his association with IPTA then, he was actively involved
in patriotism-related activities. It was for this,
that the government of India conferred the Padma Bhushan
to him in 2006. Known for his subtle performances,
Hangal saab was loved by one and all.
a long time, we both had the occasion of working together
again in the Rajesh Khanna-Shabana Azmi film Avatar
in which we both had important roles. Then we did
Sholay together but after that I had no chance to
work with him.
I remember when he was reminiscing about his past,
I asked him, "Hanagl saab, people know you as
A K Hangal, but please tell what does A and K mean.
That is when he said, "My name is Avtar Kishan
Hangal." With his demise, we have not only lost
a great actor but also a good human being. May his
soul rest in peace."
one may remember, Hangal played one of the three elderly
gentlemen who decide to go away to Goa for a while
to have some enjoyment in their late lifetime in Basu
Chatterjee's 1982 film Shaukeen. While in Goa, the
three men get in hilarious situations with Rati (Agnihotri)
as they try to impress her and try to get lucky with
was a kind of an offbeat role for Hangal saab and
that too with seasoned artistes like Ashok Kumar and
Utpal Dutt. Remembers Basu Chatterjee, "Never
did he feel out of place acting with the two veterans
and never did the two allowed him to feel out of place.
All the three gelled as a unit and acting wise, all
the three performed equally well.
saab was a versatile actor who did a variety of roles.
He did many films with me. Hangal saab was very dear
to me because it was me along with Basu Bhattacharya
who picked him up from his tailoring shop in Crawford
Market somewhere in 1862-63.
it was a pity that the funeral of Hagal saab was barely
attended by industry bigwigs. Hangal saab must have
moaned from his pyre, "Itna sannata kyon hain
actor AK Hangal, who had the rare ability to imbue
the smallest and the most ordinary of roles with quality
and dignity, passed away at a private hospital in
Santa Cruz, Mumbai following health complications
caused by a recent hip fracture. "He was not
keeping well for quite some time," his son Vijay
told a news agency. He was 98.
in a crowded multi-starrer like 'Sholay' (1975), Hangal's
cameo of the blind Rahim chacha stood out. Many still
remember his dialogue, Yeh itna sannata kyun hai bhai.
His emotional speech, on learning that his son has
been killed by the dacoits, is among the most moving
moments in the film.
was a brilliant and versatile actor who could modulate
his voice very effectively," says director Basu
Chatterjee, who gave the Sialkot-born actor his most
shaded roles in films such as 'Manzil' (1979) and
'Shaukeen' (1982). In Manzil, Hangal played a suave
crook and in Shaukeen, he was one of the three lecherous
old men out to have adult fun. With his death, all
the three protagonists- Ashok Kumar and Utpal Dutt
being the other two - in the film are gone.
director Rahul Rawail, for whom Hangal acted in 'Arjun'
(1985) and 'Dacait' (1987)," "He had a complex
role in Arjun, where he played Sunny Deol's father.
But he was brilliant in the role of a man in conflict
amidst a rebellious son and a domineering wife."
was 50 plus when he made his Hindi film debut playing
the brief role of Raj Kapoor's elder brother in 'Teesri
Kasam' (1966). Another early role was that of a ruthless
businessman who wants to build multi-storeys over
jhuggi-jhopris and tries to lure a journalist to join
his fold in KA Abbas' 'Bambai Raat Ki Bahon Mein'
best roles happened in the 1970s and 1980s when the
actor was a regular fixture in dozens of movies. He
played some of his more distinctly-etched characters
in Hrishikesh Mukherjee movies such as 'Bawarchi'
(1972) where he played a clerk with a weakness for
the evening tipple and 'Namak Haraam' (1974) where
he was an honest trade unionist. The actor is survived
by his only son, Vijay.