Amitabh Bachchan is the biggest star is Bollywood. He is often regarded as one of the most influential and respected actors in the history of Indian cinema. However, a lot many don’t know that late actor Mehmood Ali has a major role in his success. Scroll down to know more.
Ali remains one of India’s most iconic comic actors. The legendary actor, who made the audience laugh with his work began his comedy gold with Rajendra Kumar’s film, Sasural, in 1961. As he left people in splits with his films, opulence became the way of life.
During a conversation with Filmfare in 2015, Mehmood Ali’s brother Anwar Ali said, “He lived like a king both in terms of his lifestyle but also his large-heartedness. He looked after our extended kutumb of 150 people. He loved cars and at one point, he owned a fleet of 24 cars including a Stingray, Dodge, Impala, MG, Jaguar and others.”
Not just that, the veteran actor was also instrumental in helping other actors pave their way to glory. And his most favourite protege being Amitabh Bachchan. Ali saw a shining future in Big B before anybody could and he even called himself as Bachchan’s second father as he was the one who taught Big B how to make money.
Mehmood Ali got Amitabh the leading role in Bombay To Goa, a film that got him noticed by the iconic duo Salim-Javed. This led to the 1973 film Zanjeer which became Bachchan’s turning point in his career.
Amitabh Bachchan too remembered Mehmood when he passed away in 2004. The veteran actor in his blog wrote, “He always helped in establishing myself as an actor. Mehmood Bhai was one of the helpers in the graph early in my career. He was the first producer who gave me the lead role – in ‘Bombay to Goa’. After several consecutive flops, I made a plan to go back home, then Mehmood Sahab’s brother Anwar stopped me.”
As reported by Indian Express, when a radio broadcaster asked Mehmood Ali about his horses, he proudly said, “The fastest horse is Amitabh. The day he picks up speed he will leave everyone behind.” However, the affection soured in the years to come by. He often expressed the bitterness in the relationship with Amitabh in interviews but always wished him well and hoped that he scaled greater heights.
In an interview, Mehmood acknowledged that Amitabh Bachchan had great respect for him but one of his actions shocked him. He said, “A man who has success, has two fathers—the biological father, and the one who taught him to make money. The biological one is Bachchan saab of course, and the one who taught him, is me, who gave him a place to stay, and got him films. He respects me a lot, if he is sitting and he would hear my voice, he would instantly get up.”
The legendary actor added, “Although Amit respects me a lot, one of his actions shocked me a bit. When his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan fell, I went to Amitabh Bachchan’s house to see him, but when I had bypass surgery, Amitabh came to Breach Candy Hospital with his father but he did not come to see me. Amitabh proved there that the real father is real while the fake father is fake. He didn’t even meet me, wish me, or send me a get-well-soon card, a small flower, even though he knew I was in this hospital. I forgave him and didn’t wish him ill. I hope he doesn’t do this with anyone else.”