Hrishikesh Mukherjee (30 September 1922 – 27 August 2006) was an Indian film director known for a number of films, including Satyakam, Chupke Chupke, Anupama, Anand, Abhimaan, Guddi, Gol Maal, Majhli Didi, Chaitali, Aashirwad, Bawarchi, Kissi Se Na Kehna and Namak Haraam.
Popularly known as Hrishi-da, he directed 42 films during his career spanning over four decades, and is named the pioneer of the 'middle cinema' of India. Renowned for his social films that reflected the changing middle-class ethos, Mukherjee "carved a middle path between the extravagance of mainstream cinema and the stark realism of art cinema".
He also remained the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). The Government of India honoured him with the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1999 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001. He received the NTR National Award in 2001 and he also won eight Filmfare Awards.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was born in the city of Calcutta in pre-independence India (now Kolkata) to a Bengali family. He studied science and graduated in chemistry from the University of Calcutta. He taught mathematics and science for some time.
Mukherjee chose to begin working, initially as a cameraman, and then film editor, in B. N. Sircar's New Theatres in Calcutta in the late 1940s, where he learned his skills from Subodh Mitter ('Kenchida'), a well known editor of his times. He then worked with Bimal Roy in Mumbai as film editor and assistant director from 1951, participating in the landmark Roy films Do Bigha Zamin and Devdas.
His debut directorial venture, Musafir (1957), was not a success, but he persisted and received acclaim for his second film Anari in 1959. The film, crew and cast won five Filmfare Awards, with Mukherjee only losing the Best Director Award to his mentor, Bimal Roy.
In the following years he made numerous films. Some of his most notable films include: Anuradha (1960), Chhaya (1961), Asli-Naqli (1962), Anand (1971), Anupama (1966), Aashirwad (1968), Satyakam (1969), Guddi (1971), Bawarchi (1972), Abhimaan (1973), Namak Haraam (1973), Mili (1975), Chupke Chupke (1975), Alaap (1977), Gol Maal (1979), Khubsoorat (1980) and Bemisal (1982). He was the first to introduce Dharmendra in comedy roles, through Chupke Chupke, and gave Amitabh Bachchan his big break with Anand in 1970, along with Rajesh Khanna, he also introduced Jaya Bhaduri to Hindi cinema in his film Guddi. Having worked with his mentor, Bimal Roy as an editor, in films like Madhumati, he was much sought after as an editor as well.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award by the Government of India, in 1999. Mukherjee was chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and of the National Film Development Corporation. He was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award for his contribution to Indian cinema by government of India in 2001 . The International Film Festival of India honoured him with a retrospective of his films in November 2005. He holds the distinction of working with almost all the top Indian stars since independence of India in 1947.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was suffering from chronic renal failure and would go to Lilavati Hospital for dialysis. He was admitted to Leelavati Hospital in Mumbai early on Tuesday, 6 June 2006 after he complained of uneasiness. Mukherjee died ten weeks later on 27 August 2006.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was married and has three daughters and two sons. His wife died more than three decades before him. His younger brother Dwarkanath Mukherjee helped write the screenplay for many of his films. He was an animal lover and had many dogs and sometimes an odd cat at his residence in Bandra, Mumbai. He used to stay alone with servants and pets in his last phase of life. Family members and friends would visit him regularly.
|1957||Musafir||Dilip Kumar, Kishore Kumar, Suchitra Sen and Usha Kiran.|
|1959||Anari||Raj Kapoor, Nutan, Lalita Pawar and Motilal.|
|1960||Anuradha||Balraj Sahni, Leela Naidu|
|1961||Chhaya||Sunil Dutt, Asha Parekh|
|1962||Asli-Naqli||Dev Anand, Sadhna|
|Aashiq||Raj Kapoor, Padmini|
|1964||Saanjh Aur Savera||Guru Dutt|
|1966||Anupama||Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Shashikala, Tarun Bose|
|Gaban||Sunil Dutt, Sadhana|
|1967||Majhli Didi||Dharmendra, Meena Kumari|
|1969||Satyakam||Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore|
|Pyar Ka Sapna||Mala Sinha, Biswajeet|
|1971||Anand||Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan|
|Guddi||Dharmendra, Jaya Bhaduri, Utpal Dutt, Samit Bhanja|
|1972||Bawarchi||Rajesh Khanna, Jaya Bhaduri|
|1973||Abhimaan||Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri, Asrani|
|Namak Haraam||Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha|
|1975||Chupke Chupke||Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore, Jaya Bhaduri|
|Mili||Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri|
|Chaitali||Dharmendra, Saira Banu|
|1977||Alaap||Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha|
|1979||Gol Maal||Amol Palekar, Utpal Dutt, Bindiya Goswami|
|1980||Khubsoorat||Rekha, Rakesh Roshan, Ashok Kumar|
|1981||Naram Garam||Amol Palekar, Utpal Dutt, Swaroop Sampat, Shatrughan Sinha|
|1983||Rang Birangi||Amol Palekar, Parveen Babi, Deepti Naval, Farooq Sheikh|
|1983||Kissise Na Kehna||Utpal Dutt, Deepti Naval, Farooq Sheikh|
|Achha Bura||Raj Babbar, Anita Raj|
|1951||Do Bigha Zamin||Scenario, editor, Assistant Director|
|1977||Anuroopa||One and only Kannada Film as editor|