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Johnny Lever Biography

Johnny Lever

Johny Lever

Comedian Picture - Johnny Lever

Born: John Rao Prakash Rao Janumala 7 January 1950 (1950-01-07) (age 60) Prakasam District, Andhra Pradesh, India
Occupation: Actor, Comedian
Years active: 1984 - present
Spouse: Sujatha

JohnRao Janumala famously known as Johny Lever (Hindi: जॉनी लीवर; born 7 January 1950, in Prakasam, Andhra Pradesh) is an Indian film actor and comedian. He was born to Prakash Rao Janumala and Karunamma Janumala and brought up in Mumbai. He started his career in 1984 and has acted in over 350 Bollywood films. He has received 13 Filmfare awards nominations in Best Comedian Category and has won the award twice.

Early life

Johny Lever was brought up in Mumbai in King's Circle, Dharavi. Johny studied in Andhra Telugu School till the seventh grade but couldn't study further because of financial problems in his family. After which he decided to leave school and started working at a very young age. He did all kinds of work, for example selling pens on the streets of Bombay in a special way of imitating Bollywood stars. He also danced on the songs of Bollywood stars. Hence he developed a passion for mimicry and stand-up comedy, inspired by watching comedians like Johnny Walker, Kishore Kumar and Mehmood in films and mimicry artists like Dinesh Hingoo on stage. He then decided to be a mimicry artist. To seek guidance and help regarding mimicry he met his mentor Pratap Jani and mimicry artist Ram Kumar, who helped him and taught him the basics of mimicry.

Johny also used to work as an employee in Hindustan Lever's factory in Mumbai with his father. While working he also used to entertain his co-workers in the factory by imitating Elvis Presley. At one of the functions at his factory he was asked to perform and show his talent. So impressed were his colleagues and officers of the factory by his performance that his union leader said that from now on we will call him "Johny Lever".

After that, he started to perform in musical shows (orchestras) and after becoming famous there, he then joined the legendary music director duo Kalyanji-Anandji's group. He did a lot of shows and world tours with them, one of his first big tour was with Amitabh Bachchan in 1982.

During this period he learned a lot from Kalyanji who according to Lever was also a great philosopher and a very humorous person, and also his mentor. At one of his shows Sunil Dutt noticed his talent and potential and offered him his first movie Dard Ka Rishta.

In the 1980s he released his audio cassette of mimicry/comedy, Hansee Ke Hungame, which became a super hit not only in India, but worldwide, after which he became very famous and this took him to another level.

In 1986, he performed in a very big charity show called "Hope 86" in front of the whole Hindi film industry as a filler. The audience loved his performance and shouted once more. The whole film industry recognized his talent and producer Gul Anand offered him a film called Jalwa with Naseeruddin Shah. He is known as the king of comedy in Bollywood and known to have inspired many comedians and stand-up artists in India.

Career

Film career

Lever got his first break in Indian cinema with the film Dard Ka Rishta, thanks to the late Sunil Dutt. Since then, he has acted in more than 350 films. After Dard Ka Rishta, he was seen in Jalwa with Naseerudin Shah, but his first major success came with Baazigar, and after that he was seen in almost every movie as a supporting actor/comedian. Even though he had become busy with so many movies, he continued to do live shows. One of his most memorable live performances was Michael Jackson's impersonation at the Filmfare Awards 1999. His most acclaimed performance was the character of "Babulal" in the film, Baazigar, directed by Abbas-Mustan. He is also remembered for some of his other famous characters, like "Chotta Chattri", "Aslam Bhai", etc. His performance in the film, Judaai and his famous dialogues in the movie, Abba Dabba Jabba are also unforgettable.

His first ever Tamil feature film is Anbirkku Alavillai produced by SIMPL (Shepherd India Media Pvt. Ltd.), to be released in 2010. He also had a special appearance in one Telugu feature film, Criminal directed by Mahesh Bhatt, the famous Bollywood director.

Television career

Lever also appeared on Zee TV, in his own show called Johny Aala Re. In 2007, he appeared as a judge on the stand-up reality show Comedy Circus.

He is also the president of CINTAA (Cine And T.V. Artist Association) which presents its own mega television show called Superstars ka Jalwa on Star Plus, every Sunday. He is also the president of MAAM (Mimicry Artist Association Mumbai). He has done thousands of live shows all over the world. His younger brother Jimmy Moses, is also a stand-up comedian and mimicry artist.

