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No Fear No Favour

Jackie Shroff – I wanted to be a chef; I became a hero.”: Birthday Special

Commonly known as Bhidu of Bollywood Jackie Shroff was born on 1 February 1967. He was born as Jai Kishan Kakubhai Shroff in Mumbai, India. His father, Kakabhai Haribhai Shroff, was a Gujarati and his mother was a Turkish from Kazakhstan.

As a youngster, he modeled in a few advertisements including Savage perfumes. It was one of his classmates in school who gave Shroff his name “Jackie” and then filmmaker Subash Ghai stuck to this name when he launched him in the film Hero. Shroff regularly revisits his childhood home in Teen Batti.

Very few people know that in 1990 his grandmother escaped to Ladakh along with her seven daughters when there was a coup in Kazakhstan. He along with his parents migrated to Delhi, and finally to Mumbai.


Shroff dropped out of school after his 11th standard as his family did not have much money. He tried his hand working as an apprentice chef at Taj Hotels and as a flight attendant at Air India, but he was rejected from both places because of his lack of qualifications.

He then started working as a travel agent in a local company called “Trade Wings” near Jehangir Art Gallery. An advertising agency accountant spotted him at the bus stand and asked him if he would be interested in modeling. The next day, Shroff went to the advertising agency (National advertising agency) located in the same building as Davar’s college near Flora Fountain for the photo shoot during his lunchtime.

This photoshoot for a suit shirt launched Shroff on his modeling path. In 1982, Shroff made his acting debut in Dev Anand’s movie Swami Dada.


In 1983, Subhash Ghai cast him in the lead role for the movie Hero, paired against Meenakshi Seshadri. The film was a success. He continued to work in Subhash Ghai movies, irrespective of any role that was offered. After Hero, he did several other films, such as Andar-Bahar, Jaanoo and Yudh were successful.

In 1986 he did Karma which became the highest-grossing film of 1986. His next film to be released was Kaash. Later films, such as Dahleez and Sachche ka Bol-Bala were critically acclaimed but failed at the box office. But he came back to success through films such as Ram Lakhan, Tridev, and Parinda, which won him Filmfare award for the best actor.

In the 90s he was part of successful films such as Saudagar, Angaar, Sapne Sajan Ke, Gardish, Khalnayak, 1942: A Love Story, Rangeela, Agnisakshi, Border, and Shapath.

In 2006, Shroff acted in the children’s film Bhoot Unkle.

He has been in the Hindi cinema (Bollywood) industry for almost four decades and as of 2017 has appeared in more than 220 films in thirteen languages (Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Bengali, Malayala, Tamil, Telugu, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, and English Language) He has won four Filmfare Awards among other accolades.

Shroff married his longtime girlfriend Ayesha Dutt, a model who later became a film producer. The couple together has two children, a son, Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff, and daughter Krishna Shroff.

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