Govinda is undoubtedly one of Bollywood's top actors, but unlike others, the man has gained his title through comedy, and not usual heroism, in his films.
Govinda was born on December 21st, 1963 in Virar, Mumbai. His father, Arun Kumar Ahuja, was born in Gujranwala, Punjab - now a part of Pakistan. Arun moved to Mumbai in 1937 after veteran producer Mehboob Khan's convincing.
Ahuja's films were successfull hits with the likes of Ann and Mother India to his name, and it was during one of his hit films - Savera, to be precise - that led to his marriage to Govinda's mother, actress Nirmala Devi. However, the actor's health began to rapidly fail and he died at the age of 57. This put the responsibility on Nirmala Devi to bring up their six children, of whom Govinda was the youngest, and run the household.
Govinda studied in the Annasabh Vartak College in Vasai, Maharashtra. He graduated in commerce and when he failed to get a job, his father suggested that he work in films.
Govinda's career started after he made a promo of himself on a VHS cassette, thus receiving him many offers for advertisements. However, his big break came with Tan-Badan, a movie that was produced his uncle, Anand.
His second film, Love 86, began shooting in June, 1985, and by July that same year, he had signed nearly 40 films. Consequently, the 80s and 90s saw many hit films from the actor.
However, with the arrival of the new millenium, things didn't looks as good for the actor. With the likes of Khullam Khulla Pyar Karen (2005) and Ssukh (2005), most of his films proved to be box office disasters, with the only acception of 2000's Shikari where he was critically acclaimed for his role. Govinda's career continued to plummet down and it is assumed that much of this is in part due to his being voted as Member of Parliament for Mumbai North in 2004.
However, Govinda made a comeback in late 2006 with Bhagam Bhag, co-starring Akshay Kumar. The film was a commerical success, and this was followed by Partner (2007) and Life Partner (2009), which were also huge hits. The multi-starrer Salaam-E-Ishq (2007) did not fair too well at the box office but it gained Govinda praise from many. More recently, he was seen in Raavan (2010) where he may have played a small role, but he was appreciated greatly.
Did you know...
- His real name is Govind Arun Ahuja. He has six nephews and two nieces in the industry. His mother's real name was Nazeem, who was born a Muslim but she converted to Hinduism.
- His nickname is 'Chi Chi' which means 'small finger' in Punjabi, the language that was spoken in his house.