Personal life

He is married to Sujatha and has two children, a daughter Jamie and a son Jesse.

Controversies

In 1998, Lever was convicted and sentenced for disrespecting the Indian National Anthem, constitution and the flag at a private function hosted by Anis Ibrahim. However all charges against him were dropped and he was sent home within one day.

Filmography

Ek Nai Paheli (29 June 1984)
Tum Par Hum Quarban (1985)
Love 86 (14 February 1986) ...... Uttam
Main Balwan (28 November 1986)
Jalwa (1987) ...... Muthu (The Masseur)
Ghar Mei Ram Gali Mein Shyam (15 January 1988) ...... Srivastav's Servant
Kasam (15 April 1988)
Hatya (3 June 1988)
Aakhri Adalat (10 June 1988) ...... Havaldar
Hero Hiralal (21 October 1988)
Tezaab (10 November 1988) ...... Kainchi
Suryaa (10 February 1989)
Ilaaka (12 May 1989)
Mujrim (28 June 1989) ...... Shankar's PA
Jaadugar (25 August 1989) ...... Nilkant
Kala Bazar (6 October 1989) ...... Kutti Chai Walla
Chaalbaaz (8 December 1989) ...... Special appearance as Johny Baba Tantrik
Main Azaad Hoon (15 December 1989) ...... Protester (Uncredited)
Kafan (1990)
Khatarnak (1990)
Kishen Kanhaiya (9 March 1990) ...... Lobo
Bandh Darwaza (1 June 1990)
Raeeszada (1991)
Ajooba Kudrat Ka (1991)
Vishnu Deva (15 February 1991) ...... Havaldar #1
Narsimha (5 July 1991) ...... Tempo Dada
Jungle Ka Beta (1992)
Geet Milan Ke Gaate Rehenge (1992)
Khiladi (5 January 1992) ...... Anna Pillai
Humla (29 May 1992) ...... Shiva's Friend
Chamatkar (8 July 1992) ...... Cricket Commentator
Insaaniyat Ke Devta 1993) ...... Muthuswamy
Teri Payal Meree Geet (1993)
Yugandhar (1993)
Aansoo Bane Angaarey (1993)
Anari (26 March 1993) ...... Bablu
Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (16 April 1993)
Anmol (27 August 1993) ...... Himself (Special appearance)
Santan (12 November 1993) ...... Kalia
Baazigar (12 November 1993) ...... Babulal
Aulad Ke Dushman (3 December 1993) ...... Johny
Bhagyawan (10 December 1993)
Masti (1994)
Mahakaal (1994)
Zamane Se Kya Darna (14 January 1994)
Kanoon (1 April 1994)
Anjaam (22 April 1994) ...... Champa Chameli
Saajan Ka Ghar (29 April 1994)
Ekka Raja Rani (24 June 1994) ...... Guruji (Dancemaster)
Juaari (8 July 1994)
Prem Yog (23 August 1994)
Main Khiladi Tu Anadi (23 September 1994) ...... Dhansukh
Criminal (14 October 1994)
Yaar Ghaddar (4 November 1994) ...... Police Inspector
Mr Azad (23 December 1994)
Inteqam Ke Sholey (1995)
Dilbar (1995)
Karan Arjun (13 January, 1995) ...... Linghaiyya
Criminal (4 August 1995)
Rock Dancer (3 November 1995) ...... Police Inspector
Ram Shastra (9 November 1995) ...... Reporter Raja
Haqeeqat (29 December 1995) ...... Tony
Jaan (17 May 1996) ...... Damru
Himmatwar (14 June 1996)
Hahakar (5 July 1996) ...... Chamcha
Daraar (5 July 1996) ...... Hari
Indian (July 1996) (Dubbed as Hindustani in Hindi).....PaneerSelvam (aka Subhar Lal in Hindi version)
Bhishma (26 July 1996) ...... Natwar
Sapoot (8 November 1996)
Raja Hindustani (15 November 1996) ...... Balvant Singh
Dushman Duniya Ka (22 November 1996)
Jodidar (1997)
Daayen (1997)
Ghunghat (1997)
Auzaar (28 February 1997) ...... Peter
Judaai (28 February 1997) ...... Hiralal
Kaalia (28 March 1997)
Himalyaputra (4 April 1997) ...... Joe
Agni Morcha (4 April 1997)
Koyla (18 April 1997) ...... Shanker's Friend
Do Aankhen Barah Haath (11 July 1997) ...... Rickshaw Walla
Yes Boss (18 July 1997) ...... Madhav Advani, aka MAD
Judge Mujrim (12 September 1997)
