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Kabir Bedi honoured with Lifetime Achievement award at the Venice International Film Festival

The Indian actor is best known in Italy for the television mini-series Sandokan (1976), featuring him as a pirate hero.

Sukhpreet Kahlon

Kabir Bedi, known for the six-part Italian mini-series Sandokan (1976), which was a colossal hit in Italy and made him a household name there, has been conferred a lifetime achievement award at the ongoing Venice International Film Festival.

Variety.com reported that the actor was presented with the Filming Italy Movie Lifetime Achievement award by producer and actor Tiziana Rocca and Roberto Stabile, the advisor for internationalization and head of DGCA-MiC special projects at Cinecittà. The online report quoted the actor speaking about promoting Indo-Italian relations when he stated, “I have tried to make people in Italy focus on India for many years, and people in India focus on Italy for many years.” 

“Since the time of Sandokan, I’ve done over six major series in Italy and not many people realize that really Bollywood [commercial Hindi cinema] and Hollywood are a far lesser part of my life than my career in Italy,” he added. Expressing his gratitude to the festival, the actor shared the news on Instagram.


A post shared by Kabir Bedi (@ikabirbedi)

Directed by Sergio Sollima, Sandokan was based on the novels of Emilio Salgari that featured the pirate hero Sandokan. The synopsis of the series, as described on Bedi’s website, reads: The brave Sandokan is a young Indian prince who has lost his kingdom and title as result of the British annexation. Along with his friend Yanez De Gomera, Sandokan is now the ruler of the isle of Mompracem, a den of pirates who make constant attacks against British forces.

The series kickstarted Bedi’s international career as it became the most successful series in European television history. In the Introduction to Sandokan, Bedi describes the series as being an “incredible experience”.

Bedi is known for his roles in Kachhe Dhaage (1973), Khoon Bhari Maang (1988), Kurbaan (1991), Main Noon Na (2004), and recently Sahib, Biwi Our Gangster 3 (2018)

His international career includes playing the villain in the James Bond film Octopussy (1983), and starring in the American television soap series The Bold and the Beautiful. He also starred in the Italian film, The Black Corsair (1976), and The Return of Sandokan (1996), a sequel to the series. 

In 2010, Bedi was named Cavaliere (Knight) of the 'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana', the highest-ranking civilian honour of the Italian Republic. 

In 2021, the actor released his autobiography Stories I Must Tell, a memoir about his rise from a middle-class Delhi boy to a remarkable international career.

Related topics

Venice International Film Festival