Deepak Tijori is an Indian actor and director who has been active in Bollywood since the late 1980s. He has appeared in over fifty film productions in almost three decades of his acting career. He was one of the most popular supporting actors during the 1990s and has appeared in many hit films as the sidekick of the main protagonist. He is best known for his work in the Mahesh Bhatt directorial ‘Aashiqui’ alongside Rahul Roy and Anu Aggarwal. He then worked in many films with the Bhatt clan of Bollywood after this film. He has also featured alongside Shah Rukh Khan (in ‘Baadshah’) and Aamir Khan (in ‘Ghulam’), two of the biggest superstars in the Indian film industry since the 1990s. Tijori made his directorial debut with ‘Oops!’, a film about male strippers which drew a lot of negative reviews upon its release. His directorial credits also include films like ‘Khamoshh... Khauff Ki Raat,’ ‘Tom, Dick, and Harry’, ‘Fox’, and ‘Do Lafzon Ki Kahani.’
Deepak Tijori made his acting debut on the big screen in 1988 with a small role in the film ‘Tera Naam Mera Naam’. In the next couple of years, he appeared in films like ‘Main Tera Dushman’, ‘Parbat Ke Us Paar’, and ‘Kroadh’. It was in 1990 that he got his big break in the renowned filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt’s film ‘Aashiqui’. Tijori appeared as a close friend, named ‘Ballu’, of the lead character portrayed by Rahul Roy in the film. The film became a major hit among the young generation and featured many popular songs. It won four awards at the Filmfare Awards in 1991.
He appeared in many supporting roles throughout the 1990s and acted alongside Dharmendra and Govinda in the film ‘Kaun Kare Kurbanie’. He later appeared in the 1991 romantic drama film ‘Afsana Pyaar Ka’ alongside Aamir Khan. In the following years, Tijori appeared in some of the most popular films of that decade in Indian film history. He portrayed the character ‘Gotya’ in the Mahesh Bhatt directorial ‘Sadak’. The film featured Sanjay Dutt and Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter Pooja Bhatt in lead roles. The film was one of the highest-grossing ones of that decade. Like in his previous films, Tijori appeared as the sidekick of the male protagonist (played by Sanjay Dutt). He then featured in films like ‘Khiladi’ (alongside Akshay Kumar) and ‘Beta’ (alongside Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit).
His next big role came in the Mansoor Khan directorial sports drama film ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’. In the 1992 film, Deepak Tijori portrayed the character of ‘Shekhar Malhotra’, an arrogant college student and a brilliant cyclist. Tijori was the young antagonist of the film, which featured Aamir Khan and Ayesha Jhulka as the lead pair.
In the late 1990s, Tijori appeared in another film, ‘Ghulam,’ alongside Aamir Khan. The film was a huge hit at the box office and featured Deepak Tijori and Aamir Khan in one of the most controversial scenes in Indian cinema. The scene featured a dare game, between the two rivals, which involved running towards a moving train on the railway track. The scene encouraged a few young Indians to do the same, and reportedly a 14-year-old named Mohammed Afzal Raja lost his life trying to copy the scene.
He also featured in the comedy action film ‘Baadshah’ alongside Shah Rukh Khan as ‘Deepak Malhotra’. In the 1999 action crime film ‘Vaastav: The Reality’, Tijori appeared as a policeman, named ‘Kishore Kadam’, who is friends with the ‘bhaajiwala’ turned gangster ‘Raghu’ (played by Sanjay Dutt).
Deepak Tijori made his debut as a director in 2003 with a controversial film titled ‘Oops!’ which was based on male strippers. His next film ‘Khamoshh... Khauff Ki Raat’ featured many stars from the industry, including Juhi Chawla, Shilpa Shetty, Makarand Deshpande, and Avtar Gill. He also directed the films ‘Fareb’, ‘Tom, Dick, and Harry’, and ‘Fox’, none of which succeeded at the box office. The films were rated poorly and Tijori’s direction was dubbed as the work of an amateur by a few critics.
Tijori featured in as well as produced many television shows, including ‘Dial 100’ and ‘Thriller at 10 – Fareb’. The miniseries ‘Thriller at 10 – Fareb’ won the Best Miniseries award at the 2001 Indian Television Academy Awards.
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Family & Personal Life
Deepak Tijori was born on August 28, 1961, in Mumbai, India. He attended the Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, and later joined a theatre group to learn acting. He struggled a lot during his initial years and often had to take up odd jobs to make ends meet. He was eventually successful in garnering good acting roles.
Tijori is married to fashion designer Shivani and has a daughter. His daughter was once reportedly kidnapped; the police managed to rescue her within a few hours and a suspect was also arrested for the crime.