Mehmood Ali (29 September 1932 – 23 July 2004), popularly known simply as Mehmood, was an Indian actor, singer, director and producer best known for playing comic roles in Hindi films. During his career of more than four decades, he worked in over 300 Hindi films.
Mehmood was one of eight children born to Latifunnisa and film and stage actor-cum-dancer Mumtaz Ali, who was a huge star of the 40’s and 50’s cinema, in Mumbai, India.Mehmood had an elder sister and six younger siblings. His sister, Minoo Mumtaz, was also a successful dancer and character actress in Bollywood movies. His youngest brother, Anwar Ali too is an actor and a producer of movies like Khud-daar and Kaash.
As a child, he worked in Bombay films like Kismet. He later had a number of odd jobs, working as a table tennis teacher to Meena Kumari and as a driver for director P. L. Santoshi. Santoshi’s son, Rajkumar Santoshi, would later cast him in the film Andaz Apna Apna.
After getting married and becoming a father, he decided to act to earn a better living starting with a small break as a killer in the film CID. He started off by doing small, unnoticed roles in films like the peanut seller in Do Bigha Zameen and Pyaasa. He later went on to act in lead roles, but he was appreciated for his comedy, some of which was in the Hyderabad region’s Urdu accent.
Towards the end of the 70s, Mehmood’s popularity began to decline as other comedy actors like Jagdeep, Asrani, Paintal and Kader Khan shot to prominence. Between 1989 to 1999, he made a handful of movies, but most of them were either shelved or made no impression. He acted as Johnny in Rajkumar Santoshi’s Andaz Apna Apna – his last hit film as an actor.
On 23 July 2004, Mehmood died in his sleep in Pennsylvania, US, where he had gone for treatment of heart disease after suffering poor health for several years.His fans were able to pay homage to him at Mehboob Studio in Bandra, Mumbai, India
One of his sons, Lucky Ali (Maqsood Ali) is a singer and composer who has acted in films.