Johnny Lever
Johnny Lever
JohnnyLever.jpg
Johnny Lever in 2013
Birth name John Rao Prakash Rao Janumala
Born (1957-08-14) 14 August 1957 (age 60)
Kanigiri, Andhra Pradesh, India[1]
Nationality Indian
Children Jamie Lever
Jesse John Lever
Parent(s) Prakash Rao Janumala (father)
Karunamma Janumala (mother)
Relative(s) Jimmy Moses (brother)

Johnny Lever (born 14 August 1957)[2] is an Indian film actor and one of the most noted comedians in Hindi cinema. Lever is one of the first stand-up comedians in India.[3] Lever has received thirteen Filmfare Awards nominations in Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role, and has won the award twice, for his works in Deewana Mastana (1997), and Dulhe Raja (1998). He began his career in 1984, and has acted in more than three hundred Bollywood films.[4][5]

Lever is one of India's highly respected actors and has a huge fan following that includes many big celebrities[]. He has been given many awards for his contribution to Indian Cinema[].

Early life

Lever was born in a Telugu Christian family,[6] to Prakash Rao Janumala, an operator in Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) plant[7] and Karunamma Janumala in Prakasam, Andhra Pradesh, India. He was brought up in Mumbai's King's Circle area (Dharavi). His mother tongue is Telugu.[8] He is the eldest in the family consisting of three sisters and two brothers (including his younger brother Jimmy Moses).

Lever studied in Andhra education society English high school[9] till the seventh grade but couldn't study further because of financial problems in his family. He decided to leave school and started working odd jobs, such as selling pens on the streets of Mumbai by imitating Bollywood stars and dancing to the songs of Bollywood stars. He also spent his early years in Yakutpura, an old city of Hyderabad where he learnt the unique style of comedy acting.[10]

During a Hindustan Lever Ltd company function, he mimicked a few senior officers, and from that day on, the workers said he was not John Rao but was Johnny Lever. When he later joined the industry, he decided to keep the name.[11]

Entertainment career

He started to perform stand-up comedy in musical shows (orchestras), Tabassum Hit Parade and after earning fame, joined the group of Kalyanji-Anandji, a legendary music direction duo. Even before joining Hindustan Lever, he was giving stage performances. Because of his growing absenteeisms and since he was earning well from stage shows, he quit HLL in the year 1981. He did a lot of shows and world tours with them, one of his first big tours being with Amitabh Bachchan in 1982. At one of his shows, actor Sunil Dutt noticed his talent and potential and offered him his first movie Dard Ka Rishta.

During this period, he also did a few commercials for Kachua chhap incense, directed by Shekhar Kapur. In 1986, he performed in a charity show called "Hope 86", in front of members of the Hindi film industry as a filler and was loved by the audience. His talent was recognised, which resulted in producer Gul Anand offering him the film Jalwa alongside Naseeruddin Shah.[12][13]

Film career

1980s

Lever got his first break in Tum Par Hum Qurban in which the famous TV and stage compère and yesteryears actress Baby Tabassum launched her son Hoshang Govil as the leading man, and then with the film Dard Ka Rishta, thanks to Tabassum and the late Sunil Dutt. Since then, he has acted in more than 350 films including films like Tezaab, Kasam, Khatarnak and Kishen Kanhaiya . After Dard Ka Rishta, he was seen in Jalwa with Naseeruddin Shah.

1990s

His first major success came with Baazigar, and after that he was seen in movies as a supporting actor/comedian. Despite being busy with his movie roles, he continued to do live shows. One of his most memorable live performances was an impersonation of Michael Jackson at the 1999 Filmfare Awards. His most acclaimed performance was the character of "Babulal" in the film, Baazigar, directed by Abbas-Mustan[]. He is also remembered for some of his other famous characters, like "Chotta Chattri", "Aslam Bhai", etc. His performance in the film, Judaai and his dialogue in the movie, Abba Dabba Jabba are also notable.[14]

2010s

He also acted in a Tulu movie, Rang. He also speaks Tulu fluently, influenced by his neighbours in Mumbai.[15] His first Tamil feature film was Anbirkku Alavillai[16] produced by SIMPL (Shepherd India Media Pvt. Ltd.), released in 2011. He also had a special appearance in one Telugu feature film, Criminal directed by Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt.[17]

Television career

Lever also appeared on Zee TV in his own show, Johny Aala Re.[18] In 2007, he appeared as a judge on the stand-up reality show Comedy Circus.

