Prem Nath was a well known face in several popular films produced by the Hindi film industry in India from the 1940s to 1980s. Check out more about him with this biography.
Born On: November 21, 1926
Born In: Peshawar (now in Pakistan)
Died On: November 3, 1992
Prem Nath, born as Premnath Malhotra, was one of the most popular actors of the Hindi film industry during the glorious mid 20th century era. Though his skills as an actor were much appreciated both by the audience and the critics, Prem Nath unfortunately could not make it big with lead roles in Bollywood films. However, films which featured him in a negative character or as supporting cast did extremely well at the Bollywood box office, establishing Prem Nath as one of the best supporting actors in Hindi cinema. Despite hailing from a non-film family of Madhya Pradesh, Prem Nath was still able to make it big in Bollywood. His siblings however were associated with films later on.
Premnath Malhotra was born on November 21, 1926 in a Punjabi family residing in Peshawar (situated in Pakistan after independence). His parents shifted base to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh soon after India became independent in 1947 and it was here that Premnath Malhotra spent a couple of months before moving to Bombay city and taking a plunge into Hindi cinema.
Premnath Malhotra took up the name Prem Nath after his arrival in Bombay to work as a Hindi film actor. Prem Nath's first Bollywood film 'Ajit' which was released in the year 1948 was also one of the first color films made in the Hindi film industry. It was in the year 1949 that Prem Nath tasted success with appearances in films like 'Aag' and 'Barsaat'. While Prem Nath was lucky to have been a part of Raj Kapoor's debut directorial venture 'Aag', it was 'Barsaat' which made his a popular face in Bollywood. Prem Nath went on to appear in a number of films following 1949 and it gradually became apparent that the actor was more acceptable to his audiences in the supporting cast or in a villainous role as against the lead role in a Hindi film. In fact, films which portrayed Prem Nath as the lead negative character went on to make record business in the history of Bollywood box office and were declared super hits in India. Some of the most popular Prem Nath films released from Bollywood are:
- Aan (1952)
- Teesri Manzil (1966)
- Johny Mera Naam (1970)
- Tere Mere Sapne (1971)
- Shor (1972)
- Bobby (1973)
- Amir Garib (1974)
- Roti Kapda Aur Makaan (1974)
- Dharmatma (1975)
- Kalicharan (1976)
- Desh Premee (1982)
Prem Nath won Filmfare award nominations in the category of best supporting actor for his excellent performance in films 'Shor', 'Bobby', 'Amir Garib' and 'Roti Kapda Aur Makaan'. Apart from Hindi films, Prem Nath also ventured into regional language movies in the course of a career spanning close to forty years. Prem Nath starred in a couple of Punjabi films, the most notable among them being the religious film 'Sat Sri Akal' released in the year 1977. The actor, whose talents received worldwide acclamation, was part of an American TV series 'Maya' aired from the year 1967 and also played an important role in the US release 'Kenner', also featuring Jim Brown, which hit theaters in the year 1969. Prem Nath's last onscreen appearance was with the 1985's Bollywood film 'Hum Dono'. The actor retired from acting on grounds of deteriorating health conditions.
Prem Nath fell in love with Bollywood leading lady Bina Rai when he was shooting for the film 'Aurat'. The couple married after a brief courtship and together opened a production company P N Films. The production house came up with some of the worst disasters in the history of Bollywood, namely, 'Shagufa', 'Samunder', 'Prisoner of Golconda' and 'Watan'. Though Prem Nath and Bina Rai shared a lovely relationship offscreen, their chemistry on the Bollywood screen did not please the audience. Prem Nath and Bina Rai parented children Prem Krishen, who went on to become a Bollywood actor and Kailash Nath. Their grandchildren Akanksha Malhotra and Siddharth Malhotra are also associated with acting and filmmaking in the Hindi film industry. Prem Nath's sister was married to Raj Kapoor and his two brothers did small comic roles in Bollywood. Prem Nath also shared a lovely relationship Bollywood actress Asha Parekh. She was one of the closest family friends of the actor from within the industry.
Prem Nath's health condition deteriorated since his last Bollywood appearance 'Hum Dono' in 1985. He subsequently succumbed to a fatal heart attack in the year 1992. Prem Nath was 66 years of age at the time of death.
1926: Premnath Malhotra was born on November 21.
1948: Debuted in Bollywood with film 'Ajit'.
1949: Got his first big break in Raj Kapoor's directorial venture 'Aag'.
1949: Delivered his first Bollywood hit 'Barsaat'.
1972: Earned his first Filmfare nomination for best supporting actor for the film 'Shor'.
1967: Starred in American TV series 'Maya'.
1969: Starred in American film 'Kenner'.
1985: Shot his last film 'Hum Dono' as a Bollywood actor.
1992: Died of a heart attack.