Johnny Walker: The Actor

Following Nabil Khan’s heartwarming post on his grandfather, legendary actor Johnny Walker, another post… this one is on Johnny Walker, the actor. Not just the loving family man, but the very accomplished thespian who still commands (as you can see by the popularity of these posts!) a fine fan following.

And, by the way, for those of you who understand Hindi, here’s part 1 of a wonderful interview that Johnny Walker gave to the London-based journalist Bhartendu Vimal. Here is part 2 of the interview.

Over to Nabil, now:

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Beginning Johnny Walker Week

One day in 1950, Hindi film actor (and occasional script writer) Balraj Sahni was travelling in a BEST bus in Bombay when he noticed a bus conductor who didn’t just issue tickets or make sure people got on and off the bus safe and sound: he also entertained passengers. Balraj Sahni was in the middle of writing the script for the Dev Anand starrer Baazi, and thought the bus conductor would make a fine character in the film. So at his behest, Guru Dutt, the director, invited the conductor – a man named Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi – for a screen test. The test required Kazi to act a drunk, and he (although a teetotaler) was such a success that Guru Dutt gave him the name by which he was to become famous: Johnny Walker, after the well-loved Scotch.

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The Pardesi Extra’s Story

Earlier this month, this blog hosted a guest post by Fred Miller, son of the talented (but alas, largely uncredited) Sam Millar. Fred had promised us another post, of his reminiscences from his days with his father in the big, bad world of Hindi cinema in the 50’s, and here it is: a delightful, very personal and up-close memory of an extra in the Indo-Soviet film, Pardesi (known in Russian as Khozhdenie Za Tri Moray). In Fred’s own words:

And now dear Dusted Off readers, the untold story of the early days of Bollywood continues with a look at my role in Pardesi, an Indo-Soviet film from 1953, tied up in post-production until its release in 1957…

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