For decades -- from the mid-'70s into the late 2000s -- Prem Chopra held court as one of Bollywood's most sought-after movie stars. A thickly featured, stocky character player, Chopra was (unsurprisingly and perhaps inevitably) often cast as distinguished professional types, from military officers to distinguished spiritual, political, and civic leaders, with occasional roles as gun-wielding toughs and a knack for specializing in villainous portrayals. He eventually accumulated a tally of over 400 films in his first 35 years onscreen. The third of six children, Chopra grew up in Lahore and ultimately enrolled in Punjabi University. The actor-to-be acquired an inveterate love of drama during his collegiate years, and classmates often voted him the most gifted actor in various plays. Following graduation, he attempted to break into the Bollywood film industry, but had difficulty and found it necessary to take a job at the Times of India to support himself while awaiting his big break. Chopra owed some of his success to his diverse linguistic abilities, which gave him a foothold in Punjabi and Hindi-language projects. Feature projects included Mera Saaya (1966), Nafrat (1973), Daata (1989), Shikaar (2004), and Money Hai Toh Honey Hai (2008).
Biography by Nathan Southern
- In his career of over 50 years, he has appeared in more than 300 movies.
- Worked for the Times of India in the early days of his career.
- Made his Bollywood debut in Hum Hindustani (1960).
- Won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his role in Do Anjaane (1976).
- His daughter Rakita Nanda has written a biography about him.