Balraj Sahni

  • Actor

May 01, 1913  in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan

Also Known as: Yudhishthir Sahni

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Late veteran actor, Balraj Sahni was born in Rawalpindi, Punjab (Now in Pakistan). His son Parikshit Sahni is also a noted television and film actor. Sahni graduated in English Literature from Punjab University. He also worked as an activist with Mahatma Gandhi in 1938, before making his foray into acting. Sahni joined the Indian People`s Theatre Association and landed his first Bollywood film, Insaaf in 1946. He is best known for his work in the film Dharti ke Lal (1946), but it was his role in the classic Do Bigha Zameen (1953) that recognized him as a versatile actor. The film went on to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival. Sahni made his debut as a screenwriter with Baazi (1951) starring Dev Anand. He appeared in a slew of commercially successful films such as Seema (1955), Kathputli (1957), Sone Ki Chidiya (1958), Lajwanti (1958), Ghar Sansaar (1958), Sutta Bazaar (1959) and Bindya (1960). In 1961, he appeared in the screen adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore`s Kabuliwala (1961), which earned rave reviews. Sahni received a Padmi Shri Award in 1969 for his outstanding contribution to Indian Cinema. Apart from Hindi cinema, Sahni also starred in Punjabi films like Satluj De Kande (1964) and Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar (1970). His performance in the National Award winning film Garm Hawa (1973), where he played the role of an angst-ridden Salim Mirza was a commercial and critical success. Sahni is considered as one of the greatest actors in the history of Indian cinema. He is also the founder of Punjab Kala Kender and All India Artists Association. Sahni passed away before the release of his film Garm Hawa, on April 13, 1973.