Personal info
Known for

Actor

Gender

Male

Date of Birth

1922-09-30

Location

West Bengal, India

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Hrishikesh Mukherjee

Biography

Hrishikesh Mukherjee (30 September 1922 – 27 August 2006) was an Indian film director, editor, and writer. He is regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of Indian cinema. Popularly known as Hrishi-da, he directed 42 films during his career spanning over four decades, and is named the pioneer of the 'middle cinema' of India.

 

 Renowned for his social films that reflected the changing middle-class ethos, Mukherjee "carved a middle path between the extravagance of mainstream cinema and the stark realism of art cinema".

 

He is known for a number of films, including Anari, Satyakam, Chupke Chupke, Anupama, Anand, Abhimaan, Guddi, Gol Maal, Majhli Didi, Chaitali, Aashirwad, Bawarchi, Khubsoorat, Kissi Se Na Kehna, and Namak Haraam.

 

He also remained the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). The Government of India honored him with the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1999 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001. He received the NTR National Award in 2001 and he also won eight Filmfare Awards.

 

Hrishikesh Mukherjee was born in the city of Calcutta in pre-independence India (now Kolkata) to a Bengali Brahmin family. He studied science and graduated in chemistry from the University of Calcutta. He taught mathematics and science for some time.

 

Mukherjee chose to begin working, initially as a cameraman, and then as a film editor, in B. N. Sircar's New Theatres in Calcutta in the late 1940s, where he learned his skills from Subodh Mitter ('Kenchida'), a well-known editor of his times.

 

 He then worked with Bimal Roy in Mumbai as a film editor and assistant director from 1951, participating in the landmark Roy films Do Bigha Zamin and Devdas.

 

His debut directorial venture, Musafir (1957), was not a success, but he persisted and received acclaim for his second film Anari in 1959. The film, crew, and cast won five Filmfare Awards, with Mukherjee only losing the Best Director Award to his mentor, Bimal Roy.

 

In the following years, he made numerous films. Some of his most notable films include: Anuradha (1960), Chhaya (1961), Asli-Naqli (1962), Anupama (1966), Aashirwad (1968), Satyakam (1969), Guddi (1971), Anand (1971), Bawarchi (1972), Abhimaan (1973), Namak Haraam (1973), Mili (1975), Chupke Chupke (1975), Alaap (1977), Gol Maal (1979), Khubsoorat (1980) and Bemisal (1982).

 

 He was the first to introduce Dharmendra in comedy roles, through Chupke Chupke, and gave Amitabh Bachchan his big break with Anand in 1970, along with Rajesh Khanna, he also introduced Jaya Bhaduri to Hindi cinema in his film Guddi. Having worked with his mentor, Bimal Roy as an editor, in films like Madhumati, he was much sought after as an editor as well.

 

In later life, Mukherjee suffered from chronic kidney failure and would go to Lilavati Hospital for dialysis. He was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai early on Tuesday, 6 June 2006 after he complained of uneasiness. Mukherjee died a few weeks later on 27 August 2006.

 

Mukherjee was married and had three daughters and two sons. His wife died more than three decades before him. His younger brother Dwarkanath Mukherjee helped write the screenplay for many of his films. 

 

He was an animal lover and had many dogs and sometimes an odd cat at his residence in Bandra, Mumbai. He was staying with only his servants and pets in the last phase of his life. Family members and friends would visit him regularly.

Known for
Director
1959

Anari

Editor
1959

Anari