Known for his flamboyant persona, Feroz Khan was an actor, director and producer who had a long innings in the Hindi film industry. The actor, known for his stylish films Dharmatma and Qurbani, continued to charm audiences with his inimitable style till as late as 2007.
Members of the Hindi film industry mourned his death.
"Feroz Khan was, is and will always be there for me. I have no qualms in saying that he inspired my life,” said Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Gupta. “He is basically a reason why I became a filmmaker. He is a hero figure to me. His death is a very sad moment for all of us."
Other friends of the actor remember him as a fun loving person who loved Bangalore, the city of his birth.
"He loved Bangalore, the city he was born in. He stayed most of the time in his farmhouse. More than Mumbai, it was in Bangalore that he had spent a larger part of his life,” Shivu, a close friend of the actor, said .” He was part of the racing world. He had shot many films in his farmhouse."
Feroz Khan was born in Bangalore–his father Sadiq Ali Khan Tanoli was a Pathan from the Ghazni province of Afghanistan and his mother Fatima was an Iranian. He has three brothers–Sanjay Khan, Sameer Khan and Akbar Khan.
The actor did his schooling in Bangalore after which he went to Mumbai to pursue a career in Bollywood. He made his debut in Didi in 1959. Getting good roles was not easy for the actor and he ended up working in a lesser-known English film Tarzan Goes To India.
But he went on to act in popular films like Arzoo, Aurat and Safar as well as playing important roles in his own directorial ventures Qurbani and Dharmatma. He won a Filmfare award for best supporting role in Aadmi Aur Insaan in 1970 and was honoured with the lifetime achievement award in 2000.
In 1972, Feroz debuted as director and producer with Apradh, made under the banner of FK Films Pvt Ltd. But it was his second film, Dharmatma, based on the then successful Hollywood thriller Godfather, that catapulted him into the big league of Hindi film industry. Dharmatma, the first Indian film to be shot in Afghanistan, became a blockbuster.
After the success of the film, Feroz became a name to reckon with as an actor, director and producer. Another big hit of his was Qurbani in which he teamed up with Vinod Khanna and Zeenat Aman.
In the 80s and 90s, he made films like Dayavan and Yalgaar.
While struggling to find a firm foothold in Bollywood, Feroz married Sundari in 1965. They had a son Fardeen, who is an actor, and a daughter, Laila, a painter married to tennis player Rohit Rajpal. Fardeen tied the knot with Natasha Madhwani, daughter of yesteryears actress Mumtaz, who had played the leading role in many of Feroz's films.
His brother Sanjay is also an actor and both of them worked together in the hit film Mela. His brother Akbar, too, is in films and recently produced and directed Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story, while Sameer stays in Bangalore.
He also launched his son Fardeen with Prem Aggan in 1998 and directed him again in the 2003 film Janasheen, but both failed at the box office.
Feroz was last seen in the 2007 comedy Welcome with Akshay Kumar and Anil Kapoor.
He passed away late on Sunday at his farmhouse in Bangalore after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 69.