It’s Naseeruddin Shah’s Birthday! Is There Any Role that the Incredible Actor Cannot Perform?

70 years ago, on this day, Naseeruddin Shah was born. Of course he needs no introduction after having been an actor of stage and screen for decades now. He’s on top of every Indian’s list of favourite Indian actors, and on every actor’s list of people they with whom they want to co-act. Not only did he, along with Om Puri, make parallel cinema in India a fine medium for movies, he has won numerous awards, even holding the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan to his name.

On this special occasion, we thought we’d revisit some of the characters played by Naseer sahab — characters that only he could have performed with such finesse. The only actor to have such a wide range of performances, to perform people of all ages and from all backgrounds, is the one and only, Naseerudding Shah.

A Regular Aam Aadmi in A Wednesday

Bhaisaab, the local politician in Omkara

Gulfam Hassan, a Pakistani singer in Sarfarosh

An arrogant subedar in colonial India in Mirchi Masala

Used-to-be cricketer-turned-drunk Mohit in Iqbal

Young photographer Vinod Chopra in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

Portrait of the late Amar Singh Rathore in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

Salim, the lovelorn poet in Bazaar

Visually impaired teacher Anirudh Parmar in Sparsh

The elderly music teacher Khan Sahab in Firaaq

Khalujaan in the black comedy Dedh Ishqiya

The lovable Ferdie searching for his young love in Finding Fanny

South Indian superstar Surya Kanth in The Dirty Picture

The artist Salman Habib in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara


The poet Amrit who dies a tragic death, painted as a ‘left-wing terrorist’ in Party

The immortal poet and titular role in Mirza Ghalib

Did we miss out on any of your favourite Naseeruddin Shah performances? Tell us on
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