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Feroze Khan believed in living life king size

Making his way into the hearts of film lovers with the fast-paced movie Qurbani, flamboyant actor and filmmaker Feroz Khan was known for his intense romantic roles and unique action sequences.

entertainment Updated: Apr 27, 2009 15:01 IST

Making his way into the hearts of film lovers with the fast-paced movie Qurbani, flamboyant actor and filmmaker Feroz Khan was known for his intense romantic roles and unique action sequences.

Action was his forte and Feroz Khan, who believed in living king size, was always associated with excitement and thrill.

Right from his childhood he knew he wanted to become a movie star like his matinee idols Douglas Fairbanks, Tony Curtis and Clark Gable. Even at the age of 13, he would dress up like his cowboy heroes in leather boots, Stentsons, riding bareback on horses.

Born on September 25, 1939 to an Afghan father and an Iranian mother, the actor made his debut in 1960 with Didi.

The brother of Sanjay Khan, Sameer Khan and Akbar Khan, Feroz struggled for five years playing second lead in most movies before he was noticed in Oonche Log, his first major hit.

He then went on to woo audience with his portrayal of a sacrificing lover in the musical Arzoo which also starred Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore.

The 1969 film Aadmi aur Insaan fetched him his first Filmfare award of Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He also starred with his brother Sanjay Khan in another hit film Mela.

The actor also produced and directed many films. Notable among them was Dharmatama in 1975-76. Inspired by Hollywood film, The Godfather, Dharmatama was the first Indian movie to be shot in Afghanistan.

But the actor was best remebered for the 1980 blockbuster Qurbani opposite Zeenat Aman. The money spinner, which did business of over one crore, was not only the charismatic actor's biggest hit but also launched the singing career of Pakistani singer Nazia Hassan. The memorable Aap Jaisa Koi track of the film was a rage in the 80s.

Feroz was also one of the rare action stars who excelled in socials like Arzoo, Safar, Oonche Log and Admi aur Insaan.

Despite co-starring with superstars of the day like Rajendra Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Raaj Kumar and Ashok Kumar, he managed to win his share of appreciation, applause and awards.

So polished was Khan's performance as the possessive, insanely jealous and suicidally suspicious husband of the beautiful Sharmila Tagore in Safar that during the shooting film industry insiders would say that it gave jitters to superstar Rajesh Khanna.

Khan's popularity with women grew with the popular number in the film Jo Tum ko pasand wohi baat kahenge. In Phani Mujumbar's Oonche log, Khan was pitted against his idols Raaj Kumar and Ashok Kumar. But, the actor pulled off sensitive low key performance surprising every body.

The actor, who took the screen name Rajesh or Rakesh in most of his films, also make a mark with films like Janbaaz and Dayavan.

Khan also starred in a English movie Tarzan goes Indian produced in 1962, pairing with Simi Garewal.

He launched his son Fardeen Khan with the 1998 film Prem Aggan, which, however, bombed at the box office.

He went on to make another film starring his son Janasheen. The film also marked his comeback.

Khan, a racing buff and owner of several horses, married Sundari, a designer in 1965 and had two children Laila and Fardeen. After 20 years of marriage, he divorced Sundari.

The actor was known for his fascination for horses and his early films were action specials. He was labeled as "stunt hero" and was one of the few top riders of the film industry besides Sunil Dutt, Dharmendra and Vinod Khanna.

He was at his stylish best astride a stallion and slinging a gun. This was an image of him which impressed his fans right up to the 70s and films like Khote Sikkey and Kala Sona. Even in his home productions Dharmatma, Qurbani and Jaabaaz, the horse remained an enduring image.

He raised racing horses in his farm house in Bangalore, where he breathed his last..I just love to see them run. Horses are part of him," he often said.

Khan's favourite sport was hunting till 1973 and would always tell friends how he shot 14 panthers and narrowly missed a tiger once and was happy about it. "I loved hunting but it was always the chase I enjoyed not the kill," he would say.

Feroz was last seen in Welcome where he played the underworld don RDX. He earned the wrath of Pakistani government for his comments during a visit to the neighbouring country. When Welcome was released in Pakistan, the censor board there asked for deleting Khan's character and releasing the film.

A couple of years ago, when sequels and remakes were order of the day in the industry, he announced remake of Qurbani. However, his wish now remains unfulfilled.

Also read:

Bollywood actor Feroz Khan dies

First Published: Apr 27, 2009 12:50 IST