Bollywood comic actor, producer and director Mehmood Ali died July 23 in Pennsylvania after a prolonged illness. He was 70.
Famous for stealing scenes from the leads in films to the point where some refused to act with him, Mehmood — who only used one name — could sing and dance. He got the chance to topline in films like “Padosan” (Neighbor, 1968) where he played a Tamil traditional dance teacher in a love triangle.
Born into a family of performers, his father was Bollywood dancer Mumtaz Ali. Mehmood started his career with “Hum sab chor hain” (We Are All Thieves, 1956), but came to the public’s notice as a petty villain in “CID” (1956).
He went on to act in more than 170 movies including “Chhoti behen” (Little Sister, 1959), “Dil tera deewana” (My Heart Is Crazy About You, 1962), “Bharosa” (Faith, 1963), “Love in Tokyo” (1966), and “Bombay to Goa” (1972).
He won awards for his comic portrayals in “Pyaar kiye jaa,” “Waris” (Heir, 1969) and “Vardaan” (Boon, 1974).
He produced “Chhote nawab” (Young Lordship, 1961); directed and starred in “Bhoot bangla” (Haunted House, 1965) and “Kunwara baap” (Single Father, 1974). His last directorial offering was “Dushman duniya ka” (Enemy of the World, 1996), which starred his son Manzoor Ali.
He also did comedy shows with fellow comedian I.S. Johar.
Mehmood was married to actress Madhu, sister of another famous Bollywood star Meena Kumari, and then to an American with whom he retired to Bangalore to raise race horses. He is survived by eight children including Manzoor and singer Lucky Ali.