He wears many hats and brings to life his roles as a writer, actor, director and a producer, playing each of them to perfection. Delivering so much with precision and depth is far from easy. Kader Khan makes it look effortless.

Born in Kabul, Kader Khan specialized in civil engineering and academics is also what introduced him to Dilip Kumar. Kader Khan was teaching at a college in Byculla (Mumbai) when he participated in a play that happened to be watched by actor Dilip Kumar. The actor was so impressed that he signed Kader for two of his films – Sagina Mahato and Bairaag. Acting was however not an entirely new experience for Kader. He had in fact been acting since he was eight years old.

It so happened that Ashraf Khan from Mehboob Khan Sahib’s film Roti, was looking for a young prince for his upcoming play Wamaq And Azra. Kader Khan turned out to be one of those talents, a kid who could write pages and pages of lines and then deliver them with panache to the audience. Ashraf Khan heard about Kader Khan’s talent from people who told him about this young boy who went to the graveyard in the night and shouted out dialogues. Ashraf Khan watched Kader Khan do this, in true filmy style and then honed the talent. But this was only one side of this multi-dimensional artist.


Kader Khan’s dialogues from Amar Akbar Anthony stand like a shining beacon of quality, standard, emotion, poetry and universal connection. While his keen interest in literature was very obvious from the beginning, his talent only started coming to light when he began writing professionally. He started writing for films much before he started his acting career. Kader entered his play Local Train for a prestigious competition which was being judged by noted author and filmmaker Rajinder Singh Bedi, his writer-director son Narendra Bedi and actor Kamini Kaushal. They met him after the competition and encouraged him to write for films. Kader Khan ended up writing for Narendra Bedi’s film Jawani Diwani for Rs.1500. This was only a stepping stone to many more, bigger milestones. The film became a success and Kader’s attraction to writing for films became stronger. Then came along Manmohan Desai who asked Kader to write dialogues for Roti and scoffed at the amount that was paid to him for his earlier release. What followed is a string of successful films including Dharam-Veer, Amar Akbar Anthony, Suhaag, Naseeb and Gangaa Jamunaa Saraswati to name a few.

Kader Khan’s professional acting career in the film industry began in 1973 after he worked in the film Daag. He has starred in over 300 movies and his pairings with Govinda, Shakti Kapoor, Asrani and Aruna Irani were wildly popular among the masses.

Kader Khan and Govinda created a riot in the movie halls. They have been working together for over two decades and have starred in hit movies including Anari No.1, Rajaji, Naseeb, Dulhe Raja among many others. Their chemistry translated excellently, their comic sense and timing was impeccable and this can only happen when these actors connect really well at some level even in reality. Kader Khan who was cast in villainous roles transformed his personality to the other extreme and his pairing with Govinda only proved that he had a sense of humour that people really enjoyed.


Kader Khan’s pairing with Shakti Kapoor was also highly praised. Some of the films that they worked together on include Mard, Hero Hindustani, Hitler, Banarasi Babu and Deewana Mastana to name a few. There was a rawness to their performance together. Different from his pairing with Govinda but worked equally well if not more.

We take a look at some of Kader Khan’s most memorable films from his career.

Coolie No.1

Coolie No.1

Kader Khan wrote the dialogues for this movie. One of the most famous lines from the film, “Duniya mera ghar hai, bus stand mera adda hai, jab mann kare aa jana, Raju mera naam hai … aur pyar se log mujhe bulate hain … Coolie no. 1”, shows just how closely he could relate his lines to the common man. This talent is what made him so popular among the masses. His observational skills further hone Khan’s already inherent natural talent.

Muqaddar Ka Sikandar


He contributed dialogues as well starred in this film. His writing credits went by the name “Kadar Khan”. This is probably how he compartmentalized the two skills by having some kind of a difference, even if little, between the two. This is a 1978 movie that became a hit making the Amitabh-Kader pairing ever more popular. The film was considered the third biggest hit of the decade after Sholay and Bobby.



Kader Khan has worked in numerous films either as a writer or an actor and sometimes both. He has had the opportunity to witness and be a part of the bigger moments that were turning points in people’s careers in Bollywood. For instance, Hum that releases in 1991 saw Amitabh Bachchan on the verge of retirement and this was the last film that he did before he taking a break of five years.




Kader Khan co-wrote the screenplay for this cult film along with Santosh Saroj. The movie was definitely famous for Amitabh’s voice, which may not have gone down well with the masses and critics then, but it got him the Best Actor National Award. People appreciated Kader Khan for his exceptional writing skills that brought Bachchan into the limelight.

Amar Akbar Anthony


A Manmohan Desai potboiler, this film released in 1977 garnered much praise among the audience and the critics. Statistically it became a hit among the movie watchers. Kader Khan wrote the dialogues for this film. Kader Khan considered Manmohan Desai his guru and this film is testament to their naturally amazing chemistry.



This was another of Kader Khan’s most hit films. Director Prakash Mehra was Khan’s other guru and mentor. Just like Manmohan Desai, Prakash and Kader’s partnership always made for interesting and engaging interaction through cinema.



This one had all the three maestros- Amitabh Bachchan, Manmohan Desai and Kader Khan joining forces once again . It was one of the first films to advertize on Doordarshan.

Dulhe Raja


The comic timing and the fun banter between Govinda and Kader Khan became a huge hit. It spun many other comedy ideas and these two always has the audience rolling with laughter.



One of the mega hits of the time, Kader Khan wrote dialogues for this film. This was the film that saw Kader’s transition from a villain to doing more comedy and later on he came to be recognized as the ‘Comedy King’.

Baap Numberi Beta Dus Numbri

Baap Numbri

Kader Khan starred in this film and also wrote the lines. He won the Best Performance In A Comic Award at the Filmfare for his role in the film. It was one of his hit partnerships with Shakti Kapoor.


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