Featuring mainly in supporting roles, actor and producer Johnny Whisky is known for films such as Saat Sawal Yane Hatim Tai (1971), Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri (1990), Narsimha (1991), Daulat Ki Jung (1992), Jigarwala (1990), Hukumnaama (1994), Aakhri Sungharsh (1997) and Dulhan Banoo Mein Teri (1999). Over the course of his career, he featured in approximately 100 films. He is also credited with producing the films Gunah Aur Kanoon (1970) and Hukumnaama. As a playback singer, he rendered songs for films such as Akeli Mat Jaiyo (1960), Anjaam (1968), Qatil (1988), Mohabat Ka Paigham (1989), Swarg Jaisa Ghar (1991), and Narasimha (1991).
Born Sheikh Zennul Abdeen on 8 February, 1932 in Hyderabad, he used the name Johnny Whisky for his career in films. His early films include Shola Aur Shabnam (1961), Opera House (1961) in which he played a street singer, Man Mauji (1962) and Taj Mahal (1963). He essayed a range of character and supporting roles in the many films he featured in over the years from the 1960s till the late 1990s. In Chand Aur Suraj (1965) he played insurance agent Samant, while he was Bihari’s employee in Saheli (1965), Bertha’s friend in Mohabbat Zindagi Hai (1966), Mr John in Main Wahi Hoon (1966), Chaliya in Insaaf (1966), Sunderlal Kadwani in Abhilasha (1968), and reporter Khatumal Vasvani in Toofan (1969). The Thief of Baghdad (1969) saw him essay a singer-dancer disguised as a woman, while he played a mental hospital inmate in Purani Pehchan (1971), Inspector Pandey in Rocky Mera Naam (1973), Kaalia in Jwaar Bhata (1973), the eunuch in Do Chattane (1974), Dr R Sharma in Yeh Sach Hai (1975), a drunk in Chhailla Babu (1977), a fan of Sadhana in Ladies Tailor (1981), jeweller Ratilal in Fifty Fifty (1981), the fair organiser in Hum Dono (1985), the pimp in Do Qaidi (1989), and the character Banke in Aakhri Sanghursh (1997).
Among the songs he rendered are Ladke ki aaj mai mubarakbadi, Bacha le sambhale koi to yaha se nikale, Bambai se aaya tera dost, Dhire re chalo meri langadi bandariya, Pakad pakad khinch ke pakad, Mehfil ho dil walon ki, Waha tu hai yaha main, Mubarak ho tumko ye jungle purana, and Tumna kya mai gori hu aa kaali hu.
As a producer, he is known for the films Gunah Aur Kanoon (1970) and Hukumnaama. The crime drama Gunah Aur Kanoon was directed by B R Ishara and starred Sanjeev Kumar, Prithviraj Kapoor, Kumkum, and Sailesh Kumar. His production Hukumnaama was also directed by B R Ishara, and starred Mukesh Khanna and Farha Naaz.
In the 1990s, he was also producing a film titled Dil Mein Ho Tum starring Rahul Roy and Raveena Tandon, directed by Surendra Mohan, which got shelved. His production titled Adawaat with Sanjeev Kumar also got shelved after the actor passed away in 1985.
Johnny Whisky passed away on 7 December, 2006 in Mumbai. He was 74.