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Mahesh Bhatt Biography

About Mahesh Bhatt

The outspoken and high flying Mahesh Bhatt is a writer, director and producer in Bollywood known for making movies based on his own life and remaking Hollywood hits.

Mahesh Bhatt was born on 20th September 1949 in Mumbai. His father was Nanabhai Bhatt, a director and producer. His mother was a Muslim while his father was a Hindi Brahmin. His uncle Balwant Bhatt was a film director.

Bhatt married Kiran Bhatt in 1970 and had two children Pooja and Rahul with her. Pooja Bhatt is an actress turned director who has worked in several of his productions. After his separation with Kiran, he married actress Soni Razdan and has two daughters with her Shaheen and Alia.

Apart from movies, spirituality is a big part of his life. He was initially interested in the teachings of Osho Rajneesh and later by those of U.G. Krishnamurthi. He also wrote a biography called U.G.Krishnamurthi: A Life in 1992.

He began his career in cinema when he was twenty one years old as Raj Khosla's assistant. Bhatt went on to direct both art and commercial movies, winning numerous awards along the way.

Bhatt has also worked on television serials like Swaabhimaaan (1995), A Mouthful of Sky (1995) and Kabhie Kabhie (1997).

1970 to 1979  Mahesh Bhatt made his directorial debut with Sakat (1979). This was followed by Manzilein Aur Bhi Hai (1974), Vishwasghat (1977), Naya Daur (1978) and Lahu Ke Do Rang (1979). He worked with actors like Vinod Khanna, Shabana Azmi, Sanjeev Kumar and Kabir Bedi.

1980 to 1989  With the release of Arth (1982) he won the Best Screenplay Award while the lead actress Shabana Azmi won a National Award for her performance. The movie was inspired by his own life and was woman-centered.

He wrote and directed Saaransh (1984) about a couple who lose their only son and the entry of an actress into their life. The role of the actress was played by Soni Razdan whom he later married. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Story and a special prize at the Moscow International Film Festival.

Jaanam (1985), based on his own experience, sealed his position in Bollywood as one of the best directors. He made movies like Aashiana (1986), Naam (1986), Aaj (1987), Kaash (1987), Thikana (1987), Siyasat (1989) and Kabzaa (1989).

The made for television movie Daddy (1989) was his daughter Pooja Bhatt's debut as an actress and explored the relationship between a young girl and her alcoholic father, which was played by Anupam Kher.

1990 to 1999  Aashiqui (1990) became one of the best love stories told in Bollywood making the lead couple Anu Aggarwal and Rahul Roy famous overnight. The movie won several awards for it's soundtrack.

The remake of the Hollywood movie It Happened One Night, Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991), saw his daughter Pooja Bhatt in the lead with Aamir Khan. Bhatt was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award.

Sadak (1991) was yet another runaway hit and was based on the Hollywood hit Taxi Driver. It starred Pooja Bhatt and Sanjay Dutt. He then worked on a horror movie Junoon (1992). Sir (1993) was critically acclaimed.

Hum Hai Rahi Pyaar Ki (1993) with Juhi Chawla and Aamir Khan, won several awards. His other directorial ventures include Naajayaz (1995), Papa Kahte Hai (1996), Dastak (1996) and Duplicate (1998).

Zakhm (1998) which was yet another movie based on a real life story was a noteworthy success. It won him the Filmfare Best Story Award and The Nargis Dutt National Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.

Mahesh Bhatt co-owns a production house Vishesh Films with his brother Mukesh Bhatt. Some of the movies released under their banner are Raaz (2002) and Gangster (2007).
Bhatt has scripted movies like Tamanna (1997), Dushman (1998), Jism (2003), Murder (2004), Zeher (2005), Gangster (2006) and Woh Lamhe (2006).

Mahesh Bhatt will be directing and producing a biopic on Benazir Bhutto, expected to be released in 2009.