indian cinema heritage foundation

Anirudh Agarwal

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Anirudh Agarwal was born on 20th December 1949 in Vikas Nagar, near Dehradun. His father was a local businessman and he grew up with his 9 siblings, four brothers and five sisters. 
He pursued B.Sc in Shri Guru Ram Rai College in Dehradun while living with his father’s uncle. While Aparna Senand Jeetendra was in Dehradun shooting for Vishwas (1969), they gathered a large crowd. The young Anirudh was amongst the milling crowd, and he made up his mind to one day achieve something to garner public appreciation on such a large scale. 


As a student at Roorkee Engineering College in 1986, he tried his hand at drama and enjoyed the process. He did not do well in his second year and moved to Bombay to try his luck in the film industry. He stayed with K.N. Singh from Dehradun, a family friend. A couple of months after living with an older brother in Bombay, he decided to join the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. During his audition he befriended Mithun Chakraborty, and Premendra, who was a senior and an interviewer on the panel. 


Keeping in mind his family’s insistence that he complete his engineering degree, Anirudh made his way back to Roorkee and graduated as a civil engineer in 1974. He soon started working in a company called Foundation Corporation of India in Bombay. While in Bombay, he met someone through whom he found his way to the Ramsay brothers. The filmmakers were ecstatic: they had finally found the perfect actor to play the demon in their film Purana Mandir (1984). He continued to collaborate with the brothers in films like Saamri (1985) and Bandh Darwaza (1990), both of which were popular among their audiences. Meanwhile, he continued with his business even as he took up acting opportunities whenever they presented themselves. He played a small part in Bandit Queen (1994) as well as in the Hollywood adaptation of The Jungle Book. He lived in the United States for three months while shooting but soon returned home to be with his family. 


Anirudh Agarwal came to the television screen in 1993 when he appeared on the hit serial Zee Horror Show. He last performed onscreen in Talaash: The Hunt Begins (2003) and Journey Bombay to Goa (2007). Though he suffered from a tumour in his pituitary gland in the 1980s, he recovered and continued to work, though the surgery left its marks on his daily life. His children Aseem and Kapila have settled in the United States. Anirudh Agarwal continues to live in Bombay with his wife at present.