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5 actors who have played Mahatma Gandhi on screen


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October 2nd is celebrated annually as Gandhi Jayanti commemorating the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the leading figures in the Indian independence movement and a pioneer of non-violent resistance. Over the years, several actors have played the role of Gandhi on the silver screen. Today we take a look at the top 5 performances that have done complete justice to Bapu’s persona.

Ben Kingsley

Ben Kingsley played Mahatma Gandhi in Richard Attenborough’s 1982 epic biographical film Gandhi, delivering one of the best performances of his career. The film received worldwide acclaim for providing a historically accurate portrayal of the life of Gandhi, the Indian independence movement, and the deleterious results of British colonisation of India. It received a leading eleven nominations at the 55th Academy Awards, winning eight, including those for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Kingsley. The British Film Institute ranked Gandhi as the 34th greatest British film of the 20th century.

Naseeruddin Shah

Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah played Gandhi in Kamal Haasan’s 2000 film Hey Ram. Apart from directing, Haasan also portrayed an important character in the film, alongside Rani Mukerji and Shah Rukh Khan. The historical crime drama depicts the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Shah received great response for his performance as Gandhi. Critics lauded him for his perfect Gujarati accent. Hey Ram garnered three National Film Awards.

Rajit Kapoor

Rajat Kapoor essayed the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1996 film The Making of the Mahatma. The Shyam Benegal directorial traces the early life of Gandhi during his 21 years in South Africa. Kapoor won the prestigious National Film Award for his excellent performance in the film.

Dilip Prabhavalkar

An actor, director, playwright, and author, Dilip Prabhavalkar played Mahatma Gandhi in Rajkumar Hirani’s blockbuster film Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006). He played the role to perfection and got the look, the mannerisms, and the voice of Bapu right. Critics and audiences appreciated his performances alike.

Annu Kapoor

Annu Kapoor played the part of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1993 film Sardar, which was primarily based on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, played by Paresh Rawal. Directed by Ketan Mehta, the film won two National Film Awards, including Best Film On National Integration.

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