The year was 1973 and a young actor made his presence felt in a supporting role alongside stalwart Balraj Sahni in M.S Sathyu’s Garam Hawa (1973). The movie marked the birth of the Indian New Wave/Parallel cinema in Hindi film industry. A small role in Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977) paved way for a leading role in Muzaffar Ali’s Gaman (1978) and under the Yash Chopra banner, Noorie (1979).
Turn of the decade saw him move towards commercial and the result was what is still considered a landmark movie in Hindi Cinema, Sai Paranjapee’s Chashme Buddoor (1981). The movie also saw him form a long association with Deepti Naval in slice-of-life movies like Saath Saath (1982), Katha (1983), Rang Berangi (1983) & Kisi Se Na Kehna (1983). Katha, infact had him play a negative comic role (Akshay Kumar pulled off something similar in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi) in an underrated performance that showed his range as an actor. Social dramas like Bazaar (1982) & Lorie (1984) and comedies like Lakhon Ki Baat (1984) & Ab Ayega Maza (1984) kept him busy as an actor. T.V Series like Shrikant (1987), Chamatkar (1988), Ji Mantriji (2001) and the very successful celebrity talk-show Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai (2002) made him a household name. His last innings as an actor saw him in a string of roles ranging from a sports coach (Lahore) to a minister (Shanghai) and as Ranbir Kapoor’s father (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani).
He was one of his kind actors who was known for his calm demeanour both onscreen and off it. He was the original ‘boy next door’ of the 80’s. A talented actor, an accomplished theatre personality and above all a great human being
‘This’ actor will always very remembered as Farooq Shaikh.