Mumbai: Well-known Bollywood actor Prem Chopra turned 88 today. Prem Chopra was born on 23 September 1935 in Lahore. He was the third among his six siblings. After the partition of India, his family moved to Shimla, where he completed his primary education. After this he completed his graduation from Punjab University. During this time, he also used to act in college. After completing his graduation, Prem Chopra decided that he would make his mark in the film industry as an actor. Although his father wanted him to become a doctor, he clearly told his father that he wanted to become an actor. To realize his dream, he came to Mumbai in the last years of the fifties.
After coming to Mumbai, Prem Chopra had to face a lot of difficulties. To earn his living, he started working in the circulation department of Times of India. During this period he struggled to work in films. Meanwhile, he got an opportunity to work in a Punjabi film Chaudhary Karnail Singh. This film, released in the year 1960, became a superhit at the ticket box and he was successful to some extent in making his mark among the audience.
In the year 1964, Prem Chopra’s important film Woh Kaun Thi was released. Made under the direction of Raj Khosla, Prem Chopra appeared in the role of villain in this mystery and thriller film starring Manoj Kumar and Sadhna in lead roles. The film was successful and he managed to establish his identity to some extent as a villain in Hindi films.
In the year 1965, Prem Chopra’s important film Shaheed was released. He won the hearts of the audience with his character in this film full of patriotism. After this he got a chance to act in films like Teesri Manzil and Mera Saaya. Various forms of his acting were seen in these films. In the year 1967, Prem Chopra got the opportunity to work in producer-director Manoj Kumar’s film Upkar. In this film based on the slogan of Jai Jawan Jai Kisan, he played the role of Manoj Kumar’s brother. His role had gray shades to a great extent. Despite this he managed to get the sympathy of the audience.
After the success of the film Upkar, Prem Chopra started getting offers for many good and big budget films, including Around the World, Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan, Doli, Do Raaste, Purab Aur Paschim, Prem Pujari, Kati Patang, Do Raaste, Hare. Movies like Rama Hare Krishna, Gora Aur Kaala and Crime were included. In these films, he got the opportunity to work with stars like Devanand, Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna and Rajendra Kumar and he reached new heights of success.
The film Bobby, released in the year 1973, proved to be a milestone for Prem Chopra’s cine career. In this film directed by Bollywood’s first showman Raj Kapoor, he appeared in a small role of a Mawali goon. In this film, he was portrayed as This dialogue ‘Prem Naam Hai Mera Prem Chopra’ is still fresh in the minds of the audience. The film Do Anjaane, released in the year 1976, proved to be another important film of Prem Chopra. In this film starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha in lead roles, Prem Chopra played the role of Amitabh Bachchan’s friend. For his powerful acting, he was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.
The film Sautan, released in the year 1983, is counted among the important films starring Prem Chopra. Directed by Saavan Kumar, the film starred Rajesh Khanna, Padmini Kolhapuri and Tina Munim in lead roles. His dialogue in this film, ‘I am the devil who breaks glass and stone’ is still on the lips of the audience. Prem Chopra has acted in more than 300 films so far in his four decade long film career.