Anupam Kher: The Good, Bad and The Ugly

Anupam Kher celebrates his 65 on 7 March, and completes 38 years in the film industry. 

3 min read
Anupam Kher has played a host of characters in his 38-year-old Bollywood career.

In a career spanning 38 years, Anupam has played a plethora of roles - from the protagonist’s father, hero’s good friend, the baddie, the comedian and of course, the protagonist. The actor has also made a name for himself in Hollywood with films like Silver Lining Playbook.

While some of his performances will be remembered for years to come, there are others which would be best forgotten. But either way Anupam has consistently entertained his audiences.

As Anupam turns 65, today, 7 March, here’s navigating the good, bad and ugly roles and performances of the veteran actor.



Saaransh (1984)

Anupam Kher made a surprise debut in Mahesh Bhatt’s Saaransh, playing an old man when he was only 29 years old. The actor gave such a compelling performance as a father dealing with the untimely loss of his only son, that it was difficult to say he wasn’t even 30 then. Anupam ended up winning the Filmfare Award for the Best Actor for his very first film.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Dharamvir Malhotra aka Raj’s “pops”, played by Anupam, is one of the coolest dads in Bollywood. Not only is he proud and supportive of his son despite him failing his college exams, but he also inspires him to go after his lover and travels all the way to India to help him win over the love of his life. Anupam was surely at his best, acing the comic as well as emotional scenes.

Anupam Kher: The Good, Bad and The Ugly

Lamhe (1991)

Anupam is leading lady Sridevi’s comic partner and a friend who offers reality check to leading man, Anil Kapoor. Anupam played the perfect foil in this mature Yash Chopra love story.

A Wednesday (2008)

Anupam Kher as an upright ATS officer and Naseeruddin Shah as a common man making a point about terrorism, pitted against each other, turned out to be the strongest point of A Wednesday. It will remain one of Anupam’s memorable performances and films.



A film, directed by Mahesh Bhatt for Doordarshan, Daddy saw Anupam play a father struggling with alcoholism, and saved by his daughter. Anupam brought tremendous depth and pathos to his role and won the National Film Award (Special Mention) for his role.


Karma (1986)

Anupam Kher: The Good, Bad and The Ugly

Before Anupam became known for his comic and supporting character roles in the ‘90s, he was popular for his bad guy roles in the 80s. And Dr Dang of Karma was his crowning glory. The actor went all out as the head of a terrorist organisation, pitted against whole gang of heroes, including Dilip Kumar, Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah.


Chaalbaaz (1989)

Anupam combined his comic abilities and bad guy vibes to create Tribhuvan Das, the man hellbent on torturing Sita, along with his wife, played Rohini Hattangadi. While he is menacing in the first part of the film, in the second half he generates many laughs.


The Accidental Prime Minister

Playing the role of Dr Manmohan Singh, Anupam Kher went a little too method, making the character look more like a caricature, and even robotic to an extent.


Apna Sapna Money Money (2006)

Anupam was definitely prone to going a little overboard in over the top comedies. One such occasion was in the ensemble comedy Apna Sapna Money Money, where Anupam’s character falls in love with a girl, who is actually Riteish Deshmukh in drag.

Kya Kool Hai Hum (2005)

Anupam has a few cringe-worthy performances in comedies, and perhaps Kya Kool Hai Hum tops that list. Named Dr Srewvala in the film, Anupam accesses a million exaggerated expressions in every scene.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!