Premnath Malhotra was born on November 21, 1926 in Peshawar, the family moved to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh after partition, he then had moved to Bombay.Premnath made his film debut in Ajit. He got major roles in Raj Kapoor's first directorial film Aag and Barsaat (1949) which was his first major success. Premnath went on to appear in many films for the next three decades, some of which were the biggest blockbusters in Indian film history. The films in which he played the leading role failed to do well . But the films in which he played the central villain role or supporting role were some of the biggest blockbusters in Indian film history. Some his most notable films were Aan (1952), Teesri Manzil (1966), Johny Mera Naam (1970), Tere Mere Sapne (1971), Roti Kapada Aur Makaan (1974), Dharmatma (1975), Kalicharan (1976) and Desh Premee (1982). He also starred in the religious Punjabi film Sat Sri Akal (1977).He fell in love with actress Bina Rai during the filming of Aurat. They married and formed a production company together called P.N. films. They pinned high hopes for their films, which didn't become hits, such as "Shagufa," "Prisoner of Golconda," "Samunder" and "Watan." Thus, the Premnath-Bina Rai pairing never clicked on the screen.
He earned Filmfare nominations as Best Supporting Actor for: Shor (1972), Bobby (1973), Amir Garib (1974), and Roti Kapda Aur Makaan (1974)..
Apart from Bollywood films, he also appeared in an episode of the American television series Maya in 1967 and a 1969 American film titled Kenner opposite former football player turned actor Jim Brown. His last film appearance was in Hum Dono (1985) after which he retired from acting. He died in 1992 of a heart attack at the age of sixty-six.
He has two sons Prem Krishen and Kailash Nath (Monty). They are also the grandparents of actress Akanksha Malhotra. His sister Krishna married Raj Kapoor and his brothers Rajindernath and Narendranath were also actors mostly in comic and supporting roles