Comedy King Mehmood: Unknown Facts About Iconic Actor Who Gave Amitabh Bachchan To Indian Cinema

Here are some lesser-known facts about one of the greatest comedians of all time, Mehmood, who had given Amitabh Bachchan to the Indian cinema. Details inside!


By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:

Comedy King Mehmood: Unknown Facts About Iconic Actor Who Gave Amitabh Bachchan To Indian Cinema

Born on September 29, 1932, as Mehmood Ali to his father, Mumtaz Ali and mother, Latifunnisa, the little boy was destined to be a successful person in his life, courtesy to the talent with which his family was overpowered. While Mehmood's father, Mumtaz, was a prominent star in the 1940s and 1950s, one of his sisters, Minoo Mumtaz, became a prolific dancer in her life. Also, his brother, Anwar Ali, was a popular actor-turned-producer renowned for his films, Khud-daar and Kaash.

However, Mehmood's illustrious career was second to none in his family, as the actor had worked relentlessly to become the 'comedy king' of Indian cinema. With his exceptional performances in over 300 films, Mehmood had received a total of 25 Filmfare nominations. Out of which 19 were for the 'Best Performance in a Comic Role'. Here's a look into some lesser-known facts about Mehmood's life that everyone needs to know!

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#1. Mehmood used to sell poultry products


The king of comedy, Mehmood's early life was all about mimicking Bollywood actors of that era and building an incredibly powerful connection with Indian cinema. Because of his father, Mumtaz Ali, who was one of the leading stars of his era, Mehmood and his siblings had access to Indian cinema, art, and music right from an early age. However, it wasn't a cakewalk for Mehmood, and before making his acting debut in the Hindi film industry, he had worked as a poultry products salesman.

#2. Mehmood was P. L. Santoshi's driver


Selling poultry products wasn't the only odd job the legendary Mehmood had done during his struggling days, as he had also worked as a driver for the popular filmmaker, P.L. Santoshi. However, the odd job had helped Mehmood in understanding the world of cinema from the inside. Decades after Mehmood had established himself in the industry, P.L. Santoshi's son, Rajkumar Santoshi, had cast him in his film, Andaz Apna Apna (1994).

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#3. Mehmood had portrayed Ashok Kumar in his debut film


In his debut film as a child artist, Mehmood had portrayed the younger version of mega-star, Ashok Kumar in Kismet (1943). Then, after exactly ten years, Mehmood had made his full debut in Bimal Roy's Do Bigha Zamin (1953). However, in those ten years, the actor had worked as a child artist in two films, Sanyasi (1945) and Nadaan (1951).

#4. Mehmood's dialogue in front of Madhubala that changed everything

Mehmood Madhubala

If we have to pick just one film that is solely responsible for Mehmood's illustrious career, then without a doubt, it is Nadaan (1951), in which he had worked as a child artist and had portrayed the character of a bus conductor.


According to reports, during the shooting of the film, Nadaan, there was one scene in which a junior artist had to deliver a long dialogue in front of legendary actor, Madhubala, but despite several attempts, he had failed to deliver the whole dialogue in one take. That's when a young Mehmood had stepped inside the frame and had dropped everyone's jaws by completing the whole scene in just one take, without getting intimidated by Madhubala's presence.


The small scene had shown Mehmood's potential to cinema icons like Madhubala, Dev Anand, Madan Puri, Hira Singh, and many others in attendance. For his work in the film, Mehmood had received a sum of Rs. 300.

#5. Mehmood earned more than the lead actors of the films


Such was the presence and excellence of Mehmood's comic timing and acting skills that he had become a 'must-have' ingredient of every film. No matter whether the film was a thriller, horror, or romance, every director's first priority was to establish a character in his movie for Mehmood.


After his film, Do Phool's gigantic success, in which he had played the double role of 'Phuttan' and 'Chuttan'. Many leading actors used to corner themselves from the idea of sharing screen space with him. Not only this but Mehmood was also paid more than the lead actors of his films. For the shooting of 14 days, Mehmood used to earn a sum of Rs. 7.5 lakhs.