He is the president of Cine And T.V. Artist Association (CINTAA), which has its own television show called Superstars ka Jalwa on Star Plus. He is also the president of MAAM (Mimicry Artist Association Mumbai), and has done thousands of live shows all over the world. His younger brother, Jimmy Moses, is also a comedian and mimicry artist.[19]

Personal life

He is married to Sujatha and has two children, a daughter Jamie who is a stand-up comedian too and a son Jesse.[20]

Lever is a practicing Christian. When asked about his transition, Lever replied:

It was God's will. I had always been a religious person, but one incident changed my life. My son was diagnosed with cancer. I was helpless and turned to God for help. I stopped working in films and spent all my time praying for him. Ten days later, when he was taken for a test, the doctors were surprised because the cancer had vanished. It was the beginning of a new life for me.[21]

Controversies

In 1998, Lever was convicted and sentenced to seven days imprisonment for disrespecting the Indian National Anthem, constitution and the flag at a private function hosted by Anees Ibrahim Kaskar, brother of global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, head of the infamous D-Company.[22] However, he was relieved of all charges subsequently[].

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1981 Yeh Rishta Na Tootay
1985 Tum Par Hum Quarban
1986 Love 86 Uttam
Main Balwaan
1987 Jalwa Muthu (The Masseur)
1988 Ghar Mein Ram Gali Mein Shyam Srivastav's Servant
Kasam
Hatya Blacksmith
Aakhri Adalat Havaldar
Hero Hiralal Police constable
Tezaab Kainchi choot
1989 Suryaa
Ilaaka
Mujrim Shankar's PA
Jaadugar Nilkant
Kala Bazar Kutti Chai Walla
Chaalbaaz Johny Baba Tantrik Special appearance
Main Azaad Hoon Protester Uncredited
1990 Kafan
Khatarnak Police inspector Marathi Film
Bandh Darwaza Special appearance
Kishen Kanhaiya Lobo
Raeeszada
1991 Ajooba Kudrat Ka
Vishnu-Devaa Havaldar No. 1
Narsimha Tempo Dada
1992 Jungle Ka Beta
Geet Milan Ke Gaate Rehenge
Khiladi Anna Pillai
Humla Shiva's Friend
Chamatkar Cricket Commentator
1993 Insaniyat Ke Devta Muthuswamy
Teri Payal Meree Geet
Yugandhar (1993 film)
Aasoo Bane Angaarey
Anari Bablu
Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja Sub Inspector Rang Birangi
Anmol Himself Special appearance
Santan Kalia
Baazigar Babulal
Aulad Ke Dushman Johny
Bhagyawan
1994 Masti
Mahakaal
Zamane Se Kya Darna
Kanoon
Anjaam Champa Chameli
Saajan Ka Ghar
Ekka Raja Rani Guruji (Dance master)
Juaari Salim Tension
Prem Yog
Main Khiladi Tu Anari Dhansukh
Criminal Special appearance
Yaar Ghaddar Police Inspector
Mr Azad
1995 Inteqam Ke Sholey
Dilbar (1994 film)
Karan Arjun Linghaiyya
Rock Dancer Police Inspector
Ram Shastra Reporter Raja
Haqeeqat Tony
1996 Jaan Damru
Himmatwar
Hahakar Chamcha
Daraar Hari
Indian PaneerSelvam (Tamil version)

Subhar Lal (Hindi version)

