Monday, May 10, 2010

A Tribute To Mac Mohan: A Most Beloved Henchman



Constantin Stanislovski, author of the influential acting book
The Method wrote that there are no small roles, only small actors. It’s become a rather clichéd saying but every cliché holds a grain of truth and nobody proved Stanislovski’s point more than Mac Mohan. There is a story in the book on the making of Sholay about Mac attending a showing of the film. He had been feeling disheartened about his small role in the film and wasn’t too enthusiastic about seeing the film. Well, it will come as no surprise to us that once word got out that “Sambha” was in the audience, the crowd went wild and Mac Mohan had to be escorted out a back entrance under heavy security—such is the power of the big actor.



Maybe it was his unbeguiling appearance, the big salt and pepper beard gave his face an honesty and an “aw shucks” aura that stood apart from the other henchmen populating films from the 1970s onward. Yusuf Khan and Shetty were beefy and menacing; Ranjeet would seduce you if you let him (even if you wouldn’t); and Tom Alter could sell you some phony merchandise with a slick grin but Mac Mohan was different. He may have been part of the bad gang but we couldn’t help but feel that he was still a good guy.



Mac’s cameo role in
Luck By Chance, where he appears before an acting class and says his famous line from Sholay (“Poorey pachaas hazaar.”), was the crowning moment to a long and memorable career. Mac Mohan was not just an actor, he became that rare commodity—an icon, like Helen, Pran, Amjad Khan, and all those other actors and actresses who shone brightly behind less talented Heroes and Heroines.

He passed away today at the age of 71 and Bollywood watchers, including myself, will miss him very much.

Hindustan Times has a nice article and IBN has a recent picture.

If you see any good tributes, please comment with a link. It looks like there isn’t much out there except wire reports.

6 comments:

Harshi said...

April 26th 2009 claimed Feroz Khan's life and now May 10th claims Mac Mohan :(

The Golden era Hindi Cinema is slowly losing all the priceless gems it had.......Rest in Peace Sambha.

Will definitely post any good links that I find.

Harshi

myrna-nora said...

Oh, what sad news. He was a truly loveable henchman.

Anarchivist said...

Very sad news. He was one of the greats...

Michael Barnum said...

Reading this broke my heart. What a great loss.

Beth said...

WHAT???? ARGH I'm away from the computer for a day and look what happens! This is really sad. I think we need to do a Bloggers Celebrate Mac Day next!

I'm remembering his dear little role in Luck by Chance....

Anishok said...

RIP Mac Mohan. I loved his little cameo in Luck by Chance...Searched for links, but no tributes came up...:(

P.S. It's Stanislavski not Stanislovski. :)

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