indian cinema heritage foundation

Bikramjeet Kanwarpal

  • Born: August 29, 1968 (Himachal Pradesh)
  • Died: 1 May, 2021 (Mumbai)
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi
  • Parents: Lt Col Dwarka Nath Kanwarpal

Bikramjeet Kanwarpal was known for playing supporting parts in films such as Paap (2003), Don (2006), Murder (2011), Red Gold (2014), Saaho (2019), The Ghazi Attack (2017) and Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009). A retired army veteran, he had made his acting debut in 2003. He also acted in several TV series and webseries such as 24: India (2013), Siyaasat (2014), P.O.W. Bandi Yuddh Ke (2017), Operation Cobra (2019), and Aapkey Kamrey Mein Koi Rehta Hai (2021). He served as military technical advisor on the film Frozen in 2007, set in Ladakh. 

Born on 29 August, 1968 in Solan, Himachal Pradesh, he was the son of Indian Army officer, Lt Col Dwarka Nath Kanwarpal, who was awarded the Kirti Chakra in 1963. Though an ‘army brat’, a term used affectionately for the children of army officers, Bizz—as he was known by his friends, colleagues and seniors—did not take academics lightly. Passionate about acting since his childhood, he used to participate in school plays and drama. He completed his Higher Secondary Examination from The Lawrence School, Sanawar in 1986. Three years later he joined the Indian Army, commissioned as an officer in Hodson’s Horse (also called the 4th Horse), a prestigious regiment of the Armoured Corps raised in the British era. Joining the regiment at Nabha, Punjab, his popularity grew with the regiment as well as the entire brigade.

Retiring from the army in 2002 as a Major, he went on to fulfil his childhood dream of being an actor. He debuted in 2003, with the film Paap. He played a character named Ratan Singh in the film directed by Pooja Bhatt, starring John Abraham, Udita Goswami, Gulshan Grover and Mohan Agashe. A crime thriller, the film did average business at the box office but received considerable critical acclaim, especially for its cinematography, and direction.

He went on to be seen in a variety of roles such as Sub Inspector Naik in Karam (2005), Senior VP of the Sehgal Group in Corporate (2006), a CBI officer in The Killer (2006), Dr Ashok Khilwani in Don (2006), Colonel Shakoor in 1921 (2007), a production manager in Om Shanti Om (2007), Commissioner Ahmed Khan in Murder 2 (2011), a photography teacher in Hate Story 2 (2014), Inspector Chaubey in Creature (2014), a character named Ishwar in Red Gold (2014), a detective in Bhaag Johnny (2015), part of the navy staff in The Ghazi Attack (2017), an interrogation officer in Yeh Hai India (2017), a member of the Roy Board group in Saaho (2019), Dr Kamlesh in Bypass Road (2019), and a school sergeant in The Tenant (2021). 

He also featured in several TV serials as well as webseries. His projects include Dhoom Machaao Dhoom (2007), Kismat (2011), 24: India (2013)  in which he played SFG Agent Pradhan featuring alongside Anil Kapoor, Siyaasat (2014) in which he played a character named Abul Fazl, P.O.W. Bandi Yuddh Ke (2017) essaying the character Rohatgi, Dev DD (2017) in which he played a father, Time Out (2017), Die Trying (2018) in which he played a character named Mr Philip, Operation Cobra (2019) essaying RAW Chief Khurana, Yeh Hai Chahatein (2019) in which he played Niketan Singhania, Bhaukaal (2020) playing MP Aslam Rana, Special Ops (2020) playing G P Mathur, Illegal – Justice, Out Of Order (2020), Your Honour (2020) in which he played Jagmohan Punchhi, Undekhi (2020), Avrodh: The Siege Within (2020), and Aapkey Kamrey Mein Koi Rehta Hai (2021) in which he played Mr Roy. 

He also served as the military technical advisor on Frozen in 2007. A black-and-white Indian drama film directed by Shivajee Chandrabhushan, the film depicts the life of a family comprising Lasya, her father Karma and younger brother Chomo, in a remote village in the Himalayas, whose dream-like existence is interrupted by inevitable odds, after the army moves in and settles across their doorstep. The film starred Danny Denzongpa, Gauri, and Skalzang Angchuk, and was shot on location at Ladakh, India. It went on to be featured at various international film festivals, including the 2007 London Film Festival and Dubai International Film Festival, and was the official selection at 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, 2008 San Francisco International Film Festival, and Palm Springs International Film Festival. At the annual National Film Awards, it was awarded the 2007 Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director.

Bikramjeet Kanwarpal passed away due to Covid-19 complications on 1 May, 2021. He was 52. On his passing, actor Neil Nitin Mukesh remembered him as a “fantastic, encouraging and energetic human being”.



Image courtesy: