- Actor, Director, Producer, Screenplay, Dialogue Writer
Jan 01, 1951 in Raigarh, Maharashtra, India
Jan 01, 1951 in Raigarh, Maharashtra, India
Vishwanath Patekar, best known as Nana Patekar, is an Indian philanthropist, and theater and movie actor, who is remembered for his performances in movies such as Prahaar: The Final Attack, Krantiveer, Ghulam-E-Mustafa, Deool, Natsamrat, which he also produced, and voiced the character of Shere Khan in the animated fantasy adventure The Jungle Book. In 2013, Nana Patekar was awarded the Padma Shri Award, the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, for his contribution in the field of arts. Apart from his work in the film industry, Nana is also a philanthropist and works actively towards the sorry state of the farmers and their families, who are affected by the drought mainly in Maharashtra. He founded an NGO, naming it Naam Foundation, along with fellow actor Makarand Anaspure in order to work towards his cause.
Born on the 1st of January, 1951 in Murud-Janjira, Maharashtra, Nana’s father Dinkar Patekar was a textile painter who ran a small business, while his mother Sanjanabai Patekar is a housewife. He has two brothers, Ashok Patekar and Dilip Patekar. Nana studied at Samartha Vidyalaya in Mumbai for three years after which he enrolled at Sir J. J. School of Applied Arts. At the age of 28, Nana lost his father to a heart attack after his family suffered huge financial losses and his father was unable to deal with the pressure. As of 2016, he continues to live with his mother in his Mumbai apartment.
Nana was married to Neelakanti Patekar even before he entered the entertainment industry. He and his wife have another son Malhar Patekar, who has a keen interest in direction. Nana and his wife, however, are separated although they continue to remain married. Despite being married, Nana grew close to actress Manisha Koirala. By then Nana’s wife and he had started living separately given their irreconcilable issues. The two actors spent a lot of time together, with Manisha regularly visiting Nana’s mother and son. However, the actor refused to divorce his wife and marry the actress, which is why the two actors parted ways.
As an Actor
Since the age of thirteen, Nana Patekar had actively been a part of plays and dramas, which helped him develop a keen interest in the field of acting and performing. He made his Bollywood debut in 1978 with the drama Gaman, which featured Smita Patil and Farooq Shaikh in lead roles. The following year, he made his Marathi movie debut with the political drama Sinhasan. He then appeared in a series of Marathi movies such as Bhalu (1980), Raghu Maina (1982), and Savitri (1983). His breakthrough, however, came with 1986 Hindi movie Ankush, which went on to become a surprise hit of the year despite many high-budget movies failing at the box-office.
Following the success of Ankush, Nana was seen in Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy, Maaficha Sakshidar, Phansi Ka Phanda, Sutradhar, Mohre, and Andhaa Yudh. Reuniting with director N. Chandra after Ankush, Nana was cast in the feminist drama Pratighaat, which, like Ankush, went on to become do exceptionally well at the box-office despite being a low-budget movie. In 1998, Nana Patekar collaborated with director Mira Nair for the movie Salaam Bombay!, which went on to win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film of the year, and was also India’s second film submission to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. For his performance in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s 1991 crime drama Parinda, he not only won him the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor but also the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor. The movie, along with winning several awards, was India’s official entry for the 1990 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The following year, in 1991, the actor turned director for the drama Prahaar: The Final Attack. He played the role of a strict and extremely disciplined commando.
Playing the role of a hot-headed police inspector, Nana Patekar was seen in the 1993 patriotic film Tirangaa, which was a blockbuster hit. He was then seen in the action crime Krantiveer. The actor’s performance won him the National Film Award, Filmfare Award, and Star Screen Award for Best Actor. He also won a special Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue for his iconic speech in the movie. Portraying the character of an obsessive, possessive, and abusive husband, Nana Patekar was seen in the 1996 drama Agni Sakshi, which did exceptionally well at the box-office and was declared a hit. Nana’s performance won him yet another National Film Award, however, this time for Best Supporting Actor.
He was seen in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s directorial debut the 1996 musical drama Khamoshi: The Musical. The movie was a hit and Sanjay Leela Bhansali went on to win the Critics Award for Best Movie. The following year, he was seen in the Hindi remake of the Tamil film Musthafaa, titled Ghulam-E-Mustafa. The movie did considerably well at the box-office, however, it was not a hit. Playing the titular role in the 1997 action movie Yeshwant, one of his dialogues from the movie, “Ek machhar aadmi ko hijda bana deta hain,” went on to become extremely popular in the years to come. He was next seen in the 1999 action Kohram, which, although did not do well at the box-office, won Nana a lot of praise for his performance.
