A. K. Hangal

A. K. Hangal

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Category: Social Work

A. K. Hangal Profile

  • Name:
  • A. K. Hangal
  • Other Name:
  • Avtar Kishan Hangal
  • Born:
  • February 1, 1914
  • Died:
  • August 26, 2012
  • Father:
  • Pandit Hari Kishan Hangal

A. K. Hangal Biography

A. K. Hangal was a legendary actor of Bollywood known for father/grandfather character roles. He was also a freedom fighter and stage actor before reaching Bollywood. He entered Bollywood much late, at the age of 50 in the mid-1960s and since then associated with Bollywood in different character roles till late 2000s. Thus he completed almost 50 years in Bollywood. Hangal is known for portraying signature ‘grandfather’ roles on screen and this veteran actor has acted in more than 225 Bollywood films in a career spanning from 1966 to 2008. He passed away on 26 August 2012, aged 98. Imaam Sa'ab in Sholay is one of his memorable roles in the early phase of his career. He did 16 films with super star Rajesh Khanna.


Avtar Kishan Hangal was born to a Kashmiri Pandit family in Punjab in 1914. His younger days were spent in Peshawar, where he was associated with plays. He used to perform in lead roles in those days. His primary occupation was tailoring. He was associated with theater in Peshwar till partition in 1946. He was also a freedom struggler during his younger days. He was imprisoned in Pakistan for three years and soon after release, he moved to Mumbai in 1949 along with his family. Here he got involved with theatre group IPTA along with veterans associated with Bollywood - Balraj Sahni and Kaifi Azmi. He was also associated with their leftist ideologies, for which he was jailed for two years.


Basu Bhattacharya's Teesri Kasam in 1966, followed by Shagird marked his Bollywood debut. He was already 50 then. Since then he played numerous character roles in Bollywood and has worked with three generations of Bollywood actors.  He played screen father, uncle and servant roles in the 1970s and 1980s and later moved to grandfather roles. Heer Raanjha,Namak Haraam, Shaukeen, Sholay, Aaina (1977), Avtaar, Arjun, Aandhi, Tapasya, Kora Kagaz, Bawarchi, Chhupa Rustam, Chitchor, Balika Badhu, Guddi and Naram Garam are some of his noted roles.  Known for playing calm and pleasant roles onscreen, he played negative roles in Manzil and Prem Bandhan.


He was honoured with Padma Bhushan by Indian government in 2006 for his outstanding contributions to Indian cinema. He was last seen in a cameo role in television series ‘Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon’ in May 2012 a few months before his death. Humsey Hai Jahaan in 2008 was his last Bollywood release. He was suffering from financial troubles during his last years and used to work in television to meet his expenses and medicine. He was a lifetime member of the Communist Party of India. He passed away in 2012 aged 98.

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Updated: September 29, 2017

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