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Johnny Lever Biography

Johnny Lever Biography

Remember those bursts of laughter while watching comedy films or hilarious film sequences in the 80s and 90s? Well, as right as the rain it surely is, it cannot be complete without Johnny Lever. Johnny Lever is considered as one of the most successful and talented comedians in the Hindi film industry. Till date, he has worked in over 300 Bollywood movies in his 3 decade career span and has been nominated for 13 Filmfare Awards in the category of Best Comedian. He has won two Filmfare Awards in the nomination.

His wife's name is Sujatha and has a daughter Jamie and son Jesse.

Johnny Lever was born on 14th August 1957 in the town of Prakasam as John Prakasa Rao Janumala. Most of his childhood was spent in the King's Circle in Mumbai. He could study only till seventh class in Andhra Telugu school and couldn't continue further due to adverse financial conditions. For supporting his family, he had to do several types of odd jobs including selling pens of Mumbai's streets. He even did that in a very artistic and creative way, such as dancing on Bollywood dance numbers, or imitating Bollywood actors.

Apart from staying in Mumbai, he also spent some years in the old town of Yakutpura in Hyderabad, where he was introduced to this unique style of comedy. Old comedy artists such as Johnny Walker, Mehmood and Kishore Kumar were his inspirations then. In addition, he also drew inspiration from stage artists such as Dinesh Hingoo. Soon he developed a great interest in comedy and mimicry and was helped by Pratap Jani, who was also his mentor. He also met Ram Kumar, a mimicry artist, who made him acquainted with the fundamentals of the art of mimicry.

Later, when he was working in a Hindustan Lever's Mumbai factory, he used to mimic American rock and roll icon Elvis Presley and entertain his colleagues. He also got the opportunity to display his talent at a factory function. Soon he was popular amongst his colleagues and was thus nicknamed 'Johnny Lever'. His talent took him into the world of entertainment. Initially he started working for the Tabassum Hit Parade and later joined the Kalyanji-Anandji group. He traveled around the world for performing. In 1982, he got the opportunity to travel with Amitabh Bachchan in one of the tours.

His talent couldn't be hidden from the world of films and was given his first film 'Dard Ka Rishta' by Sunil Dutt. His career went on the fast track in the 80s with the release of his comedy album 'Hansee Ke Hangame', which was not only a hit nationally but also globally. It was during this time that he acted in a Shekhar Kapur commercial for the popular incense stick brand named 'Kachua Chhaap'. In the year 1986, he also performed for a big charity event named 'Hope 86'.

His audio career constituted mimicking various stars of the Hindi film industry as well as creating his own characters such as 'Chela Ramani', 'Madrasi Anna Cricket' and 'Pathan in the bus'. He is also well known for his mimicry of American 'king of pop' Michael Jackson. His first stint with tele entertainment came with the series 'Tum Par Hum Qurban'. On Zee T.V, he had his own show named 'Johnny Aala Re'. Apart from that he also appeared in the show 'Comedy Circus' as a judge, in the year 2007.

Since then, he has worked in films like 'Baazigar', 'Tezaab', 'Khatarnaak', 'Jalwa', 'Awara Paagal Deewana' and many others. Though he has given outstanding humorous performances for many films, some of his characters are particularly well known such as 'Aslam Bhai', 'Babulal' and 'Chhota Chhattri', the most popular one being 'Babulal'. He has also worked for the Southern cinema. His first Tamil film being 'Anbirkku Alavillai' was produced by SIMPL (Shepherd India Media Pvt. Ltd), which was released, in 2011. In Telugu, he had made only a special appearance in the 1994 film 'Criminal', which was directed by Mahesh Bhatt.

Currently he is the CINTAA president (Cine And T.V. Artist Association) along with being president of another entertainment organization called MAAM (Mimicry Artist Association Mumbai). Jimmy Moses, his younger brother, is too a mimicry artist.

There is a tinge of controversy in his record though. In the year, he was convicted of insulting the nation's national anthem and the national flag at some private party hosted by don Dawood Ibrahim's brother, Anees Ibrahim Kaskar.

His latest film was 'Savior' in 2012 and his next is 'Yamla Pagla Deewana 2', which will be releasing this year.


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