11 Bollywood Celebs Who Won Filmfare Awards Posthumously

11 Bollywood Celebs Who Won Filmfare Awards Posthumously View All Articles

Posted On: 24 Jun 2021 | Last Updated: 23 Aug 2021

What Oscar Awards are to Hollywood Filmfare Awards are to Bollywood. Bollywood Filmfare Awards which were earlier called the Clare Awards were first introduced in 1954 when winners were decided on popular vote based on reader polls. With only five awards presented in the inaugural year for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Music Director, the Filmfare Awards have come a long way since increasing its categories such as Technical Awards, Critics’ Awards, Special Awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards, etc. Every year many deservingly walk away with ‘The Black Lady’ in their hands while some return empty-handed despite a nomination. Some movies sweep all the awards while some feel that the Filmfare Awards have lost their sheen and value. But over the years there have been a handful of Bollywood celebs who unfortunately didn’t live to take home their awards or should we say received their Filmfare trophy after their untimely demise. Take a look at Bollywood celebs who unfortunately died before receiving their Filmfare Awards in the Popular and Technical category.

1. Irrfan Khan (Best Actor Award for Angrezi Medium - 2021)

Irrfan Khan, the actor par excellence started his acting career in 1986 with TV serials and later on graduated to the big screen with ‘a blink and a miss’ role in Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay in 1988. Irrfan took a while before coming into the limelight with movies like Vaade Iraade, The Goal, Ghaath, Kasoor, etc. His performance in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Haasil in 2003 set the stage for him as he went on to win his first Filmfare trophy for Best Performance in a Negative Role in 2004. This was followed by winning the Best Supporting Actor for Life in a… Metro in 2008 and Best Actor’s award for Hindi Medium in 2018 and Angrezi Medium in 2021. The latter award was given after his untimely death on 29 April 2020 due to a neuroendocrine tumor.

Irrfan Khan

2. Bobby Singh (Best Cinematography Award for Queen – 2015)

Bobby Singh, one of Bollywood’s most promising cinematographers who had started off as an assistant cameraman in Raj N. Sippy’s Shehzaade in 1989 had come a long way since going independent for films like Gangster (2006), Life in a Metro (2007), The Dirty Picture (2011) and Queen (2014). He died at the age of 38 following an asthma attack in Goa on 25 December 2012. He had already completed the shooting of Akshay Kumar’s Special 26 and done with 90 percent of Kangana Ranaut starrer Queen directed by Vikas Bahl, which was released after his death in 2014. The remaining part of the film was shot by Siddharth Diwan. Bobby Singh shared the honours with Siddharth Diwan for Best Cinematography for Queen at the 2015 Filmfare Awards night.

Bobby Singh

3. Akbar Bakshi (Best Action Award for Soldier – 1999)

Actor and action director Akbar Bakshi who started his career in Bollywood by doing cameos in films like Changez Khan, Gunga Jumna, Sawan Bhadon, Jugnu, The Great Gambler and others turned action director with Amrit in 1986. He later went on to direct action and fight sequences for films like Khilaaf, Khiladi, Baazigar, Zamaana Deewana, Chaahat and Daraar. A veteran of more than 40 films and a favourite with Akshay Kumar, Akbar Bakshi designed action for Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Sabse Bada Khiladi, Tarazu, Keemat, and Angaaray. He won his first Filmfare Award for Best Action for Akshay Kumar starrer Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi in 1997 and the second for Abbas – Mustan’s Soldier in 1999 which was awarded posthumously after his death in March 1998 during the shooting of the film.

Akbar Bakshi

4. Rahul Dev Burman (Best Music Award for 1942 – A Love Story - 1995)

Known for his everlasting and melodious foot-tapping songs, R.D. Burman a.k.a. Pancham was always ahead of his times when it came to music. After assisting his father late S.D. Burman for a few years Pancham went solo with Mehmood’s Chhote Nawab in 1961 which was followed by hit music in films like Teesri Manzil, The Train, Kati Patang, Amar Prem, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Sholay, etc. He won his first Filmfare trophy for Best Music for Sanam Teri Kasam in 1983 and later for Masoom in 1984. Despite being nominated several times year after year Pancham failed to bag another award before he breathed his last on 4 January 1994. His swansong happen to be Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s 1942 – A Love Story which released in July 1994 that helped him bag his last Filmfare Trophy for Best Music in 1995. The same year in his memory Filmfare introduced the R.D. Burman Award for New Music Talent.

Rahul Dev Burman

5. Dr. Rahi Masoom Raza (Best Dialogue Award for Lamhe – 1992)

Dr. Rahi Masoom Raza was a writer with multi-talents who not just an Urdu and Hindi poet but also a brilliant screen-writer in Bollywood who wrote for films like Mili, Alaap, Gol Maal, Karz, Disco Dancer, Ilzaam, Dance Dance, Lamhe, etc., and the epic TV serial Mahabharat. Dr. Raza won his first Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue in 1979 for the hit film Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki which was directed by Raj Khosla and later for B.R. Chopra’s Tawaif in 1986. He won his third Filmfare Award trophy posthumously a few months after his untimely demise in March 1992 for Yash Chopra’s Lamhe. Thus, joining the list of Bollywood celebs who were given Filmfare Awards posthumously.

