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Johnny Walker

Bollywood comedian

MUMBAI — Bollywood comedian Johnny Walker died Tuesday in Mumbai. He was 78 and had been ailing for some time.

Born Badruddin Qazi, he took the name of the whiskey as he rose to prominence playing the drunken sidekick in Navketan’s “Taxi Driver” (1954).

In a career spanning nearly 50 years and nearly 300 pics, he rose to prominence under actor-producer-director Guru Dutt. Every film of Dutt’s that featured Walker always included a song shot on him, a big deal in Bollywood. Most of those songs went on to become super hits and are still popular today.

Among his hits with Dutt are “Aar Paar” (Face to Face, 1954 ) “Mr. & Mrs. 55” (1955),”C.I.D”(1956), “Pyaasa” (Unfulfilled, 1957 ) and “Chaudhvin ka chand” (Full Moon, 1960). His other memorable performances include Bimal Roy’s “Madhumati” (1958), “Chori chori,” (a 1956 remake of “It Happened One Night”), “Dil diya dard liya” (Anguish of Heartbreak, 1966), Shikhar (The Hunt, 1968). He became so popular that he was even tried out as a leading man in “Choomantar” (Magic, 1956), and “Mr. Quartoon M.A.” (1958), with some success.

He was last seen on screen in Kamal Hassan’s Hindi movie “Chachi 420” (Aunty 420, 1997).

Walker is survived by his wife, three sons and three daughters.

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