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Meet Jackie Shroff, the model — Birthday special

A lookback at five of Shroff's retro advertisements from the early part of his career on his 60th birthday today (1 February).

Sonal Pandya

Before shooting to overnight fame with Subhash Ghai's Hero (1983), Jackie Shroff was just another model who stumbled into acting. Jackie began modelling after trying his hand at a number of different professions, from chef to garment supervisor to ticketing agent. He fell into modelling when he was spotted on the side of the road by an advertising executive. The rest, as they say, is history.

The lad from Teen Patti suited up nicely when he modelled for Binny Polyester Suitings. Jackie recalled his big break in an online interview that "Mr. and Mrs. Jain first made me model for a well-known brand of suiting. I got money and also the suit I wore. That's how it started." Jackie's son Tiger greatly resembles the young Jackie of these early advertisements.

This Charminar cigarette advertisement led Jackie to his first onscreen role as a baddie in Dev Anand's Swami Dada (1982). Featuring Dev's son, Suneil Anand, Jackie played the henchman to Shakti Kapoor's villain. Dev Anand first spotted the young Jackie on the poster of this ad and was convinced that he was the right new face to cast.

Similar to his look as a former ruffian in Ghai's Hero, a tousled Jackie posed for the Savage for Men aftershave. Jackie quickly became the natural choice for advertisers wanting to up the sex appeal in their promotions.

Another brand, Avis Jeans, took stock of Jackie's reputation and the past on the wild side as 'Jaggu Dada' and used to it to their advantage in the print ads promoting the toughness of their products.

Adversely, Cadbury's used his tough guy image to claim that once in awhile, even tough guys can end the day with a bewitching cup of drinking chocolate at night. And a good book, of course!