Manmohan Krishna (1922-1990) was a renowned Indian actor and director who worked in Hindi films for over four decades, primarily as a character actor.
Manmohan Krishna was born on Sunday, 26 February 1922, in Valsad, Bombay Presidency, British India (now Mumbai). He belongs to the Pisces zodiac sign. After attending Bloomfield Hall School for his education, he graduated from the University of Allahabad. Manmohan obtained a Master’s degree in Physics subject and began his career as a Physics professor at Rajakiya Vidyalaya in Lahore. During this time, he had a strong desire to pursue a career in radio and therefore traveled to Mumbai for an interview. Interestingly, he happened to meet the renowned filmmaker V Shantaram at a party, which eventually opened the doors of the film industry for him.
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Weight (approx.): 78 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Manmohan’s father, Dr. Meghraj Chadha, worked as a doctor and his mother’s name was Vidyawati Chadha. There is limited information available about them.
Wife & Children
Manmohan was married to Nandini, who worked as a professor of History at Islamia College in Delhi. Together, they had a son, who is a doctor by profession.
Manmohan debuted as the male lead in the film Andhon Ki Duniya. (1947).
He acted in almost 250 films, including notable films such as Naya Daur (1957), Khandan (1965), Sadhana (1958), Waqt (1965), and Hamraaz (1967). He received critical acclaim for his performance in Bees Saal Baad (1962) and won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Abdul Rasheed in Dhool Ka Phool (1960).
Additionally, he appeared in 12 Punjabi films, played a significant role in K. A. Abbas’s Shehar Aur Sapna (1963), which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film and acted in the first Indo-Soviet co-production Pardesi (1957), which was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival.
Manmohan was a favored actor of the Chopra brothers and appeared in various movies they directed or produced. Some of these films include Naya Daur (1957), Sadhna (1958), Dhool Ka Phool (1959), Kanoon (1960), Waqt (1965), Hamraaz (1967), Daag (1973), Joshila (1973), Deewar (1975), Trishul (1978), and Kaala Patthar (1979).
Towards the end of his professional journey, he directed the successful movie Noorie (1979) for Yash Raj Films. This project also earned him a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director.
After making his debut in the film industry, he also displayed his singing skills with the song “Tujhe Aap Bitana Hai Apna Jeevan” in the same film. This opened up opportunities for him as a vocalist, leading him to collaborate with music composers like Vasant Desai on iconic tracks such as “Aao Azadi Ke Geet Gaye Chale” (Jeevan Yatra, 1946) and “Bhai Savdhan” (Matwala Shair Ramjoshi, 1947). He even lent his vocals to the title song of “Apna Desh” (1949), and his songs from “Afsar” (1950) gained significant popularity. In his National Award-winning film Shehar Aur Sapna (1963), he also sang the theme song called Yeh Shaam Bhi Kahaan Hai.
Awards & Honours
Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor- Dhool Ke Phool (1959)
Manmohan Krishna died at Lokmanya Tilak Hospital, Mumbai on 3 November 1990.
- Not many people know that Manmohan Krishna’s debut song, ‘Jhat Khol De’, was featured in the 1950 Dev Anand film Afsar, with music composed by S.D. Burman.
- The song “Tu Hindu Banega na Musalman banega, insaan ki aulaad hai, insaan banega,” which epitomizes Nehruvian secularism, was picturized on him in the film Dhool Ka Phool.
- Manmohan Krishna is frequently mistaken for the actor Manmohan, renowned for playing villainous characters, as they share the same name.
- He also hosted the singing competition, Cadbury’s Phulwari, on the radio.
- Manmohan’s son, Dr. Ram Chaddha is a well-known spine surgeon practicing at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai.
- One of his most well-known songs was “Basti Basti Parvat Parvat” from the film Railway Platform (1955). Although the song was initially recorded in his voice, the version sung by Mohammad Rafi was ultimately used in the film.