Sanjeev Kumar’s new biography, ‘The Actor We All Loved’, to be made into a film

Thirty-seven years later after the death of Sanjeev Kumar, one of the finest actors to have graced the silver screen, a biography chronicling his life, times and his journey in Bollywood has been released. Penned by his nephew, the book has been endorsed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The biography of the late Sanjeev Kumar features personal essays penned by his friends Gulzar, Randhir Kapoor, and co-stars Sharmila Tagore, Moushumi Chatterjee, Tanuja, among others.

A newly-released biography on the late Sanjeev Kumar, The Actor We All Loved, chronicling his successful journey in Bollywood, is all set to be adapted into a motion picture.

The two-time national award winning actor, Sanjeev Kumar, who passed away after a cardiac arrest in 1985, was known for his versatile acting talent. The antithesis of the typical Bollywood hero, he never craved for glamorous roles or just to do romance and action roles. From his mature and understated roles in films like Mausam and Aandhi to his comic timing in Angoor to portraying the angst of a person with disabilities in Koshish—he was truly a thinking man’s actor. His role in the legendary Sholay is also a memorable one.

​Udayan Mitra, executive publisher, HarperCollins India, said, “This is a biography that will bring back memories of a golden age of Indian cinema for many a reader. We’re also excited that the book is going to be adapted into a motion picture. We’re in talks with some leading production houses for the film rights and we should be able to make an announcement on this soon.”

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S​anjeev Kumar passed away at an early age, when he was in his forties, said Mitra. “Thirty-seven years later, film enthusiasts are still in awe of the performative skills and the versatile talent of the actor who could take on any role and brand it as his own,” he added.

The late Sanjeev Kumar with Shabana Azmi and Protima Bedi gathered for a card game at Perrin Villa

This biography has been penned by Sanjeev Kumar’s nephew, businessman Uday Jariwala and co-authored by biographer Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta. This book doesn’t just talk about his journey to becoming one of Bollywood A-listers, it has personal essays penned by his friends Gulzar, Randhir Kapoor, and co-stars Sharmila Tagore, Moushumi Chatterjee, Tanuja, among others.

​In an interview in the book, Gulzar, for example, remembers his “true friend and an irreplaceable actor”. “He never asked me for a script. “I know you will never waste me,” was what he told me. Our friendship was not because of the film industry, but because of our struggle and learning,” says Gulzar in the book. The book will also feature some rare unseen pictures of the actor with his friends and family.

Gulzar looks on as Sanjeev Kumar cuddles co-author Uday Jariwala when he was a child

​According to co-author Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta while writing the book, Sanjeev Kumar’s friends told her, ‘Please write a happy book, because Haribhai was a happy man.’ It took the writers four years to complete the book.

The biography has been endorsed by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who calls Sanjeev Kumar “a natural, one of the most powerful actors”.

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