10 Bollywood Actors Who Were Typecast In Most Of Their Films

10 Bollywood Actors Who Were Typecast In Most Of Their Films View All Articles

Posted On: 08 Jul 2021 | Last Updated: 20 Aug 2021

When an actor prepares himself before facing the camera he is trained and taught to enact different characters which he interprets in his own way and style. Lot many actors do get lucky by getting opportunities to play various roles with conviction to satisfy their creative urge but many aren’t as they are offered the same role over and over again despite being talented. This happens especially to many supporting actors who can’t afford to be choosy for they have to accept whatever comes their way to make a living of it and support their families at the end of the day. Such are the ways of Bollywood that many actors play their character to perfection that they get typecast and fail to get out of their on-screen image for almost their entire career. Many times, they are often addressed by that particular character name they have been playing on-screen for years together. We take a look at ten such Bollywood actors who were offered to play the same character again and again only to get typecast in film after film.

1. Alok Nath – Sanskaari Babuji

Alok Nath who started his acting career on TV and appeared in movies like Gandhi, Aadharshila, and Mashaal got his big break in Ramesh Sippy’s famous TV series Buniyad in 1987. Alok Nath played the central character of Master Haveli Ram who ages as he nurses his wounds given by India’s post-partition. Though in real life he was in his 30s then but his old man image of a 'sanskaari' father could never be broken as he continued to play the honest, simple and principled old man/father in more than 200 films including movies like Kabzaa (1988), Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), Dayavan (1988), Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Agneepath (1990), Divya Shakti (1993), Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994), etc. The veteran actor who was typecast for playing one kind of role in most of his movies got him the tag of ‘Sanskaari Babuji’ which trended big time on social networking with ‘Babuji memes’. Getting dragged into the #MeToo controversy has somehow led to his downfall off late.

Alok Nath

2. Jagdish Raj – Police Inspector

Jagdish Raj Khurana aka Jagdish Raj was another character actor, who got typecast for playing the role of a cop on-screen the maximum number of times in his entire career. His name is entered in the Guinness Book of World Records which confirms the fact that he is the only actor to appear as a cop in more than 145 films. Jagdish Raj’s role in a film became a foregone conclusion for audiences for playing a policeman. In fact, the first time he appeared as a cop was in Raj Khosla’s Dev Anand starrer C.I.D in 1956. He continued playing the quintessential police officer in film after film which included Kanoon (1960), Ittefaq (1969), Johny Mera Naam (1970), Dhund (1974), Roti (1974), Kaala Patthar (1979), Silsila (1981), Shakti (1982). Bol Radha Bol (1992), etc.

Jagdish Raj

3. Jeevan – Naarad Muni

Yesteryear actor Jeevan who was known for playing the villain in many popular Bollywood films of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s played the role of Naarad Muni in umpteenth mythological films. The actor who started off his acting career in 1935 appeared as Naarad Muni in 49 films. He was the obvious choice for all mythological filmmakers way back then. It was only later on in his career that he stopped playing Naarad Muni as he felt getting repetitive playing the same old character. Some of his appearances as Naarad Muni were in films like Ganga Maiya (1955), Sadhu Aur Shaitaan (1968), Bhagwan Parshuram (1970), Sampoorna Teerth Yatra (1970), etc. Besides this, he also acted in popular films like Johny Mera Naam (1970), Gambler (1971), Banarasi Babu (1973) Dharmatma (1975), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Chacha Bhatija (1977), Dharam Veer (1977), Naseeb (1981), Sanam Teri Kasam (1982), etc.


4. Iftekhar – Police Commissioner

Iftekhar Ahmed who was known for playing supporting roles in films would always bag the best Bollywood police roles. Iftekhar started his acting career in 1937 in Qazzak Ki Ladki. With a lean body and a striking personality, it was easy for him to play a police officer, police commissioner, courtroom judge, and doctor on-screen. Out of the 200 odd films that he did in his career, he played the role of a cop in more than 45 films, a role etched in the minds of the audiences. Probably it was Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420 in 1955 that he first time played the role of a police inspector. As he aged in real life, he got promoted to playing a commissioner in films like Sangam (1964), Teesri Manzil (1966), Ittefaq (1969), Johny Mera Naam (1970), The Train (1970), Gambler (1971), Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971), Zanjeer (1973), Don (1978), etc. His other films where he didn’t play a cop included Sawan Bhadon (1970), Deewaar (1975), Sholay (1975), Khel Khel Mein (1975), Rajput (1982) and Awam (1987).


