Known for his subtle mannerism, the versatile Sadashiv Amrapurkar played varied villainous and comic roles in Indian cinema enthralling the audience with his ‘unique’ style in a career spanning over three decades.
The ailing actor, who died at a hospital here this morning at the age of 64, played iconic character roles including a ruthless eunuch in ‘Sadak’, a villain in ‘Ardh Satya’ and a selfish father in ‘Ishq’ with an effortless ease.
Ironically, while he would instill fear with his negative roles on-screen, the actor was a true gentleman in real life and involved in many social activities.
Born as Ganesh Kumar Narwode to an auto driver in Nasik in 1956, he adopted the name Sadashiv in 1974. Fondly known as Tatya in his family and friend circle, Amrapurkar grew up in Ahmednagar with his parents and a younger brother.
Right from his younger days, Amrapurkar was into acting and was part of several plays in school and college.
He was a trained singer but was advised that his highly nasal baritone would prevent him from achieving fame — so at the age of 21, Sadashiv migrated to theatre and the stage.
He acted in more than 50 plays and also began to act in minor roles in Marathi cinema until in 1979.
In 1981-82, Amrapurkar acted in a Marathi stage play ‘Hands-Up!’ alongside stage actors Avinash Masurekar and Bhakti Barve-Inamdar. This play was a super-hit and Amrapurkar was noticed by director Govind Nihalani who was searching for an artiste to play the central negative character in his movie ‘Ardh Satya’.
The movie went on to be a success and Amrapurkar’s acting was appreciated. His style of dialogue delivery was considered unique as compared to the popular Hindi movie villains in those days.
After ‘Ardh Satya’, Amrapurkar starred in small roles in films such as ‘Purana Mandir’, ‘Nasoor’, ‘Muddat’, ‘Veeru Dada’, ‘Jawani’, and ‘Farishtay’.
In 1987, he starred as the main villain in Dharamendra starrer ‘Hukumat’ which went on to be a blockbuster that grossed even more than ‘Mr India’.
Amarapurkar became the “lucky mascot” for Dharamendra and thereafter they both starred in several movies. In 1991 he appeared as a eunuch in ‘Sadak’. He won a Filmfare award for his performance and became the first recipient of the best negative role honour.
In the mid-1990s he migrated towards supporting roles and comic roles in ‘Mohra’, ‘Ishq’, ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’, ‘Aankhen’, ‘Ishq’, ‘Coolie No 1’, ‘Gupt: The Hidden Truth’, ‘Aunty No 1’, ‘Jai Hind’, ‘Master’ among others.
He played the role of Dr Khanna in the 1996 film ‘Chhote Sarkar’. Since the 2000s, Amrapurkar has been rarely seen in Hindi movies.
Apart from giving some power-packed performances in more than 300 movies in Hindi, the actor also tried his luck in Bengali, Oriya and Haryanvi movies.