Dubbed in Hindi as Hindustani
Bhishma Natwar
Sapoot Deva
Raja Hindustani Balvant Singh
Dushman Duniya Ka Headmaster
1997 Jodidar Agarbatti / Pens / Bangles / Sarees salesman
Daayen
Ghunghat Pandit Vishwanat
Judaai Hiralal
Auzaar Peter
Kaalia Khan Dada
Himalay Putra Joe
Agni Morcha
Koyla Shanker's Friend
Do Ankhen Barah Hath Rickshaw Walla
Yes Boss Madhav Advani, aka MAD
Judge Mujrim Havaldar Amar Lokhande
Krishna Arjun Rocky
Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi Bandaged patient on street
Deewana Mastana Ghafoor
Ishq Ranjit's brother-in-law
1998 Barsaat Ki Raat
Yeh Aashiqui Meri
Miss 420 Tony Fernandes
Ustadon Ke Ustad
Aakrosh: Cyclone Of Anger Gopi
Keemat: They Are Back Sub-Inspector Ultappan/Kirappan
Aunty No. 1
Jiyaala
Mard
Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai Mahesh
Achanak Joni/Moni/Toni Kapoor
Dulhe Raja Bankhey (Hotel Manager)
Kareeb Bighe Laal
Iski Topi Uske Sar Gabbar Singh/Mogamba/John Lobo
Barood Presenter
Tirchhi Topiwale Kadak K. Pillay
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Col. Almeida, Camp Manager
Soldier (1998 Indian film) Mohan/Sohan
Wajood Inspector Rahim Khan
1999 Heeralal Pannalal Heeralal (Double role)
Ganga Ki Kasam (1999 film)
Dulhan Banoo Main Teri Jack
Benaam Munna Mobile
Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain Sunny Goyal
Daag-The Fire Sundar
Laawaris Gaflet
International Khiladi Focus
Anari No. 1 Daler Mehndi
Silsila Hai Pyar Ka Johny
Sirf Tum Niranjan
Baadshah Ramlal
Hello Brother Havaldar Hatella
Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain Sattu
Khoobsurat Special appearance in a song
Jaanwar Bajrangi
2000 Krodh (film) Prem
Jwalamukhi (2000 film)
Hadh Kar Di Aapne Father/Son Lawyer Team
Tera Jadoo Chal Gayaa Maggi
Meri Jung Ka Elaan
Beti No.1 Mulayamchand 'Mullu'
Kaali Topi Laal Rumaal Nanhey
Kunwara Gopal
Mela Inspector Pakkad Singh
Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai Inspector Parab
Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge Tour Manager Chirkund
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani Pappu Junior
Badal Gulel Singh Rangoli
Dil Hi Dil Mein College Professor Jack (Hindi version)
Hum To Mohabbat Karega Kutti
Joru Ka Ghulam Kanhaiya
Deewane Okay
Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai Chatterjee
Fiza Laughing Club Comic
Shikari Jafrani Sindhi Businessman
Aaghaaz Rajni Deva
Raju Chacha Jaddu
2001 Farz Informer named 'Taxi'
Aashiq
Chori Chori Chupke Chupke Pappu Bhai
Censor Vikramjeet's First Assistant
Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega Aslam Bhai
Lajja
Nayak TV Cameraman Topi
Ajnabee Banu Pradhan (B.P.)
Dial 100
Asoka Magadha Soldier
Arjun Devaa
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham Haldiram
Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa Appu Khote
2002 Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare Subramaniam
Yeh Dil Aashiqanaa
Yeh Mohabbat Hai Jaggi
Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge Pakhandee Baba
Angaar - The Fire
Badmash No.1
Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai Paresh Chaval (Painter)
Awara Paagal Deewana Chhota Chhatri
Humraaz Mr. Darshan
Jaani Dushman Parwana
Yeh Kaisi Mohabbat Paajal
Annarth Ben Bose, Music Director
Kehta Hai Dil Baar Baar Natwar
Karz - The Burden of Truth Juggi
Chalo Ishq Ladaaye
2003 Kucch To Hai Popatlal
Khushi Milestone
Kaash Aap Hamare Hote Native Indian Black Face
Indian Babu Principal Special appearance
Kaise Kahoon Ke Pyaar Hai Sandwich
Andaaz G. I. Joe
Chalte Chalte Nandu (The Roadside Drunkard)
Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon Johnny
Aisaa Kyon
Koi Mil Gaya Chelaram Sukhwani
Market
Janasheen Johnny Chen
2004 God Only Knows! Road Babe
Hatya: The Murder Paid Mourner
Aabra Ka Daabra Maneklal
2005 Meri Biwi Ka Jawab Nahin Chitra Gupta
Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav Yadav
Navra Maza Navsacha Marathi Film
Khullam Khulla Pyaar Karen Pashabhai
Deewane Huye Paagal Murgan
2006 Aisa Kyon Hota Hai?
Banana Brothers
Saawan... The Love Season Akhil Rao
36 China Town KK
Phir Hera Pheri Munna
Chashmebahadur
Sandwich
2007 Fool n Final Puttu Pilot
2008 Thela No. 501
Race Max (The marriage bureau chief) Special appearance
Khallbali: Fun Unlimited
Nidar - The Fearless
Aap Jaisa Koi Nahin
Mr Tikdambaaz
Paying Guests Ballu Ji
2009 Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge Parvej Asharraf ' Champa'/Daku Rabbar Singh
All the Best: Fun Begins Tobu
Aao Wish Karein Hitchchock
De Dana Dan Kala Krishna Murari
2010 Dulha Mil Gaya Krish
Bhavnaon Ko Samjho Vivaah Marriage Bureau
Prem Kaa Game Ramnik Chedda
Khatta Meetha Anshuman
Golmaal 3 Pappi Bhai
2011 Love Mein Ghum Sukhia Pakistani film
Yamla Pagla Deewana Jeweller
Anbirkku Alavillai Johnny Bhai
Masti Express
Bin Bulaye Baraati Sajjan Singh
Tell Me O Khuda Pandurang P.
2012 Players MC
Chaar Din Ki Chandni Paan Singh
Housefull 2 Vishwas Patil
Deewana Main Deewana Husband
Khiladi 786 Inspector Bhalerao Kambli
Savior
2013 Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 Bunty
Boss Zorawar Singh
Singh Saab the Great Gulwinder
2014 Santa Banta
Entertainment Habibulla
My Father Godfather Youtube short film
Rang Guest Role Tulu film
2015 Dilwale Mani Bhai
2017 Machine Darpan Gopal
Pappa Tamne Nahi Samjaay + Gujarati Film

