The 83rd Birth Anniversary of Manmohan Desai, the Indian film producer and owner of Paramount Studios was commemorated on 26 February 2020.

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Manmohan Desai Biography

Manmohan Desai was born on 26 February 1937 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. His father Kikubhai Desai was a film director, producer and writer. Kikubhai directed films like Burkhawali (1936), Taranhaar (1937), Sinhal Dweep Ki Sundari (1937), The Golden Gang (1939) and Sheik Chilli (1942). Manmohan’s younger brother Subhash Desai is also a producer in the film industry. He has a son Ketan Desai, a film producer and director who has also worked as an actor and production designer.

Desai, who was an alumnus of the St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, had a private dream of winning an Oscar someday. He mostly directed Amitabh Bachchan in his films which all turned out to be huge hits. Desai allowed Bachchan for limitless improvisation, which resulted in a handful of popular Bollywood entertainers including the evergreen Amar Akbar Anthony. Most of the hit films he directed have the popular theme of ‘Lost and Found’.

Manmohan Desai Top Hits

Desai was best known for making some of the hit films in Bollywood including 1963 romantic comedy film Bluffmaster, starring Shammi Kapoor, Saira Banu, Pran and Lalita Pawar, 1968 film Kismat starring Biswajeet, Babita, Helen and Kamal Mehra, 1970 action comedy film Sacha Jhutha starring Rajesh Khanna, Mumtaz and Vinod Khanna, 1972 action film Bhai Ho To Aisa starring Jeetendra, Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha, 1977 folklore film Dharam-Veer starring Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Zeenat Aman and Neetu Singh, 1977 action comedy film Amar Akhbar Anthony starring Vinod Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Parveen Babi and Neetu Singh, 1983 action comedy film Coolie starring Amitabh Bachchan in the title role and Rishi Kapoor, Rati Agnihotri, Kader Khan, Waheeda Rehman, Suresh Oberoi and Puneet Issar in supporting roles, 1981 action comedy film Naseeb starring Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Rishi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Reena Roy, Kim Yashpal, Pran, Kader Khan, Amjad Khan, Prem Chopra, Shakti Kapoor, Amrish Puri and Yusuf Khan, and 1985 film action film Mard starring Amitabh Bachchan and Amrita Singh.

He produced his son Ketan Desai’s 1993 film Anmol starring Manisha Koirala and Rishi Kapoor. Desai worked with the superstars like Shammi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Jeetendra, Rajesh Khanna etc.

Manmohan Desai Career

Desai started his career as a director and producer of the movie Chhalia which was released in 1960. He got established in the film industry for making family movies. Most of the films were under the genre known as ‘Masala’ movies. His film Chhalia became a critically acclaimed and commercially successful film. Following its success, he went on to direct and produce more films in Hindi.

Desai had a long career of 29 years in which he produced 13 massive hits. Amitabh Bachchan and Desai shared a good rapport and he worked with Mr Bachchan in many movies. He also worked with writers like K.K Shukla, Kader Khan and Prayag Raaj and lyricists like R.D. Burman, Kalyanji Anandji, and Laxmikant Pyarelal. Most of the songs in his films were sung by legendary musicians like Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi. Desai had a team of geniuses and hence was able to deliver hits very efficiently. He has contributed immensely to the Indian cinema.

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Manmohan Desai has made immense contributions to the Indian cinema through his directorial and production ventures. He had a long career of 29 years in which he produced 13 massive hit films. He shared a good rapport with Amitabh Bachchan and directed him in many films. He also worked with leading writers like R.D. Burman, Kalyanji Anandji and Laxmikant Pyarelal. Most of the songs in the films produced and directed by Desai are sung by Laxmikant Pyarelal and Mohd. Rafi.

Manmohan Desai Personal Life

Desai’s wife is Jeevanprabha Gandhi, who is the writer of films directed by Manmohan Desai including 1970 film Sachaa Jhutha, 1973 film Aa Gale Lag Jaa, 1974 film Roti, 1977 film Dharam Veer, 1977 film Amar Akbar Anthony and 1983 film Coolie. She is also the writer of 1976 film Uthaman directed by Rajendra Prasad and 1980 film Ram Robert Raheem directed by Vijaya Nirmala. Jeevanprabha died in April 1979.

Desai was then engaged to actress Nanda from 1992 until his death in 1994. Nanda was the daughter of actor-director Master Vinayak and Meenaxi Karnataki. Desai’s son Ketan Desai has directed films like Allah-Rakha (1986) Toofan (1989) and Anmol (1993) and also worked as an assistant director in films like Dharam Veer (1977), Parvarish (1977) and Amar Akbar Anthony (1977). Ketan is married to Kanchan Kapoor, daughter of actor and director Shammi Kapoor and actress Geeta Bali.

Manmohan Desai died on 1 March 1994, by falling from the balcony of his apartment in Girgaon, Mumbai. There is very little information known about his death except that he was suffering from chronic back pain.

Manmohan Desai Images on India Content Website

The India Content website has a good stock of Manmohan Desai images. The high-definition images on the website are available in three sizes – small, medium and large.

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