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Remembering the Romantic Joy Mukherjee

Last updated on: March 9, 2012 16:53 IST

Remembering the Romantic Joy Mukherjee

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Veteran actor-director Joy Mukherjee passed away into the ages on March 9. He was 73. We look back at the actor, who won many hearts with his youthful romance and charming looks.
 
Born on February 24, 1939, Joy Mukherjee was the son of a successful producer and co-founder of Mumbai's Filmalaya Studios, Sashadhar Mukherjee, and Ashok Kumar's sister Satirani Devi.
 
Joy started his career in R K Nayyar's Love in Simla (1960), co-starring Sadhana.
 
He joined the film industry quite by accident.
 
The script and dialogue writer of Love in Shimla Agha Jani Kashmeri was a friend and employee of Sashadhar. One day, Sashadhar and Agha were discussing who should play the lead in Love in Shimla. The former wanted to rope in Shammi Kapoor. Just then, Joy walked in the room, and Agha suggested his name.
 
Sashadhar was not keen on making his son an actor but Agha Jani was impressed with the tall and good looking Joy.
 
Sashadhar asked Agha Jani whether he will teach Joy the nuances of acting. The latter agreed and Bollywood got a new hero.

Image: Joy Mukherjee in Love in Shimla


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After Love in Simla, Joy did another film with Sadhana called Ek Musafir Ek Haseena.
 
Despite beautiful songs by O P Nayyar, Ek Musafir was initially rejected at the box office.
 
A quick re-edit by director Raj Khosla made it more audience-friendly and the film gained in strength week after week.

Image: Sadhana, Joy Mukherjee in Ek Musafir Ek Hasina


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Sadhana and Asha Parekh were Filmalaya Studios' find, so Joy's next film starred Asha.
 
Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963) was a huge hit. The pair went on to give two more hits -- Ziddi (1964) and Love in Tokyo (1966).
 
Joy did five films with Saira Banu -- Door Ki Awaaz, Aao Pyar Kare, Saaz Aur Awaaz, Yeh Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hain and Shagird but only Shagird became a hit.
 
With the advent of heroes like Dharmendra, Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna, Joy Mukerjee started getting lesser and lesser work.

Image: Joy Mukherjee, Saira Banu in Shagird


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Joy then turned to filmmaking.
 
His first direction Humsaya (1968) starred Mala Sinha, Sharmila Tagore and himself in a double role. He spent lavishly on the film, and paid a lot of money on the stunts. One of the scenes included him blowing a series of trucks. It nearly cost him his life. The film did bad business and Joy lost his heart in the movies.

He took to acting again but this time in B-grade films like Ehsaan (1970) with Anjana, Mujrim (1970) with Kumud Chuggani, Puraskar (1970) with Sapna and Kahin Aar Kahin Paar (1971) with Vimi.
 
His films with A-listers like Waheeda Rehman (Love in Bombay, 1974), Nutan (Saanjh Ki Bela, 1981) and Nanda (Umeed, 1989) failed at the box office too.
 
That's when his career's downfall started.

Image: Asha Parekh and Joy Mukherjee in Love in Tokyo


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In 1972, Joy directed a film called Ek Baar Muskura Do. It was produced by his older brother Shomu, and it co-starred his younger brother Deb.
 
Tanuja, who later married Shomu, and had daughters Kajol and Tanisha, was his co-star. The film fared average because of its music.
 
In 1977, he directed Zeenat Aman and Rajesh Khanna in Chaila Babu. Two of the songs -- Yaar Dildar Tujhe Kaisa Chahiye and Main Babu Chhaila -- became very popular. After that, he took a sabbatical from the film industry
 
Joy last acted in a television serial called Aye Dil-e-Nadan in 2009.

Image: Joy Mukherjee and Asha Parekh in Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon


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