Dr. Rahi Masoom Raza

6. Subodh Ghosh (Best Story Award for Ijaazat – 1989)

Noted Bengali writer and journalist Subodh Ghosh figures in the list of top 10 Bollywood celebs who won Filmfare Awards after his / her death. Subodh Ghosh's stories have been adapted by Bollywood as well as Bengali filmmakers like Bimal Roy and Ritwik Ghatak which were made into films like Sujata, Ek Adhuri Kahani, Chitchor, and Ijaazat. Subodh won the Filmfare trophy for Best Story twice, the first being for Bimal Roy's Sujata in 1960 which touched upon the issue of untouchability, and thereafter for Gulzar's Ijaazat in 1989 which was bestowed upon him years after his passing away on 10 March 1980.

Subodh Ghosh

7. Bansi Chandragupta (Best Art Direction Award for Chakra – 1982)

The renowned Art Director, Production Designer and Set Decorator, Bansi Chandragupta who gained fame through Satyajit Ray’s movies like Pather Panchali, Apur Sansar and Charulata was equally popular in Bollywood as well for designing sets for Paraya Dhan, Seema, Piya Ka Ghar, Priyatama, Mukti, Kalyug and Umrao Jaan. Bansi won his first Filmfare Award trophy for Best Art Direction in 1972 for Seema and thereafter for Do Jhoot 1976. He received his third Filmfare trophy posthumously for Best Art Direction for the film Chakra in 1982. He died on 27 June 1981.

Bansi Chandragupta

8. Sarat Chandra Chatterjee (Best Story Award for Swami – 1978)

One of Bengal’s most prominent and popular story writers of the early 20th century Sarat Chandra Chatterjee continues to live through his heart-touching stories to date. A lot of filmmakers pan India have adapted the stories of this great writer some of which include Devdas, Parineeta, Biraj Bahu, Majhli Didi, Khushboo, Anokha Bandhan, etc. Despite his death on 16 January 1938, the Bengali novelist was not only credited for his stories wherever due but also won a Filmfare Award for Best Story for Swami in 1978 which starred Shabana Azmi, Girish Karnad and Vikram and directed by Basu Chatterji.

Sarat Chandra Chatterjee

9. Mukesh (Best Male Playback Singer Award for 'Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein' from Kabhi Kabhie – 1977)

Mukesh Chand Mathur or simply Mukesh, the legendary playback singer who mesmerized us with his soothing melodies was posthumously awarded the Filmfare trophy for Best Male Playback for the song Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein from Kabhi Kabhie in 1977. The versatile singer who breathed his last on 27 August 1976 in the USA was known as the voice of Raj Kapoor, and was the first recipient of the coveted award for Best Playback singer (Male) in 1960 which he won for the song Sab Kuch Seekha Humne from Anari. He also won the trophy in 1971 for Sabse Bada Nadan from Pehchan and for Jai Bolo Beimaan Ki from Be-Imaan in 1973.


10. Jaikishan (Best Music Award for Mera Naam Joker – 1972 & Be-Imaan - 1973)

Counted among one of Bollywood’s most popular and successful music duos were Shankar – Jaikishan who worked together from 1949 to 1971. S-J as they were popularly known had given immortal melodies in films like Barsaat, Awaara, Shree 420, Chori-Chori, Anari, Dil Apna Preet Parai, Suraj, Brahmachari, etc. A regular at the Filmfare Awards nominations, S-J won the coveted trophy for Best Music on nine occasions which include Chori-Chori (1957), Anari (1960), Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1961), Professor (1963), Suraj (1967), Brahmachari (1969), Pehchaan (1971), Mera Naam Joker (1972) and Be-Imaan (1973). After Jaikishan’s sudden demise on 12 September 1971, Shankar received the trophy on behalf of his partner for Mera Naam Joker in 1972 and Be-Imaan in 1973.


11. Shailendra (Best Lyrics Award for 'Main Gaoon Tum So Jaao' from Brahmachari – 1969)

One of Bollywood’s prominent poet and lyricist Shailendra who was most associated with co-lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri and formed a formidable team with musicians Shankar – Jaikishan, was the first recipient of Filmfare’s Award for Best Lyricist introduced in 1959. Shailendra won it for the song Yeh Mera Deewanapan Hai from Yahudi. He subsequently also won the awards for Best Lyricist in 1960 for Sab Kuchh Seekha Hum Ne from Anari and in 1969 for Main Gaoon Tum So Jaao from Brahmachari. Shailendra, unfortunately, passed away on 14 December 1966 after the debacle of his home production Teesri Kasam and won the award posthumously for the song Main Gaoon Tum So Jaao from Brahmachari in 1969 after his demise.