Credited as : bollywood actor, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor, Devdas

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Motilal was an Indian film actor and the winner of Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, twice, Devdas (1955) and Parakh (1960). Motilal Rajvansh is credited with being among Hindi cinema's first natural actor actors.

Born in Shimla on December 4, 1910, Motilal came from a distinguished family from Delhi. His father was a renowned educationist, who died when Motilal was just one year old. He was brought up by his uncle who was a well-known civil surgeon in Uttar Pradesh. At first, Moti was sent to an English school at Simla and later, in UP. Thereafter he shifted to Delhi where he continued with school and college.

After leaving college, Moti came to Bombay to join the Navy. But, he fell ill and was prevented from appearing for the test. But fate had other choices charted out for him. One day, he went to see a film shoot at Sagar Studios where director K. P. Ghosh was shooting. Motilal, even then, was quite the man about the town and he caught Ghosh's eye. And, in 1934 at the age of 24, he was offered the role of the hero in Shaher Ka Jadoo (1934) at the Sagar Film Company. He was featured in many successful social dramas alongside Sabita Devi such as Dr. Madhurika (1935) and Kulvadhu (1937), and later switched to Ranjit Studios. At Ranjit, Motilal worked with Mehboob Khan's Jagirdar (1937), Hum Tum Aur Woh (1938), Taqdeer (1943) and Kidar Sharma's Armaan (1942), Kaliyan (1944)). Perhaps his most famous role was that of the gentleman crook in S S Vasan's adaptation of R K Laxman's book Mr Sampat (1952).

He is most remembered for his role as ‘Chunni Babu' in Bimal Roy's Devdas (1955), for which he won his first Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award.

He was involved with actress Shobhana Samarth after she separated from her husband, he played the role of Samarth's real-life daughter Nutan's father in Hamari Beti, Shobhana's launch movie for Nutan. He also played her guardian in Anari, though this time the role had a villainous touch to it.

Though he was very suave and polished, and moved in high society, towards the end of his life he was in financial difficulty. He had a very intimate relationship with actress Nadira. Actor, Naseeruddin Shah once described him as one of the all time best actors of Hindi cinema, the other being Balraj Sahni

Although a thorough gentlemen, he enjoyed gambling and races, and died almost penniless in 1965.

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