Saturday, March 6, 2010

Behind the Music: The Stars of Rock Dancer

Or, Who the Hell Are These People?

After an afternoon of extensive research, I am relatively confident that I have identified most of who played whom in Rock Dancer. At least one of them made me go "duh!" The names are listed as they appear in the movie's credits, and in that order.

Kamal Sadanah. Played Rocky. His father was director Brij Sadanah (of Oonche Log fame -- and his Kathputli is near the top of my Netflix queue), who apparently went on a drunken rampage on Kamal's 20th birthday, killing Kamal's mother, sister, and himself. He also shot Kamal and a visiting friend, who both survived. Shocking! There's a story here, but mind the pop-ups.

Ritu Shivpuri. Played Ritu. One of the few people in this film identified on the IMDB. She debuted in a Govinda/David Dhawan movie, so maybe that explains his presence. I found a where-are-they-now piece on her, but again, beware the pop-ups. Darn Times of India site. Not much detail, but loved the bit about her alleged romance with Kamal Sadanah! They don't say if it was on the set of Rock Dancer, sadly.

Ronit Roy. Played Rakesh. Not only was he recently in Luck By Chance, but got a "Special Thanks" in the credits. I don't know why.

Shammi Kapoor. Played a Dance Master, who was really an undercover cop. He should need no explanation.

Sharon Prabhakar. She must have been Jaya, although the pictures aren't helping me. She was a playback singer who appeared in a few films.

Javed Jafri. (Better known as Jaffrey). Played J.J. Of course the name was familiar -- he's the crazy Crocodile Dundee guy in Salaam Namaste. Among tons of other things. I hadn't realized before that he's the son of Jagdeep. Squee! I thought he was quite dreamy. Javed, that is ... but then, I've really only seen Jagdeep in crazy get-ups, so who knows?

Anoop Kumar. Played, I'm pretty sure, the old dude who runs the hotel, and turns out to be one of the undercover cops. There are two Anoop Kumars, one a Bengali actor, and the other the brother of Ashok and Kishore. I'm going with the latter.

Jhony Lever. Or Johnny, as we know him. Played a cop.

"Introducing Bappa Lahiri." Son of Bappi, now a music director in his right, although I haven't heard any of his work. He'd have been only about twelve or thirteen when Rock Dancer was released, so all I can think is that he was the weird, inexplicable Michael Jackson impersonator in "Traffic Jam":

I know what I'm asking Bappi if I ever get a chance!

Pental. (Also seen credited as Paintal). Another thankfully familiar face. Played a cop.

Late Jalal Agha. Played the Elvis dude, who was really an undercover cop. Among many, many other roles, he was, as noted in Rock Dancer, the banjo player in Sholay.

Sudhir. I have been unable to find anything out about him yet, but I'm guessing he played Jaya and Ritu's father, since nobody else fits the bill.

Baby Gazala. Played Jaya and Raj's daughter Pinky. If you put her into Google, there are a million hits, but none seem to have any information -- like maybe her real name?

Mac Mohan. Played the lawyer, Advocate Mehra. Well, we should all know him. Here's a chat with The Hindu online. I agree it was a tragedy that he didn't get more diverse roles, although I appreciate the ones we got.

Sevanand. A.K.A.'ed on the IMDB as Shivanand. I have no idea who he played.

Ahmed. Well, I'm not crazy enough to try to find someone just based on the name "Ahmed."

G.P. Singh. Sadly, no idea on him either.

"And Deb Mukerji." Played Raj. He's Kajol's uncle. Of course. He was recently in Kaminey, which almost, but not quite, makes me want to see it.

"Special Appearance Govinda." Well, he played Govinda, so that was easy enough.

"International Star Samanta Fox." For those of you who missed the '80s, she was a topless British "Page 3" girl who became a pop star with songs like "Touch Me (I Wanna Feel Your Body)" -- the only one I can actually remember. If you're curious about her, watch your step when doing research at the public library: there was an adult film actress with the same name. According to that unimpeachable source, the Wikipedia, The Daily Star voted her "Best Page 3 Pin-Up Ever" in 2008.

A standing ovation, please!


memsaab said...

Brij's wife was one of my favorite Arabian Nights type film actresses of the 60s, Sayeeda Khan. Very tragic :(

Sudhir you can find in my 70s gallery (and 60s)---he was paired with Ranjeet a lot in villainy. Very handsome guy (there are lots of ss of him on my blog if you search his name). Same with Jalal Agha and Paintal.

And I did not know that Javed Jaffrey is Jagdeep's son! Nifty research all the way around, Karen. Well done. Off to read the review of said film now :D

Anarchivist said...

Ooh, going to see Sudhir right this second!

Anarchivist said...

Oh yes, and I forgot to mention, Ritu Shivpuri is of course Om Shivpuri's daughter. Practically self-evident, but worth stating.