Who in the Indian cinema is not aware of Johnny Walker? A man who always made us burst into laughter through his jokes and gestures. Yes we are talking about the legendary comedian who was no less than a hero in his life. He acted in number of notable films and nearly with all the leading actors of his time. Baazi, CID, Hum Dono, Aashiq, Kala Pani, Anand were only few of them but the list is endless. He also received two Filmafare awards for his role in Shikhar and Madhumati. So let’s look into the life of this legendary comedian.
His original name was Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi and he was born in the city of Indore, MP. Facing the redundancy of his father he moved to Maharashtra along with his family and there he became the soul bread earner of the family. He took a job as a bus conductor with BEST bus service in Bombay. Walker always had interest in comedy and he always entertained the passengers in the bus with his gestures and jokes. Actor Balraj Sahni spotted him and introduced him to another legend Guru Dutt who asked Johnny to enact as a drunkard. Johnny did it perfectly and thus he fetched a role in Baazi (1951) and from there on his journey started and in most of the films of Guru Dutt you would find Walker and Guru Dutt was the one who changed his name to Johnny Walker, the famous scotch brand.
Johnny Walker was a ruling comedian in 1950s but with the death of Guru Dutt his charm began to fade away. He was said to be very depressed with the standard of comedy going down. He once stated that in the era 1980s the comedians were no more than filler, earlier comedians had a character scripted exclusively for them. He also raised his concern over the status of the comedy. He said that clean comedy had no place now days. It is said that walker acted in more than 300 films and not a single was ever edited by the Censor Board. Such was the standard of this actor.
Walker’s best work includes Naya Daur, Madhumati, Taxi Driver and Suraj. After a gap of 14 years he once again acted in Chachi 420 and was highly appreciated. Apart from acting he sang in many of the movies and his songs were admired by the audiences.
On 29th July 2003 this brilliant actor left us but he is still alive in our hearts as a great comedian and as a wonderful person.