5. Keshto Mukherjee – Drunkard

If at all there would be an award for top Bollywood drunkard roles, yesteryear actor Keshto Mukherjee would have won hands down. Nobody could replace a drunkard Keshto Mukherjee on song when on-screen. With two strands of hair falling on his forehead, looking cockeyed by nodding his head both ways with a bottle of liquor in his hand, and delivering a funny line by adding a Hee Hee Hyaah to it, was just fantastic to see which only Keshto could do. Unfortunately, the talented Keshto Mukherjee was typecast as a drunkard in almost all of his films since director Asit Sen gave him his first drunkard role in the film Maa Aur Mamta (1970). Keshto Mukherjee surprisingly is remembered to date for more of his drunkard characters than any other role. Some of his memorable drunkard roles were in Bombay to Goa (1972), Aap Ki Kasam (1974), Chupke Chupke (1975), Kaala Sona (1975), Inkaar (1977), Golmaal (1979), Rocky (1981), Kudrat (1981), etc.

Keshto Mukherjee

6. A.K. Hangal – Old Honest Man

‘Itna Sannata Kyun Hai Bhai?’…from Sholay is a dialogue that instantly reminds us of the great A.K. Hangal, Bollywood’s quintessential honest, soft-spoken and simple old man who played elderly roles to the ‘T’. A.K. Hangal needs no introduction when it comes to playing uncle or father to heroes or heroines, maternal or paternal grandfather, a retired employee, neighbour next-door, he did it all. Many of us don’t know that before donning the greasepaint in films he participated in India’s freedom struggle, he was also a theatre actor and director who later made his acting debut at the age of 52 in Raj Kapoor’s black & white classic Teesri Kasam in 1966. His notable works were Shagird (1967), Guddi (1971), Bawarchi (1972), Parichay (1972), Abhimaan (1973), Deewaar (1975), Tapasya (1976), Chitchor (1976), Naram Garam (1981), Shaukeen (1982), Dacait (1987) and Lagaan (2001), etc.

A.K. Hangal

7. Jimmy Shergill – Rejected Lover

Many may not believe but if you have watched and followed Jimmy Shergill's movies since his debut in Gulzar’s Maachis in 1996, he too slowly and steadily got himself typecast for playing the usual side hero who loses out on the girl in the end. Jimmy Shergill who is equally popular in Hindi as well as Punjabi cinema has played the role of the rejected lover time and again for reasons best known to him.  Don’t believe us then try recalling these movies for proof - Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi (2002), Dil Hai Tumhaara (2002), Tanu Weds Manu (2011), Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster (2011), Happy Bhaag Jayegi (2016), De De Pyaar De (2019) and many others.

Jimmy Shergill

8. Kanhaiyalal – Munimji

Who can forget the merciless and ruthless Kanhaiyalal who played Sukhi Lala in Mehboob Khan’s Aurat in 1940 and later reprised the same character in Mehboob Khan’s 1957 remake Mother India? His portrayal of a cunning Lala or Munshi who works on the behest of the villages Thakur or Zamindar and is ordered to grab lands from the needy by getting a thumb impression on a blank stamp paper. The impact of his role of Sukhi Lala which easily would rank among the top Bollywood characters of all time brought so much hatred among audiences that every filmmaker wanted to cast him in that role which he played till Hum Paanch in 1981. Audiences were so used to him playing that character that no one could imagine anybody else in that role for years to come.


9. Bob Christo – Firangi Villain

If you have been an Amitabh Bachchan fan and watched most of his films carefully from the late 1980s, a tall and strongly built firangi would often get beaten to a pulp by him. Yes, we are talking about the Australian-born Bollywood actor Bob Christo who played the quintessential villain firangi in many films. Bob Christo mostly played an Englishman who struck deals with the main villain where he was required to deliver a few dialogues in an accent, celebrate the deal with an item song, and die at the end. Bob was famous for the same type of roles which he did in over a hundred films for he looked like a menacing foreigner and is fondly remembered for playing the evil gora in most of his films which included - Abdullah (1980), Kaalia (1981), Main Intequam Loonga (1982), Nastik (1983), Naukar Biwi Ka (1983), Boxer (1984), Geraftaar (1985), Allah-Rakha (1986), Mr. India (1987), etc.

Bob Christo

10. Mac Mohan – Villains Sidekick

Talk about villains’ sidekicks in Hindi movies, it's Mac Mohan aka Sambha who comes to mind straight away. The supporting actor who started his career by playing a small cameo in Chetan Anand’s war-drama Haqeeqat in 1964, Mac Mohan did a whole lot of films like Shagird (1967), Abhinetri (1970), and Man Mandir (1971) till he started playing the sidekick of the main villain in films like Anhonee (1973), Zanjeer (1973) and Shareef Budmaash (1973). The film that branded him for life was the five-second role as Sambha in Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay (1975) where Gabbar Singh asks him about the reward the police had declared upon him, an image of Mac Mohan would immediately appear before us! With his trademark salt and pepper hair and a beard, the actor played the most trusted right-hand man to many on-screen villains in films like Don (1978), Shaan (1980), Karz (1980), Satte Pe Satta (1982), Mahaan (1983), Aandhi-Toofan (1985), and Loha (1987), etc.

Mac Mohan