A hearty wide smile, jazzy clothes, rhythmically tapping feet, and a happy-go-lucky attitude is what describes the popular actor Govinda. Govinda is an actor, comedian, dancer, and politician all rolled into one pleasant personality whom the masses love. Born on the 21st of December 1963 and brought up in Virar (for which he is often addressed as Virar ka Chhokra in the media circles), he was christened Govind Arun Ahuja by his parents. His family was not alien to Bollywood. His father, Arun Kumar Ahuja was a film producer and his elder brother Kirti Kumar, is an actor, director, and producer. Govinda has inherited his melodious voice from his mother Nirmala Devi, who was herself a talented singer. He had the highest regards for his mother who lovingly called him Chi Chi. She was also the one who chose his life partner, Sunita. Govinda has often mentioned during interviews that he can never think of hurting his wife because she is his mother’s choice. Govinda and Sunita have a daughter, Narmada, and son Yashovardhan.
Govinda owns a credit of over a 120 Hindi movies. He began his innings in 1985-86 with the box office success Illzam. Some other moderately successful films followed from 1986-1988 of which Hatya, directed by his brother Kirti Kumar, was the most successful. In all these movies Govinda utilized his dancing skills for which he was also known as the modern jumping jack. His role was more of an emotional, melodramatic hero in these films. Till this time, his potential as an actor and particularly as a comedian had gone unnoticed. It was the beginning of the Govinda-David Dhawan collaboration in the 1990s that introduced and established Govinda as a comedy hero. The audience loved Govinda in his new reel incarnation.
The Govinda-David Dhawan collaboration of around 17 movies surprisingly started in 1989 with an action movie Taaqatwar. The comic series began with Shola Aur Shabnam in 1992 and was strengthened with Aankhein in 1993. Other movies that followed from the David Dhawan clan were Raja Babu with Karisma Kapoor, Coolie No. 1 with Karisma, Saajan Chale Sasural with Tabu and Karisma, Hero No. 1 with Karisma, Haseena Maan Jaegi with Sanjay Dutt and Karisma, and so on. He ruled the 1990s as a comedy hero with his last successful film as Jodi No. 1 in 2000 after which he saw a downwards trend in his career. This could have probably been due to his rejection of roles in some movies, such as Taal, Devdas, Gadar, and Biwi No. 1, which went on to become superhits.
During this low period, Govinda entered into politics and joined the Congress party. Owing his fan following and the masses’ love for Govinda, he was elected to the Lok Sabha. However, with some serious allegations of lack of responsibility during the deadly 2005 Mumbai rains and upsetting his party his career as a politician did not touch the skies.
The credit of 120 movies has also brought with itself numerous nominations and some prestigious awards for Govinda, such as the Filmfare award for best actor in a comic role for Haseena Maan Jaegi and a special Filmfare awrd for the movie Sajan Chale Sasural. . In addition, in an online survey held to discover the top 10 greatest stars of stage and screen of the last 1000 years, he was a part of the list at number 10 with names of such high stature as Charlie Chaplin and our very own Amitabh Bachchan. Govinda also has the honor of being compared to Amitabh Bachchan for playing a large number of double roles in his movies.
Govinda also had a short and not a very successful innings as a game show anchor on television. He hosted the show Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke on Zee TV. However, he is now back on big screen with a bang. His two comic movies Bhagam Bhag and Partner have proved successful and as home coming for this extremely talented actor.