Yesteryear actor Mac Mohan, popular for his legendry role as Sambha in Ramesh Sippy’s 1975-blockbuster Sholay, was Bollywood’s most popular character artistes. The three iconic words, “poore pachaas hazaar”, came to define his entire career. But he was a lot more than just those three words. Today, on his 83rd birth anniversary, let’s look at some of the other interesting facts about his life that defined him.
1. Born as Mohan Makijany in Karachi in undivided India on April 24, 1938, he had his acting roots in the theatre with his affiliation with the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA).
2. Mac Mohan’s father was a colonel in the British Army in India and in the year 1940, his father transferred from Karachi to Lucknow.
3. He studied in Lucknow and was a keen cricket enthusiast since childhood. He came to Mumbai to become a cricketer but became a Bollywood actor.
4. He forayed into the film industry as an assistant to producer and director, Chetan Anand, following which he made his debut in the 1964 film, Haqeeqat.
5. He acted in around 218 films in a career spanning 46 years.
6. The actor who was mostly a part of the villain’s gang in the films that he worked in, played the bad guy despite not having a physique that could look intimidating on screen.
7. Mac Mohan gave the legendary line from Sholay, “poore pachaas hazaar,” after 27 retakes. The dialogue by Salim-Javed became an imperishable quotable quote in Bollywood’s lexicon.
8. He remained a popular villain through the 1970s and 1980s with blockbusters like Don, Karz, Satte Pe Satta, Zanjeer, Rafoo Chakkar, Shaan, Khoon Pasina and Majboor.
9. In November 2009, a day before he could start the shooting for Ashwini Dheer’s Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?, he was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai after his health deteriorated. He had a tumour in the right lung and died of lung cancer on May 10, 2010.