Madan Mohan - The Aspiring Actor
23 August 2011

Three rare clips of Madan Mohanji as an aspiring actor before he became a legendary composer

Madan Mohan was the son of Rai Bahadur Chunnilal, a studio baron, and thus always had a desire to be a part of the entertainment world. Apart from wanting to be a singer, he also aspired to be an actor before he became a composer. After an appearance in an early film, JANMABHOOMI (1936), as a child actor, he made his acting debut in PARDA, a film that was later shelved and never released. This was followed by a small appearance as heroine Kamini Kaushal's brother in the 1948 Dilip Kumar starrer, SHAHEED. He also acted in AANSOO (1953) which was never released and MUNIMJI (1954), which released a few years after he had done his small part much earlier.


As a child actor in JANMABHOOMI (1936)

A clip from an early Bombay Talkies film Janmabhoomi (Franz Osten, 1936) featuring two 'village boys' characters played by Madan Mohan and his real life brother, Prakash Kohli, and their on-screen characters are also named Madan and Prakash!

The two brothers acted in a scene in this film as their father was the General Manager of Bombay Talkies, the studio which produced the film. Madanji was 11 years old at the time, and is the elder of the two boys in this rare clip.

As an actor in SHAHEED (1948)

A clip from the well-known film SHAHEED, featuring Madan Mohanji in a small role as the heroine’s brother. The film starred Dilip Kumar and Kamini Kaushal.

As an actor in MUNIMJI (1954)

MUNIMJI, the Dev Anand - Nalini Jaywant starrer was a Filmistan production, a studio in which Rai Bahadur Chunnilal was a partner. His son, Madan Mohan assisted composer S. D. Burman with the music, as well as made a small appearance in the film as the heroine’s brother. MUNIMJI was many years in the making, and Madanji's stint in it was over before he debuted as a composer in 1950 with AANKHEN. A part of his appearance in MUNIMJI can be seen in this video clip.