He has been the flag bearer of comedy in Hindi Films. An actor who started his career from a young age one cannot imagine.
His life was full of struggle and hardships from the age of 7-8 and grabbing every opportunity that came his way, he became a household name in India when it comes to comedy in Bollywood Movies.
Jagdeep is his film name, his real name is Sayed Istiaq Ahmed Jafri.
Jagdeep had 5 brothers and 2 sisters. He was the youngest among all brothers and sisters. The difference between his eldest brother and Jagdeep was of approximately 35 year.
His father was an Advocate who passed away when Jadgeep was very young.
We all know him by his popular role-Soorma Bhopali
When he was very young he travelled to Karachi with his mother to see his elder brother who requested them to stay with them and remain in Karachi but his mother refused the offer.
She along with Jagdeep travelled to India amidst the horrible riot that was going during the Partition of India.
She along with Jagdeep came to Mumbai to be with her elder brother but later they had to leave the place and had nowhere to live.
She and Jagdeep had to spend the life after that as homeless on the roads of Mahim-an area in Mumbai.
Who knew life will be totally different going forward.
Jagdeep was just 7-8 years old. He started selling combs, toys etc on the streets of Mumbai so that he could earn some money to help his mother & gave up on studies too.
Some film crew guy spotted him on the street along with other children and offered them a role in the movie ‘Afsana’.
It was BR Chopra’s first film as Director wherein Yash Chopra was the assistant director
Jagdeep was supposed to be in the play of the movie along with other children and as he was the only one who could speak the dialogues in Urdu which the director was impressed with, he was offered double fee for speaking the dialogue.
The news of a child speaking fluent urdu spread like fire. He became a famous child artist after this movie.
Jagdeep has played in more than 400 films in his life time.
He was offered the lead role for the movie ‘Junglee’ and ‘Dharamputra’ which he could not do because of personal reasons.
By the time ‘Sholay’ came, Jagdeep was already an establish Comedian.
He played the role of Comedian for the first time in the 1968 movie ‘Brahmachari’ and the movie established his new image.
There are hardly any actors in Bollywood who have managed to do the transition from main lead Hero to a successful comedian who was in demand for many years to come.
From the Soorma Bhopali of ‘Sholay’ to the movie ‘Soorma Bhopali’
He went for the shoot of ‘Sholay’ and came back after 4-5 days of waiting as it took a lot of time for his turn. ‘Sholay’ was multistarer and hence it took a lot of time before he could go on the set.
When he reached home and told his wife about the same, she immediately asked him to go back as it was an opportunity he could not ignore.
Javed Akhar who had written the movie along with Salim Khan called Jadgeep and told him that the role of Soorma Bhopali can only be played by him and no one else. Finally, he became a part of the movie and rest is all history.
Such was the popularity of the character Soorma Bhopali which he played in the movie ‘Sholay’ that he ended up making a film by the name ‘Soorma Bhopali’ released in 1988.
The film was shot in Bhopal city of Madhya Pradesh and was a hit in the region.
It was directed and played by Jagdeep and produced by his son Naved Jafri.
The meeting with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru:
Jagdeep started his fim career at the age of 11 with the 1951 movie ‘Afsana’ as a child artist. Then he did 5 more movies as child artist namely ‘Ab Dilli Door Nahi’ & ‘Do beegha Zameen’ in 1953, ‘Munna’ & ‘Aar Paar’ in 1954 and ‘Hum panchi ek daal ke’ in 1957.
He was much appreciated in the role he played in the movie ‘Hum panchi ek daal ke’.
The Prime Minister of India ‘Shri Jawaharlal Nehru’ was so impressed with the movie that he invited the entire cast to meet him in the Prime Minister’s House.
He started distributing Red Roses to every Child artist and by the time Jadgeep’s turn came he was exhausted with the Roses and ended up giving him his ‘Staff’-the stick he used to carry as a token of appreciation.
From Child Artist to Lead Actor to a successful Comedian:
Jagdeep did his first movie as lead Actor in the year 1957 called ‘Bhabhi’ . The same production house that made Bhabhi had a 3 movie contract with Jagdeep and released ‘Barkhaa in 1959, ‘Bhauraniyan’ in 1968 & ‘Bidaai’ in 1974.
Jadgeep sir was given Lifetime Achievement Award by International Indian Film Award (IIFA) in 2019 for his contribution to the film industry of India-Bollywood.
Jadgeep is an exception who started his career as a child artist , went on to become a lead actor and finally diversified to a successful comedian who had his own unique style.
The audience loved his new avatar of Comedian.
There are some of the popular songs that he featured in like the “Chali Chali re Patang meri Chali re”, “Chal ud jaa re panchi” both are popular numbers from his first movie ‘Bhabhi’ and “hum panchi ek daal ke” from the 1957 movie ‘Hum Panchi Ek daal Ke”
Both Naved and Jaaved have the influence of the comedian in Jagdeep sir and are popular comedians and Actors today.
While both are good comedians, Naved got into production & editing with ’Boogie Woogie’ as his prime project which went on for 17 years on TV as the longest running Dance Show on Indian Television and Jaaved is a well known versatile Voice Over Artist, Comedian, Actor, Dancer, Producer and Director.
Jagdeep was a workaholic who worked in movies from 1951as ‘Afsana’ his first film till 2017 Masti nahi sasti’ as his last. That is total of 66 years of contribution to Hindi movies and Bollywood.
Definitely ‘Jagdeep’ is the synonym & Legend of Comedy of Hindi film Industry.