Veteran character actor Iftekar had a career in films that spanned over 50 years. He is one of the handful of elite Hindi film actors who belong to what I term “The 300 Club”, meaning Iftekar has acted in over 300 films. Like many of the older character actors who populated the Bollywood universe of the 1960s and 70s Iftekar had been a lead actor in his youth during the ‘golden age’ of Bollywood in the 1940s and 50s.
In the 1960s and 70s Iftekar graduated to playing uncle, father, and what came to be his specialty the police inspector roles. Generally he played ‘sympathetic’ characters, but on occasion he played the heavy. One of his most memorable roles as a heavy was as Amitabh Bachchan’s corrupt industrialist mentor in Yash Chopra’s classic “Deewaar” . Another of Iftekar’s classic roles was as the police inspector in Parkash Mehra’s “Zanjeer”. It was a small part, but the scene where Iftekar reprimands the near hysteric Amitabh Bachchan for taking the law into his own hands is incredibly powerful.
Besides “Deewaar” and “Zanjeer” Iftekar also had character roles in many of the classics of 1960s and 70s Bollywood cinema, Bimal Roy’s “Bandini”, Raj Kapoor’s “Sangam”, Manoj Kumar’s “Shaheed”, “Teesri Manzil”, “Jony Mere Naam”, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, “Don”, “The Gambler”, and “Sholay” to name but a few.