Paresh Rawal was born on 30th May, 1950. He studied at Narsee Monjee Institute of Commerce and Economics, Ville Parle, Mumbai, India. He graduated to Gujarati theatre from plays in school and college days, and his performance was widely appreciated.
Paresh Rawal’s first break in Bollywood was in Ketan Mehta’s Holi (1984). His character in the film was nothing special and thus, he went unnoticed. The same year, he also appeared in Dharam Aur Kanoon and Lorie, in minor roles again.
Paresh was once spotted by Javed Akhtar on stage, who offered him a role for the film Arjun (1985). The movie, starring Sunny Deol and Dimple Kapadia, was successful. He was then seen in Mahesh Bhatt’s Naam (1986), Samundar (1986), Dacait (1987), Aakhri Adaalat (1988), Kabzaa (1988) and a couple of other films, before he featured in his first big hit Ram Lakhan (1989). Appearing in films like Shiva (1989), Gunahon Ka Devta (1990), Krodh (1990), Swarg (1990), Yodha (1991), Saathi (1991), Prem Qaidi (1991), Zulm Ki Hukumat (1992), Jigar (1992), Jeena Marna Tere Sang (1992) and Daulat Ki Jung (1992), which did above average to below average business, Paresh couldn’t create a big impact on the audience. It was only his performance in Ketan Mehta’s Sardar (1993) which won Paresh many accolades. Since then, there was no looking back for him.
In 1993, Paresh appeared in about 18 films. Among those, Damini – Lightning, Sir, King Uncle, Phool Aur Angaar did quite well, while Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, Pehla Nasha, Anth, Dil Ki Baazi, Maya flopped. Sir won him huge appreciation. Krantiveer (1994), Dilwale (1994), Mohra (1994) were big hits, while Juaari (1994), and The Gentleman (1994) flopped. Andaz Apna Apna (1994), which failed at the box-office, is considered as one of the best comedy flicks ever to be made. Paresh in double role was widely appreciated. Paresh’s performance in Raja (1995) won him critical acclaim. He then performed in Milan (1995), Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995), Baazi (1995), Vijeta (1996), and Bandish (1996), all of which did poor business. Mahesh Bhatt’s Tamanna (1997) provided the platform for Paresh to present an outstanding performance, where he played the role of a hijra who raises a young abandoned girl. In the same year, he acted in many hit films like Gupt: The Hidden Truth, Judaai, Hero No.1, and in few flops such as Mrityudaata, Auzaar, and Daud: Fun On The Run. Paresh also featured in some good films like Doli Saja Ke Rakhna (1998), China Gate (1998), Chachi 420 (1998), and Angaaray (1998), but they didn’t do too well at the box-office. He also featured in Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998) which was the second-highest grosser of the year. Aa Ab Laut Chalen (1999), Aarzoo (1999), didnt do too well, while Vaastav – The Reality (1999) and Haseena Maan Jayegi (1999) did pretty good business.
The year 2000 was a landmark year in Paresh's career. He acted in Priyadarshan’s Hera Pheri (2000), also starring Akshay Kumar and Suniel Shetty, did well and earned critical acclaim too. It is considered as one of the best comedies ever made and Paresh's performance of Babu Bhai became the talk of the nation. He also featured in Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (2000), Hadh Kar Di Aapne (2000), Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar (2001). He realised that the audience loved him in comic roles. Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya (2000), Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000) flopped, while Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega (2000) and Nayak: The Real Hero (2001) were about average. Vipul Shah’s Aankhen (2002), also starring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Arjun Rampal, was a criticall acclaimed film which did average business. Paresh next performed in comedy flicks like Awara Paagal Deewana (2002) and Hungama (2003), which earned a good amount of success. He also featured in family dramas like Dil Ka Rishta (2003) and Baghban (2003). The former flopped, while the latter was a hit. Paresh performed well in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Aan: Men At Work (2004), which unfortunately flopped. He then had 2 good films, viz. Aitraaz (2004) and Hulchul (2004). The next year he appeared in two comedy flicks Garam Masala (2005) and Deewane Huye Pagal (2005). The former was a hit, while the latter flopped. 2006 was a good year for Paresh with Malamaal Weekly (in which he played the lead), Phir Hera Pheri and Bhagam Bhag, all becoming hits. 36 China Town, Chup Chup Ke and Golmaal: Fun Unlimited were above average. Naseeruddin Shah’s Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota (2006) was a critically acclaimed film. In 2007, Paresh featured in a few flops like Buddha Mar Gaya, No Smoking, and Fool N Final. He also acted in Cheeni Kum and the super-hit film Bhool Bhulaiyaa. Welcome was his last film that year, which became a blockbuster.
In 2008, Paresh was seen in One Two Three also starring Suniel Shetty and Tusshar Kapoor, Abbas Tyrewala’s Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (special appearance) and Priyadarshan’s Mere Baap Pahle Aap, which did decently at the box office. Sanjay Chel’s Maan Gaye Mughal-E-Azam (2008) and Nishikant Kamath's Mumbai Meri Jaan are getting released soon. For Mumbai Meri Jaan, Paresh is playing an about to be retiring cop, and he lost 15 kilos and grew a moustache for the role.
In 1994, Paresh won the Filmfare Award for Best Villain for Sir (1993). Paresh won in 1996 the Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor for Raja (1996). He won in 2001, the Filmfare Award for Best Comedian for Hera Pheri (2000). In 2001, he also won the Screen Award for Best Comedian for Hera Pheri (2000). He also won the IIFA Award in 2001 for Best Performance in a Comic Role for Hera Pheri (2000). In 2003, he won the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role for Awara Paagal Deewana (2002). He also won the Screen Award in 2003 for Best Performance in a Comic Role for Awara Paagal Deewana (2002). He also won the Zee Cine Award in 2003 for Best Actor in a Comic Role for Awara Paagal Deewana (2002).
Paresh Rawal is married to Swaroop Sampat, former Miss India and actress. Paresh has still kept himself involved with theatre and has his own production house called “Aangikam”. His theatre group has performed plays like Maharathi, Mulraj Mansion and Chiranjeev. He has appeared in more than 175 films. His favourite actors are Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri and Amitabh Bachchan. His comedies with Priyadarshan and with Akshay Kumar are most successful. He is involved in the production of the TV serial “Teen Bahuraniyan”. Paresh Rawal has also been a part of numerous regional films including Telugu and Punjabi movies.