Gope (1914 – 1957)
Beginning his career in the early 1930s, Gope Kamlani went on to become one of Hindi cinemas most popular comedians. Such was his appeal that at the height of his career, he shared credits with the films lead actors.
One of nine children, Gope completed his education in Karachi (now in Pakistan). His interest in acting was nurtured by filmmaker K.S. Daryani, who encouraged Gope to join films. With his help, Gope convinced his father and moved to Bombay to become an actor
His first film was Insaan Ya Shaitan (1933), which starred among others Jaddan Bai, the mother of actress Nargis. Gope soon won critical and popular acclaim for his comic roles and became the leading comedian of his time. Amongst his better-known films are Hindustan Hamara, Patanga, Mirza Sahiban, and Chori Chori.
Gope also tried his hand at playing negative roles. In the 1951 Dilip Kumar-Madhubalastarter Tarana, he teamed up with Jeevan to play the villain, albeit in a comic style. He started Gope Productions in the 1950s, which made such films as Hangama and Biradari. Some of these features were directed by Gope’s brother, Ram Kamlani.
Married to actress Latika, Gope continued to act till his death in 1957.