Premnath Malhotra (21 November 1926 – 3 November 1992) was an Indian actor.
He was born in Karimpura locality near Ghanta Ghar in Peshawar. His family moved to Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh after partition and he moved to Mumbai where he was discovered as an actor.
He married actress Bina Rai. Their children are actor Prem Krishen and Kailash Nath (Monty). They are also the grandparents of actress Akanksha Malhotra and director Siddharth Malhotra who are Prem Krishen’s children.
Adiraj Malhotra and Arjun Malhotra are the sons of Kailash Nath. His sister Krishna married Raj Kapoor while his other sister Uma was married to veteran Bollywood actor Prem Chopra.
His brothers Rajendra Nath and Narendra Nath were also actors who mostly appeared in comic and supporting roles. He was also a close friend of the actress Asha Parekh.
He died of a heart attack in 1992 at the age of 65,just 18 days before his 66th birthday.
Premnath made his film debut in Ajit (1948), opposite Monica Desai, and was one of the first colour films. He got major roles in Raj Kapoor’s first directorial film Aag and Barsaat (1949) which was his first major success. Premnath went on to appear in many films for the next three decades, some of which were the biggest blockbusters in Indian film history.
The films in which he played the leading role failed to do well but the films in which he played the central villain role or supporting role were some of the biggest blockbusters in Indian film history.
Some his most notable films were Aan (1952), Teesri Manzil (1966), Johny Mera Naam (1970), Tere Mere Sapne (1971), Roti Kapada Aur Makaan (1974), Dharmatma (1975), Kalicharan (1976) and Desh Premee (1982). He also starred in the religious Punjabi film Sat Sri Akal (1977).
He fell in love with actress Bina Rai during the filming of Aurat. They married and formed a production company together called P.N. films. They pinned high hopes for their films, which didn’t become hits, such as Shagufa, Prisoner of Golconda, Samunder and Watan. Thus, the Premnath – Bina Rai pair never clicked on the screen.
He earned Filmfare nominations as Best Supporting Actor for: Shor (1972), Bobby (1973), Amir Garib (1974), and Roti Kapda Aur Makaan (1974).
Apart from Bollywood films, he also appeared in an episode of the American television series Maya in 1967 and a 1969 American film titled Kenner opposite former American football player turned actor Jim Brown.
He starred in a number of Punjabi films such as Sat Sri Akal (1977). He also directed a film Samundar (1957) for his home production house P. N. films, which was its only production.
His last film appearance was in Hum Dono (1985) after which he retired from acting. He died in 1992 of a heart attack at the age of sixty-five.