Nana Patekar, an actor blessed with enormous acting skills, came into films because of Smita Patil.

Nana Patekar in a still from Aaj Ki Awaz (1984)

Nana Patekar is one of the best actors in the film industry, giving us some brilliant movies through his career, spread over three decades.

Nana Patekar, an actor blessed with enormous acting skills, came into films because of Smita Patil, who was already doing films and knew him from Pune. He had been reluctant but she insisted. He made his debut with a small role in Muzaffar Ali’s Smita Patil starrer Gaman (1978). He went onto to make brief appearances in several films but it wasn’t till his portrayal of Jagmohandas in Aaj Ki Awaz (1984) that he was really noticed.

Smita Patil took Patekar to Ravi Chopra for a role in Aaj Ki Awaz, and initially, he was offered a lousy role of one of the rapists. He said no and told them what kind of actor he was. he was annoyed and was leaving just when Smita came. She asked him, ‘Why are you going?’. He abused the person who had offered him that role. And then he got a better role which also was not great but he got recognised for that film.

Though Patekar had established himself as a gifted actor in the 1980s, he was yet to make an impact on mainstream audiences. His chilling performance as the manic underworld don Anna in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s award-winning film, Parinda (1989), brought him widespread recognition and ‘Anna’ became one of the most iconic villains of Indian cinema. The role also earned him the National Film Award and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor that year. His nuanced portrayal of the troubled and highly complex character ‘Pratap Narayan Tilak’ in Krantiveer (1994) brought him a second National Film Award, this time for Best Actor.

He is the only actor ever to win Filmfare Awards in the Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Villain categories, which endorses the fact that Nana Patekar is a versatile and multi talented actor.

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