Playback singer

Year Title Song Notes
1989 Chaalbaaz "Bhoot Raja"
1995 Ravan Raaj "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Sakht Sakht"
1998 Achanak
2001 Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa "Aamdani Atthanni"

Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1997 Raja Hindustani Star Screen Award for Best Comedian Won
1998 Deewana Mastana Filmfare Best Comedian Award Won
1999 Dulhe Raja Won
2002 Love Ke Liye Kuchh Bhi Karega Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Comic Role Won

See also

References

  1. ^ "Johnny Lever". www.imdb.com. Retrieved 2015. 
  2. ^ "Johnny Lever-IMDb". Retrieved . 
  3. ^ Shyam Benegal; William Van Der Heide (12 June 2006). Bollywood Babylon: Interviews With Shyam Benegal. Berg. pp. 196-. ISBN 978-1-84520-405-1. Retrieved 2012. 
  4. ^ Comedy is serious business: Johnny Lever - The Hindu
  5. ^ Johnny Lever feels his talent is under-utilised - Hindustan Times
  6. ^ VHP threatens agitation against actors Nagma, Johnny Lever
  7. ^ "Johny Lever: In the film industry, there is dosti but no dost". www.indiatimes.com. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 2014. 
  8. ^ "Find Bollywood Actor Johnny Lever Filmography, Movies, Pictures and Videos". Jointscene.com. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ ""Try Jesus" - Johnny Lever (Film Actor)". www.hisprayerhouse.org. His Prayer House. Retrieved 2014. 
  10. ^ Interview: "I have learnt a lot from the UK" - Johnny Lever | Bollywood News UK
  11. ^ "This johnny's levered to fame". www.financialexpress.com. Indian Express Newspaper (Bombay) Ltd. Retrieved 2014. 
  12. ^ Johnny Lever on Phalke Awards
  13. ^ Johny Lever: The missing comic in Hindi films | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
  14. ^ "Johnny Lever Filmography". Dishant.com. Retrieved . 
  15. ^ "Mangalore: Popular comedian Johnny Lever shoots for Tulu movie". daijiworld. Daijiworld Media Pvt Ltd Mangalore. Retrieved 2014. 
  16. ^ [1] Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ BNB NEWS -MAHESH BHATT & JOHNY LEVER JOINT SOUND SEMINAR. - Mahesh Bhatt Videos : Firstpost Topic - Page 4
  18. ^ "Johny Aala Re, Bollywood comedian Johnny Lever, Zee TV show on Sify Max". Sify.com. Retrieved . 
  19. ^ "Johnny Lever, Bollywood Johnny Lever, Johnny Lever Movies". Surfindia.com. 7 January 1950. Retrieved . 
  20. ^ "Johnny Lever's kid is college fest fave". Hindustantimes.com. 14 August 2010. Retrieved . 
  21. ^ John, Ali (April 17, 2012). "Johnny Lever turns preacher". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2014. 
  22. ^ "Tribune article". Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved . 

External links



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