Raj Babbar Biography
Raj Babbar is a Hindi & Punjabi film actor since 1980.
Babbar was born in Agra, India. He is an alumnus of the 1975 batch of National School of Drama and graduated from Agra College.
He was trained in the Method school of acting at NSD, which has very strong leftist leanings, and interest in Street Theatre. After his training in New Delhi he moved to bombay to try his luck. Despite his acting capability, he has been unable to attain the super-star image in Indian cinema.
He started opposite one of the well known actresses of that time Reena Roy in the Hindi film Sau Dina Saas Ke, which led to their having an affair which was helpful for his future career. (100-days of mother-in-law).
He attained public recognition through a very well played role of a rich playboy-rapist in B.R. Chopra's Insaaf Ka Tarazu (Balance of justice), which starred highly acclaimed female star Zeenat Aman and was the debut film of the 13 year old Padmini Kohlapure.( There was a major controversy over the propriety of showing the horrific rape of a 13-year old on-screen, which was considered by most to be titillating and exploitative - and perhaps of that the movie was very successful commercially).
He became a consistent player on B.R. Chopra's films; Nikaah with Deepak Parashar and Salma Agha, Aaj Ki Aawaz with Smita Patil whom he had an intense affir with and subsequently married, despite being married with two children at the time.
He worked with top banners and top stars of his era, and despite a few off-beat hits, never really achieved star-status. As he has aged, he has started doing more character roles, playing the villain with great elan and menace - a throwback to his start as the best-loved rapist of 1985 in Insaaf Ka Taraazu.
Contribution to Punjabi Cinema
He also achieved success in Punjabi cinema as he gave remarkable performances in Chan Pardesi (1980) and Long Da Lishkara (1986) - two arthouse movies, with serious themes treated in a mostly realistic manner - and a far cry from the melodramatic & almost hysterical tenor of most Punjabi films of the time.
He also starred in the hit Punjabi films Aasra Pyar Da (1983), Marhi Da Diva (1989), Mahaul Theek Hai (1999), Shaheed Uddham Singh (2000), Yaaran Naal Baharaan (2005), and Ek Jind Ek Jaan (2006). It has been said that Babbar often does Punjabi films for free, as an act of generosity to Punjabi cinema.
He is a punjabi hindu, he married Nadira Zaheer daughter of Theatre Director, Activist & his professor at The National School of Drama Sajjad Zaheer and Razia Zaheer). Arya Babbar and Juhi Babbar are his two children from Nadira Babbar.
His second marriage, which many feel was as self-serving & in the interests of his career as his first, was to the late Smita Patil - an actress who came from an influential & politically connected Maharashtrian family, and had already made a name for herself as one of the best actresses in India's Alternative Cinema.
After the birth of their son Prateek Babbar, Smita Patil died of post-partum complications after few days. After her death Raj Babbar made a tearful TV appearance which to many seemed contrived & insincere at the time. He subsequently patched up with his first wife Nadira Babbar, although Prateek Babbar lives with the parents of Smita Patil.
Juhi Babbar tried her hand at acting in 2003 in a film entitled "Kaash...Aap Hamare Hote" opposite singer-turned-actor Sonu Nigam. She has not acted in any films since. She is now married.
Prateek Babbar recently debuted in Aamir Khan's production and Abbas Tyrewala's direction Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na where he plays the role of Amit Mahant, the quirky brother of the main female character, Aditi. His role has been very well received by both the general public and critics. He was awarded a special mention certificate from the jury for this role at the 54th Filmfare Awards 2009.
He joined Samajwadi Party and became Member of Parliament of India three times from his native constituency of Agra.
Due to open criticism of Amar Singh, Raj Babbar was suspended from the party. Raj Babbar emphasized socialism as propagated by Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, the basis of formation of Samajwadi Party, however Amar Singh has connections with industrialists and various celebrities in Hindi cinema, which brings influence and money-power essential for survival in India's political system.
On 5 October, 2008 he joined the Congress Party, in perhaps his final self-serving bid to somehow redeem his fractured political & cinematographic destiny.