Lakshmikant Berde (Marathi: लक्ष्मीकांत बेर्डे) (3 November 1954 – 16 December 2004;Mumbai) was an Indian actor who appeared in Marathi and Hindi movies. Known for his highly energetic slapstick performances, he has been described as one of the best comedian stars in Marathi movies.
Lakshmikant was interested in acting. His participation in stage dramas during the cultural activities for Ganesh festival celebrations performed at Konkanasth Vaishya Samaj, Girgaum got him interested in acting. He won awards for participation in inter-school and inter-college drama competitions. Following this, Berde started his acting career with the Mumbai Marathi Sahitya Sangh. In 1983–84, he acquired his first major role in Purushottam Berde’s Marathi stage play Tour Tour which became a hit and Berde’s style of comedy was appreciated.
Lakshmikant initially started acting in bit roles in Marathi stage plays. Berde made his movie debut with the Marathi movie Lek Chalali Sasarla. While balancing Marathi stage plays and movies, Berde got his first brush with fame around 1983–84 with the hit Marathi stage play “Tour-Tour”.
He first appeared to public in Doordarshan produced marathi program “Gajara” with his famous mimic style.
Subsequently in 1985 he acted as a second lead to Mahesh Kothare in the Marathi movie “De Dana Dan” and then alongside super star Ashok Saraf in “Dhoom Dadaka”. Both these movies turned super hits in which Berde established his trademark comedy style making him famous overnight.
Berde found success from 1986 to 1996. A string of blockbusters such as Aamhi Doghe Raja Rani, Hamaal De Dhamaal, Ashi Hi Banwa Banvi, Balache Baap Brahmachari, Eka Peksha Ek, Bhootacha Bhau, Thartharat and Zapatlela catapulted Berde to super stardom.
In most movies, he starred either alongside director-actor Mahesh Kothare or with director-actor Sachin and Ashok Saraf. The Laxmikant Berde- Ashok Saraf pair is recognized to be the most successful lead actor pairs in Indian cinema (if the number of super hit movies are to be taken into account). That decade will be best remembered by the Marathi film industry as the “Ashok-Laxya” era. Both actors remained best friends until Berde died. In most movies, Berde was paired with actress Priya Arun.
Berde’s first Hindi film was Sooraj Barjatya’s Maine Pyar Kiya starring Salman Khan in 1989. Some of his other popular Hindi films include Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, Mere Sapno Ki Rani, Aarzoo, Saajan, Beta, 100 Days and Anari. Berde also kept working as the lead actor in super hit Marathi stage plays like “Shantecha Karta Chalu Aahe” and others.
Lakshmikant Berde died in Mumbai on 16 December 2004 due to a kidney ailment. In the last years of his life, Berde floated his own production house, Abhinay Arts, named after his son. Very few know that Laxmikant Berde was very good Ventriloquist and Guitar player.
The who’s who of Marathi film industry gathered to bid a tearful farewell to this fine actor. Mahesh Kothare, Ashok Saraf and Sachin Pilgaonkar were present.