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Bhagwan Dada

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Bhagwan Dada Biography

Bhagwan Dada

Bhagwan Dada

Comedian Picture - Bhagwan Dada<

Born: Bhagwan Abhaji Palav (1913 India
Died: 4 February 2002

Bhagwan Dada (1913 - 4 February 2002) was an Indian actor and film director. He is best known for his social film Albela.

Early life

Bhagwan Dada was born in 1913 as Bhagwan Abhaji Palav. He was the son of a textile mill worker but was obsessed with films. He worked as a labourer but dreamt of films. He got his break with bit roles in silent films and got totally involved with the studios. He learnt film making and at one stage used to make low budget films (in which he arranged for everything including the design of costumes and arranging meals for the cast) for Rs 65000 (at that time US$ = Rs.5-6 so roughly $10000 to 11000 - that's 1US$ = Rs.50 as per today's conversion).


From 1938 to 1949 he directed a string of low budget stunt and action films that were popular with the working classes. He used to play a naive simpleton.

In 1942, as a part of a scene actor he was to slap actress Lalita Pawar hard. He accidentally slapped her very hard, which resulted in facial paralysis and a burst left eye vein. Three years of treatment later Pawar was left with a defective left eye.

In 1951 he turned producer with Jagriti Pics and Bhagwan Arts Production, owning Jagriti Studios, Chembur. On advice of Raj Kapoor he turned to making a social film called Albela starring Bhagwan and Geeta Bali, and featuring music by his friend Chitalkar, or C. Ramchandra. The songs of the film, in particular Shola Jo Bhadke are still remembered. Albela was a huge hit. After Albela, C Ramchandra and Geeta Bali got together again in Jhamela and La'Bela but they both flopped.

Poverty and later life

After that Bhagwan did not have any more hits and eventually had to give up producing and directing films, sell his bungalow and cars and move to a chawl. He took whatever roles he could get, but apart from Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje and Chori Chori, none were roles of note, and he eventually took on bit parts in which he did his famous dance (made even more famous by Amitabh Bachchan using it as his default dance step).

Most of Bhagwan's associates left him in his time of need, apart from C. Ramchandra, Om Prakash and lyricist Rajinder Krishan, who continued to meet him even in his chawl. Bhagwan died in 2002 at age 89. All his friends died long before him.

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