B.H.Harsh wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Mukri (real name Mohammed Umer Mukri) was born on Janaury 5, 1922. He came to Bombay in 1942, as he was interested in working in hindi films.
Mukri got his first break when Devika Rani, the owner of Bombay Talkies decided to launch him. The film was Pratima (1945), directed by P. Jairaj. The film brought Mukri and Dilip Kumar close to each other, and they remained friends for ever after.
After Pratima, Mukri began doing small roles in the biggest of films. He became a popular name after his memorable performances in films like Aan (1952), Mirza Ghalib (1954), Amar (1954) and Chori Chori (1956). With in a decade of working in hindi films, Mukri had achieved a small place for himself in the industry. He was one of the more frequent faces appearing in hindi films in the late 50s and early 60s. Some of his notable roles were in films like Mother India (1957), Kalaapani (1958), Anari (1959), Kohinoor (1960) and Asli Naqli (1962)
Mukri remained consistent in both the quantity and quality of his roles and performances. His cameos have always been adorable in films like Mera Saaya (1965), Milan (1967), Padosan (1968), and Mera Naam Joker (1970) However, Mukri’s career went to new heights with Manmohan Desai’s Amar Akbar Anthony (1977). In this film, he played the role of Tyeb Ali, a strict father. The song “Tyeb Ali pyar ka dushman…” picturised on him and Rishi Kapoor became very popular, and Mukri a household name. With this film, Mukri also created a great on-screen pair with Amitabh Bachchan and went on to do small but extremely memorable roles with him in Naseeb (1981), Laawaris (1981), Coolie (1983) and Sharaabi (1984). Infact, His character “Nathu Lal” in Sharaabi became so popular, that years later when Manmohan desai cast him in Jaadugar (1989), he named his character Nathu Lal to bank on its popularity.
He also worked with Subash Ghai in Karz (1980), Karma (1986) and Ram Lakhan (1989), and formed a close relation with him off-screen. With the coming of 90s, Mukri almost stopped doing films due to health problems. On 4th September 2000, Mukri passed away due to cardiac arrest.
He was married to Mumtaz (not the famous actress), and had 5 children. His daughter Naseem Mukri wrote scripts for Dhadkan (2000) and Haan Maine Bhi Pyar Kiya (2002).