He then starred in the 2002 movie Shakti: The Power. Despite doing well commercially, the movie was bashed by the critics, however, Nana’s performance in the movie won him a Filmfare Award nomination for Best Performance in a Negative Role. Nana was then seen in Ram Gopal Varma's 2003 anthology horror-thriller Darna Mana Hai, where he played the of a TV host attempting to prank people on a deserted lane, and was cast alongside Vivek Oberoi. He then collaborated with Ram Gopal Varma again in 2004 for the movie Ab Tak Chhappan, which saw Nana Patekar playing the role of the real-life encounter specialist of the Mumbai Police, Daya Naik. The movie went on to become a commercial success and was declared a blockbuster hit.
For his performance in the Prakash Jha-directed 2005 crime drama Apaharan, Nana Patekar received a Filmfare Award for Best Villain. Reuniting with his Prahaar co-star Gautam Joglekar, Nana appeared in Gautam’s directorial debut, a Marathi movie, Pak Pak Pakaak in 2005. The light-hearted movie saw Nana playing the role of a ghost, Bhutya, who meets a mischievous boy from a village and helps him transform his life along with his entire village. In 2006, Nana was cast in Milan Luthria’s comedy drama Taxi No. 9 2 11: Nau Do Gyarah along with John Abraham. The slice-of-lime movie was appreciated by the critics and went on to become of the highest-grossing movies of 2006. Next, he was seen in Anees Bazmee’s comedy masala film Welcome in 2007, which went on to become the second-highest grossing film of the year.
In 2008, he made his Tamil debut with the suspense thriller Bommalattam, which was extremely well-received and was a commercial success as well. Next, Nana appeared in the 2010 political drama Rajneeti, which is loosely based on the mythology epic Mahabharat. The movie was a critical and commercial success, and, owing to its collection, went on to set a record for the biggest weekend in the first half of the year. The following year, Nana was seen in the National Film Award-winning Marathi movie Deool. The movie depicts the effects of globalization in smaller regions of India and also shows the sorry state of rural India against a political background.
In 2013, Nana played the role of Joint Commissioner of Police, Rakesh Maria, in Ram Gopal Varma’s 2013 docudrama crime film The Attacks of 26/11. The movie set in 2008 narrated the dreadful 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, featuring the aftermath of the attacks, and the accusations imposed on the then Joint Commissioner of Police. Although the movie was lauded by the critics, it failed to succeed at the box-office given its dark subject. The following year, the actor was seen in the biopic Dr. Prakash Baba Amte: The Real Hero, where he plays the titular role of Prakash Baba Amte, a selfless social activist who dedicated his life towards the development of tribal people in the eastern forests of Maharashtra. The critics called it a ‘must watch’ and the movie went on to become one of Marathi cinema’s highest grossing movies of the year.
The year 2015 was a year of sequels for the actor since he reprised his role of don Uday Shetty in Welcome Back, and also was seen in Ab Tak Chhappan 2. While Ab Tak Chhappan 2 failed at the box-office, Welcome Back went on to become the fourth highest-grossing movie of the year. In 2016, Nana Patekar wore the producer’s hat for the Marathi drama Natsamrat, where he played the role of a retired theater actor Ganpat Ramchandra Belwalkar. The movie directed by Mahesh Manjrekar went on to become the highest-grossing Marathi movie until Sairat took over that position. The same year, Nana Patekar lent his voice to the fierce and arrogant tiger Shere Khan in Walt Disney’s animated fantasy adventure The Jungle Book in its Hindi dubbed version. His next release in 2016 was the Hindi version of his 2008 suspense thriller Bommalattam titled Final Cut.
As a Director
Very early on in his career, Nana Patekar directed Prahaar: The Final Attack in 1991, which he also starred in and also wrote the story and screenplay of.
As a Producer
After being a part of the industry for nearly four decades, Nana Patekar produced the 2016 Marathi language drama Natsamrat, which is based on the 1979 play of the same name. The movie not only was a hit but also went on to become one of the highest-grossing Marathi films of all time until Sairat occupied the place.