Feroze Khan, the Actor, Film Editor, Producer and Director of many Bollywood films, passed away last Sunday at his farmhouse in Bangalore. Feroze, who was 69, battled cancer for over an year before bidding goodbye to the world and to an industry he loved with great passion.
Most people remember Feroze Khan for his flamboyance, cowboyish swagger, cool attitude and the unforgettable cigar flaunting style. He was the complete opposite of the conventional image of “Hero” that Bollywood had in those days. His original style is the reason why he is called Clint Eastwood of the East. Feroze Khan has always been a style icon and has been known for his style statements even till his last days.
Feroze was born in Bangalore to an Afghan father and Iranian mother. After finishing his schooling in Bangalore, Feroze moved to Mumbai and made his acting debut as second lead actor in Didi in 1960. After playing the second lead in various films, Feroze finally got due recognition in 1965 with films like Oonche Long & Aarzoo. He will always be remembered for films like Qurbaani, Dayavaan, Jaanasheen etc.
In 1975 Feroze Khan turned Producer and Director and made his first film Dharmatma, which was released in 1977. This was the first Indian film to be shot in Afghanistan and showed Hema Malini in a really glamorous avatar. In Hema’s words, “When I agreed to do Dharmatma he made it very clear I was there in the first-half only. He said, ‘You can’t say no, baby!’ That was a new experience for me. He was the first and last man who called me ‘baby’. No one has ever dared. I wish they would. What a suave man he was!”
Amitabh Bachchan has expressed his sorrow at the demise of Feroze Khan in his blog. Amitabh writes, “There were many attempts by both of us to work together but somehow it didn’t work out. He will be remembered for his passion and commitment to the craft. May his soul rest in peace and may the Almighty give his family strength to bear the loss.”
Well, the loss is not just of the family. The film industry has lost a precious gem that can never be imitated. We hope that God gives strength to Feroze Khan’s family, and May his soul rest in peace.