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Ashok Shivpuri - A Versatile Actor 

by Wilma Fernandes

He has accomplished the feat of being seen in thousands of homes at the same time, many a time. He is not a magician, but a versatile actor from the Indian Oil family. He has acted in many teleserials/movies, including two telestories written by Hans Anderson and directed by Tariq Shah in Hindi, that were telecast recently on DD National TV channel, where he played the role of a musician and a rich father respectively.

He is none other than Mr. Ashok Shivpuri, retired Senior Manager (Industrial Relations) Marketing HQs.

He has entertained televisionviewers/ movie-goers with his portrayal of a variety of roles. A multitalented person, Ashok Shivpuri is a good singer too. He has inherited his love for music from his mother. His passion for acting was shown when he was in Class V and was given the opportunity to perform in a drama. He went on to become a Child Artiste (Drama Division) at the All India Radio, New Delhi and continued for a number of years.

Ashok Shivpuri’s romance with the silver screen started in 1980 in Madras, where he was posted, through a chance meeting with the famous Malayalam Film Director, P. Chandra Kumar, who offered him a meaty role of a villain in ‘Mukhangal’, a Malyalam movie opposite K.R.Vijaya - a talented actress of the south.

The acting talent of Ashok Shivpuri was noticed by Hindi flm producers and this Kashmir-born actor acted in Ye Rishte Na toote, Dharmadhikari, Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtar, Chaalbaaz, Aag, Justice Chowdary, Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye, Mawali, Duty, Inqulab, Hoshiyar and a host of other films.

'Mr. Prime Minister' directed by Dev Anand and ‘Filmstar’ directed by Tanuja Chandra are the recent ones.

"I interviewed the famous legend of the film industry – Amitabh Bachchan for a job", recalls Ashok Shivpuri with a chuckle. That was in the movie Inquilab, directed by the famous South Indian Director, T Rama Rao where he played the role of a General Manager of a company where the ‘ Big not appointed.

He has had the proud privilege of acting with well-known cine stars – Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar, K.R. Vijaya, Govinda, Sridevi, Rajesh Khanna, Shabana Azmi, Pran, Asrani, Jitendra, Raj Babbar, Vinod Mehra, Madan Puri, etc. in various movies.

Interestingly, he has also played myriad roles including that of a comedian, hero, and even a pimp.

A Post-Graduate in Personnel Management, Sales & Marketing Management from Delhi University, and a Diploma-holder in Film Appreciation from the Film & Television Institute, Madras, Ashok Shivpuri handled various responsible assignments in Indian Oil at different locations in Mumbai, Madras and new Delhi. During his posting in the Southern Region, he was the first nonpolice personnel considered to handle the post of Senior Vigilance Officer.

Ashok Shivpuri has one daughter who is settled in USA.

The only child of his parents, Ashok Shivpuri has never had any formal training in acting. Acting comes naturally to him. A die-hard fan of Ashok Kumar, Sohrab Modi, Balraj Sahani, Raj Kapoor and Rajkumar, there is nothing more satisfying for Ashok Shivpuri than performing under the arc-lights of the tinsel world and the small screen. And what better way to spend his retired life than doing what he likes the best – Acting.

[Courtesy: Indian Oil News] 


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