Krishna Kondke (August 8, 1932 – March 14, 1998), popularly known as Dada Kondke, was a Marathi actor and film producer. He was one of the most renowned personalities in Marathi film industry, famous for his double entendre dialogues in movies.
Kondke was born in a mill-worker’s family in Naigaon in central Mumbaion Gokulashtami day and hence was named Krishna.Dada Kondke was entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest number of films (nine) that achieved silver jubilee (running for 25 consecutive weeks). Kondke was called “Dada”, an honorific Marathi term meaning “elder brother”, which led to his popular name Dada Kondke.
Kondke was a born in a mill-worker’s family in Naigaon, near Lalbaug, Mumbai. These workers were mostly migrants to the city of Mumbai looking for employment in the prospering cotton mills. This section of the society was well connected to their rural roots. Dada’s movies targeted this section of the society. Tamasha and stage drama’s have always played an important role in Marathi entertainment industry. He had started his entertainment career with a band and then as a stage actor. While working for drama he toured all over Maharashtra which helped him understand what entertainment meant to the local population. This learning can be seen in his movies which targeted the masses rather than any particular social class. He was a native of Ingavali in Bhor which is in Pune district of Maharashtra.
His early life was spent in chawls of Naigaon (Dadar), a Marathi heartland of Mumbai. As a youngster he was a rough kid who later on took up job in a local grocery retail chain, Apna Bazaar. It was then that he lost most of his immediate family to unfortunate events. The recovery process changed him completely who decided to stay focused on the lighter side of life and make people around laugh. He became a member of a local band which earned him the nickname “Bandwale Dada” (literal translation, “elder brother who plays for the band”)
He got involved in cultural activities of Seva Dal. He started working in dramas and came in contact with various drama related personalities one of who was Vasant Sabnis, a well known Marathi writer. He decided to play big and started his own drama company, and approached Sabnis to compose a drama script for him. Sabnis was impressed with his personality and his performance in Khankhanpurcha Raja (literal translation, Bankrupt king), and wrote a drama (Loknatya)Loknatya is the another name of Vagnatya because The Tamasha was banned in this time so it was named Loknatya] entitled, Vichha Majhi Puri Kara (literal translation, Fulfil my desires), which was a turning point in his life. The drama went on to play over 1500 shows and made him a star. The drama got him into spotlight and also gave him an entry into Marathi movies through a role in Bhalji Pendharkar’s movie “Tambdi Maati”. This was followed by a lead role in “Songadya” a block buster which turned his world around. He kept on delivering one hit after the other. He retained his team from Songadya and delivered his next hit Eakta Jeev Sadashiv