Krishna Arjun (1 October 1997)
Mr and Mrs Khiladi (10 October 1997) ...... Bandaged Patient On Street
Deewana Mastana (10 October 1997) ...... Ghafoor
Ishq (28 November 1997) ...... Ranjit's Brother-in-Law
Barsaat Ki Raat (1998)
Yeh Aashiqui Meri (16 January 1998)
Miss 420 (23 January 1998) ...... Tony Fernandes
Ustadon Ke Ustad (20 March 1998)
Aakrosh: Cyclone Of Anger (3 April 1998) ...... Gopi
Keemat: They Are Back (10 April 1998) ...... Sub-Inspector Ultappan
Aunty No. 1 (1 May 1998)
Jiyaala (1 May 1998)
Mard (15 May 1998)
Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai (22 May 1998) ...... Mahesh
Achanak (12 June 1998) ...... Johny.
Dulhe Raja (10 July 1998) ...... Bankhey (Hotel Manager)
Kareeb (17 July 1998) ...... Bighe Laal
Iski Topi Uske Sar (17 July 1998) ...... Gabbar Singh/Mogamba/John Lobo
Barood (7 August 1998) ...... Presenter
Tirchhi Topiwale (11 September 1998) ...... Kadak K. Pillay
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (16 October 1998) ...... Col. Almeida, Camp Manager
Soldier (20 November 1998) ...... Mohan/Sohan
Wajood (11 December 1998) ...... Inspector Rahim Khan
Heeralal Pannalal (1999) ...... Heeralal (Double role)
Ganga Ki Kasam (1999)
Dulhan Banoo Mein Teri (1999)
Benaam (1999) ...... Munna Mobile
Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain (22 January 1999) ...... Sunny Goyal
Daag-The Fire (12 February 1999) ...... Sundar
Laawaris (5 March 1999) ...... Gaflet
International Khiladi (26 March 1999) ...... Focus
Anari No. 1 (9 April 1999) ...... Daler Mehndi
Silsila Hai Pyar Ka (16 April 1999) ...... Johny
Sirf Tum (11 June 1999) ...... Niranjan
Baadshah (27 August 1999) ...... Ramlal
Hello Brother (10 September 1999) ...... Havaldar Hatella
Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain (24 September 1999) ...... Sattu
Khoobsurat (26 November 1999) ...... Special appearance (song)
Jaanwar (23 December 1999) ...... Bajrangi
Krodh (2000) ...... Prem
Jwalamukhi (2000)
Annarth (2000)...Ben Bose
Hadh Kar Di Aapne (2000) ...... Father/Son Lawyer Team
Tera Jadoo Chal Gayaa (2000) ...... Maggi
Meri Jung Ka Elaan (2000)
Beti No.1 (2000) ...... Mulayamchand 'Mullu'
Kaali Topi Laal Rumaal (2000)
Kunwara (2000) ...... Gopal
Mela (7 January 2000) ...... Inspector Pakkad Singh
Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai (14 January 2000) ...... Inspector Parab
Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (15 January 2000) ...... Tour Manager Chirkund
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (21 January 2000) ...... Pappu Junior
Badal (11 February 2000) ...... Gulel Singh Rangoli
Dil Hi Dil Mein (21 April 2000)
Hum To Mohabbat Karega (26 May 2000) ...... Kutti
Joru Ka Ghulam (16 June 2000) ...... Kanhaiya
Deewane (11 August 2000) ...... Okay
Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai (24 August 2000) ...... Chatterjee
Fiza* (8 September 2000) ...... Laughing Club Comic
Shikari* (6 October 2000) ...... Jafrani Sindhi Businessman
Aaghaaz* (6 October 2000) ...... Rajni Deva
Raju Chacha (20 December 2000) ...... Jaddu
Farz (12 January 2001)
Aashiq (26 January 2001)
Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (9 March 2001) ...... Pappu Bhai
Censor (6 April 2001) ...... Vikramjeet's First Assistant
Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega (29 June 2001) ...... Aslam Bhai
Lajja (31 August 2001)
Nayak (7 September 2001) ...... TV Cameraman Topi
Ajnabee (22 September 2001) ...... Banu Pradhan (B.P.)