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#6. Mehmood taught table tennis to Meena Kumari

Mehmood Meena Kumari table tennis

Before making it big in the Indian film industry, Mehmood was reportedly the tennis coach of the legendary actress, Meena Kumari and used to have a beautiful friendship with her.

#7. Mehmood got married to Meena Kumari's sister, Madhu Kumari

Mehmood wife MAdhu Kumari meena kumari sister

During his frequent meetings with Meena Kumar for teaching her tennis, Mehmood had also formed a bond with her sister, Madhu Kumari. As per reports, Madhu Kumari and Mehmood got married in 1953. However, the two had parted ways in 1967.

#8. Mehmood's second marriage with Tracy Ali

Mehmood second wife tracy ali

After his divorce from his first wife and actress, Madhu Kumari, the iconic comedian had fallen in love with another stunning actress, Tracy. After leading a happy married life for some years, Mehmood and Tracy Ali got divorced because of some irreconcilable issues.

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#8. Lucky Ali is Mehmood's son

Mehmood is Lucky Ali Father

From his two marriages, Mehmood had welcomed six boys, Pucky Ali, Lucky Ali, Macky Ali, Masoom Ali, Mansoor Ali, one daughter, Ginny Ali, and a step-daughter, Kizzy, in his life. However, out of all his kids, Lucky Ali is the one who needs no introduction, as he is one of the most loved singers of all time.

#9. Mehmood gave Amitabh Bachchan to Indian cinema

Mehmood Amitabh Bachchan

In many of his interviews, Amitabh Bachchan has paid immense gratitude and love to Mehmood for helping and supporting him during his struggling days in Mumbai. The actor has also called Mehmood his 'godfather' in many of his old interviews. After Mehmood's demise on July 23, 2004, his favourite-protege, Amitabh Bachchan, had talked about him in his blog and had written:

"He (Mehmood) always helped in establishing myself as an actor. Mehmood Bhai was one of the helpers in the graph early in my career. He was the first producer who gave me the lead role – in 'Bombay to Goa'. After several consecutive flops, I made a plan to go back home, then Mehmood Sahab's brother Anwar stopped me."

Mehmood Amitabh Bachchan

However, the beautiful bond between Mehmood and Amitabh Bachchan had suffered a huge blow when the latter's late father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, had fallen ill at the time when Mehmood had undergone a bypass surgery. Both Amitabh's father and godfather were admitted to the same hospital, but the actor didn't meet him, which was quite painful for Mehmood. However, in his old interview, he had spoken about the same and had insisted that he had forgiven Amitabh for his actions. He had said:

"Although Amit respects me a lot, one of his actions shocked me a bit. When his father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, fell, I went to Amitabh Bachchan's house to see him, but when I had bypass surgery, Amitabh came to Breach Candy Hospital with his father but he did not come to see me. Amitabh proved there that the real father is real while the fake father is fake. He didn't even meet me, wish me, or send me a get-well soon card, a small flower, even though he knew I was in this hospital. I forgave him and didn't wish him ill. I hope he doesn't do this with anyone else."

#10. Mehmood had given R. D. Burman his first break

Mehmood RD Burman

Mehmood was insanely popular among people across the nation because he was not just one of the most humble actors but also never used to skip a chance to help someone. From helping his workers in their personal life to helping many actors and actresses during their struggling days, he was a father figure for many people. His other famous protege is the legendary singer and composer, R. D. Burman, who got his first break as a music director in Mehmood's film, Chhote Nawab.

It's impossible, to sum up, Mehmood's legacy in words because more than touching and breaking box-office records, he had touched people's hearts in a way, only he can and that too, not just in India but overseas also. As a result, one of the greatest Hollywood actors of all time, Gregory Peck, had said that Mehmood is too handsome to be a comedian.

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Cover and Images Courtesy: Instagram