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Prem Chopra Biography

Born : 23 September 1935

Height: 6' 2" 0″ (1.8 m)

Prem Chopra is an Indian actor who has worked in over 400 films over a span of 50 years in a number of languages, particularly Hindi and Punjabi. Chopra shot to fame within the Bombay film industry during the 1960s and 70s as a villain in films such as Woh Kaun Thi (1964), Do Anjaane (1976) and Teesri Manzil (1966). He is known for his iconic delivery of the line “Prem naam hai mera...Prem Chopra,” in the movie Bobby (1973). He also worked in a number of films as a character actor and continues to work in Hindi and Punjabi films.

Prem Chopra was born to Ranbirlal and Rooprani Chopra in Lahore. After the Partition, his family moved to Shimla where he, along with his four brothers and one sister completed their education. Chopra nursed the dream of working in the film industry and decided to come to Bombay in 1955 while he awaited his graduation results. His initial foray into the city however did not yield any positive results. It was not until 1960 that he returned to the city in search of a job in films. During this search, Chopra took up a job as a supervisor in The Times of India’s circulation department.

The same year, Chopra appeared in his first film as hero in Chaudhary Karnail Singh (1960) - a Punjabi film. The film brought Chopra a few film offers for character roles. Chopra accepted some of these roles but his first major break came in 1964. Chopra was cast in a villainous role in the Manoj Kumar starrer Woh Kaun Thi (1964). The film was a big success and made Chopra a recognizable face in film circuits.

After the film's release Chopra met the Filmistan studio chief Tolaram Jalan, who suggested that he continue to pursue the role of a villain. Chopra took his advice and built his screen persona as a villain, while continuously reinventing each role with his performance. His menacing smile became the trademark of his performances. In the coming years, Chopra worked in a number of films such as Shaheed (1965), Main Shaadi Karne Chala (1962), and Teesri Manzil (1966). While working on Upkaar (1967), Chopra gave up his job at The Times of India to concentrate on acting and worked in various commercially successful films from Do Anjaane (1976), and Kati Patang (1971) to Phool Bane Angaarey (1991).

During the later years, Chopra also dabbled in comic roles as well as positive character roles in films like Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (2001), Koi Mil Gaya... (2003) and Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year (2009).   He recently also played roles in the movies Jai Jawaan Jai Kisaan (2015), Hey Bro (2015) and I Love New Year (2014), ensuring that he remains well-known even to this date.

Prem Chopra married his wife Uma Chopra in 1969, and together they have three daughters, Rakita, Punita, and Prerna Chopra. Rakita Nanda, his daughter, also wrote his biography Prem Naam Hai Mera, which was released in 2014.

Family Tree

Uma Malhotra (27 March 1969),Uma Chopra - 1969