Dial 100 (5 October 2001)
Asoka (26 October 2001) ...... Magadha Soldier
Arjun Devaa (23 November 2001)
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (14 December 2001)
Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa (21 December 2001) ...... Appu Khote
Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare (2002) ...... Subramaniam
Yeh Dil Aashiqanaa (18 January 2002)
Yeh Mohabbat Hai (8 February 2002) ...... Jaggi
Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge (22 February 2002) ...... Pakhandee Baba
Angaar -The Fire (5 April 2002)
Badmash No.1 (26 April 2002)
Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai (26 April 2002) ...... Paresh Chaval (Painter)
Awara Paagal Deewana (21 June 2002)...Chhota Chhatri
Humraaz (5 July 2002) ...... Mr. Darshan
Jaani Dushman 16 August 2002) ...... Parwana
Yeh Kaisi Mohabbat (13 September 2002) ... Paajal
Annarth (1 November 2002) .....Ben Bose, Music Director
Kehta Hai Dil Baar Baar 15 November 2002 ..... Natwar
Karz - The Burden Of Truth (6 December 2002) ..... Juggi
Chalo Ishq Ladaaye (27 December 2002)
Kucch To Hai (24 January 2003) ..... Popatlal
Khushi (7 February 2003)
Kaash Aap Hamare Hote (14 February 2003) ..... Native Indian Black Face
Indian Babu (7 March 2003)
Kaise Kahoon Ke Pyaar Hai (9 May 2003)
Andaaz (23 May 2003) ...... G. I. Joe
Chalte Chalte (13 June 2003) ...... Nandu (The Roadside Drunk)
Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon (27 June 2003) ...... Johnny
Aisaa Kyon (8 August 2003)
Koi Mil Gaya (8 August 2003) ...... Chelaram Sukhwani
Market (12 September 2003)
Janasheen (28 November 2003) ...... Johnny Chen
God Only Knows! (16 January 2004) ...... Road Babe
Hatya: The Murder (15 October 2004)
Aabra Ka Daabra (24 December 2004)
Meri Biwi Ka Jawab Nahin (2005) ...... Chitra Gupta
Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav (28 January 2005) ...... Yadav
Khullam Khulla Pyaar Kare (29 April 2005) ...... Pashabhai
Deewane Huye Pagal (25 November 2005) ...... Murgan
Aisa Kyon Hota Hai? (17 February 2006)
Banana Brothers (17 March 2006)
Saawan: The Love Season (6 April 2006)....... Akhil Rao
36 China Town (5 May 2006) ...... KK
Phir Hera Pheri (9 June 2006) ...... Munna
Chashmebahadur (2006)
Sandwich (2006)
Fool n Final (2007) ...... Puttu Pilot
Race (2008)
Khallbali: Fun Unlimited (2008)
Nidar - The Fearless (2008)
Aap Jaisa Koi Nahin (2008)
Mr Tikdambaaz (2008)
Paying Guests (2008) ...... Ballu Ji
All the Best: Fun Begins (2009)...... Tobu
Aao Wish Karein (2009) ...... Hitchchock
De Dana Dan (2009).......Kala Krishna Murari
Dulha Mil Gaya (8 January 2010) ...... Krish
Bhavnaon Ko Samjho (15 January 2010) ...... Vivaah Marriage Bureau
Prem Kaa Game (26 February 2010) ...... Ramnik Chedda
Khatta Meetha (23 July 2010) ......Anshuman
Anbirkku Alavillai (Scheduled for release in December 2010)
Golmaal 3 (5 November 2010)
Love Mein Gum (Pakistani Movie) (16th November 2010)

Playback singer

Chalbaaz (8 December 1989)
Ravan Raaj (23 June 1995)
Achanak (12 June 1998)
Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa (21 December 2001)

Awards

1997: Star Screen Award for Best Comedian: Raja Hindustani
1998: Filmfare Best Comedian Award: Deewana Mastana
1999: Filmfare Best Comedian Award: Dulhe Raja
2002: Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Comic Role: Love Ke Liye Kuchh Bhi Karega

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