Avtar Kishan Hangal, popularly known as A. K. Hangal, was an Indian film and stage actor and also an Indian freedom fighter (from 1929 to 1947). He was born into a Kashmiri Pandit family and spent most of his childhood days in Peshawar. He began his career in Hindi film industry at the age of fifty with the movie Teesri Kasam in 1966. He later became a character actor and some of his notable roles include Ram Shastri in Aaina, Rahim Chacha in Sholay, Bipinlal Pandey in Namak Haraam, Inder Sen in Shaukeen and Anokhelal in Manzil. He had acted in 16 films with Rajesh Khanna. In a career spanning over five decades he acted in around 225 Hindi films. A K Hangal was suffering from major respiratory problems and breathed his last on 26 August 2012.
A.K Hangal was born on 1st February 1914 to Pandit Hari Kishan Hangal. He spent mostly his childhood days and youth at his residence inside Reti Gate. During his days in Peshawar he also took part in local theatre. A.K Hangal worked as a tailor during the early part of his life and was also an active member in the Indian freedom movement from 1929 to 1947. He participated in the protests against Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in the North West Frontier Province. Hangal was also put behind the bars for three years for protesting against British rule. In 1936, he joined a theatre group called the ‘Sangeet Priya Mandal’ in Peshawar and continued to perform in several plays until 1946. A.K Hangal after spending three years in prison in Pakistan, shifted to Bombay in 1949 post independence. He worked with the theatre group IPTA along with Kaifi Azmi and Balraj Sahni. He later performed in several plays from 1949 to 1965 in India. A.K Hangal was suffering from respiratory disease and breathed his last on 26 August 2012.
A.K Hangal began his career in the Hindi film industry at the age of fifty in 1966 with Basu Bhattacharya's film Teesri Kasam in 1966. He later went on to play character roles like father or uncle of the hero/heroine or sometimes an oppressed old man. A.K Hangal is best remembered for his roles in the film like Heer Raanjha in1970, Shaukeen and Namak Haraam in 1981, Sholay in 1975 and Aaina in 1977. Other films like Arjun, Avtaar, Kora Kagaz, Tapasya, Chitchor, Chhupa Rustam, Bawarchi, Balika Badhu, Naram Garam and Guddi are also counted to be his best. He acted in 16 films with Rajesh Khanna in the lead role like Amar Deep, Aap Ki Kasam, Prem Bandhan, Naukri, Phir Wohi Raat, Thodisi Bewafaii, Aaj Ka M.L.A. Ram Avtar, Kudrat, Sautela Bhai and Bewafai. Some of his best performances in his later years were in the movies like Tere Mere Sapne (1997), Lagaan (2001) and Shararat (2002). He largely played positive roles in the movies but his negative roles in films like Manzil and Prem Bandhan became famous too.
A.K Hangal walked the ramp in a wheelchair on 8th February 2011 for fashion designer Riyaz Ganji’s summer line in Mumbai. Hangal in the early 2012, also gave his voice for the character of King Ugrasen in the animation film Krishna Aur Kans. His last appearance was in the television series Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon in May 2012.
Ill Health and Death:
A.K Hangal fractured his thigh bone from a fall in his bathroom and was admitted to the Asha Parekh Hospital Mumbai on 16th August 2012. As per reports he had to undergo a hip surgery but that could not take place as he was suffering from major respiratory problems. He breathed his last on 26 August 2012 at the age of 98. His last rites were performed at Pavan Hans crematorium in Mumbai.
Words and Wishes:
"An era comes to an end. Theatre and film were enriched by him."
“AK Hangal, passes away this morning!! A veteran, a gentleman, a congenial co artist and a master at his work.”
"Thank u AK Hangal Ji for all the cinematic memories... This year has been a huge loss for us.. My condolences to the family. RIP."
“A stalwart of Indian theatre and film is no more. RIP AK Hangal.”
“AK Hangal. Lifetime dedicated 2 d art of acting in theatre. Will always b remembered by his films.”
"In the death of A K Hangal, the Hindi film industry has lost great actor."
"In his demise, at the ripe old age of 95, Indian cinema has lost a towering personality, who was also a highly endearing human being.I convey my heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family."
Awards and Recognition:
A.K Hangal was honored with Padma Bhushan award by the Government of India in 2006 for his contribution to Hindi Cinema.
Son: Vijay & Entire Film Fraternity
(FAN OF Shri AVTAR KISHAN HANGAL)
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