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Naseeruddin Shah
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Naseeruddin Shah

Naseeruddin Shah was born in India in 1950. An alumnus of both the National School of Drama in New Delhi and the film and the Film and T.V. Institute of India in Pune, Shah is one of the symbols of the New Indian Cinema (along with Om Puri and Shabana Azmi). His roles with mentor Shyam Benegal in Nishant (Night's End,) Manthan (The Churning) and Bhumika (The Role) established him as one of India's most unusual and interesting actors. Since then he has worked with almost every significant Indian filmmaker, in a number of Indian languages, and played leading parts in international films such as Ismail Merchant's The Perfect Murder, Electric Moon(based on a screenplay by Arundhati Roy, 1992), Kaizad Gustad's Bombay Boys, and Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding.

Besides the dramatic roles for which he is best known, Shah has worked in mainstream Hindi movies, playing in which he has played a variety of characters- having appeared in 150 feature films.

Shah's television credits include the wildlife / ecology programs Project Tiger and Living On The Edge, and science-themed The Turning Point. His performance as 19th century Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib (1996, directed by Gulzar) in the TV series has attained iconic stature among Asian viewers.

In the theatre, Shah has directed and acted in a number of plays in both Hindi and English and has managed his theatre company, Motley, for the last twenty years. Some of his productions have toured throughout the United States. In 2001, he appeared at the Brooklyn Music Academy in Peter Brook's Hamlet. He played the title role of Cyrano at the National Theatre in England in 1985.

Shah's numerous awards include Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival (1984 for Paar), the Padma Shri, awarded by Indian Government (2003), The Sangeet Natak Akademi Purusker (awarded by the National Academy for Music and Dram) and two National awards and three filmfare awards (India's Oscar) for Best Actor.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Naseeruddin Shah Facts

BirthdayJuly 20, 1950 (71)

Selected Filmography

Not available.