Shafi Inamdar (Marathi: शफी इनामदार; 23 October 1945 – 13 March 1996) was an Indian actor. He started his film career with the film Vijeta and continued it in Ardh Satya. He acted in a number of television serials including Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi. Shafi married actress Bhakti Barve. He died on 13 March 1996. His wife died in a road accident on 12 February 2001. Shafi’s most notable film roles include the inspector in Aaj Ki Awaz, the villain in Awam (film) and the friend of the hero in films like Nazrana, Anokha Rishta and Amrit. Some of his other films are Kudrat Ka Kanoon, Jurm, Sadaa Suhagan and Love 86, all successful films.
Shafi Inamdar received his early education at Pangari and at St. Joseph’s High School in Umerkhadi (Dongri) in Mumbai, India, where he passed his S.S.C exam in 1958. He did his B.Sc from K.C College in 1963. He is particularly known for playing the common man’s role. He has acted in numerous television shows. One of his performances on television was in Teri bhi chup Meri bhi chup. He also played the role of an advocate in the Hindi film Yeshwant, which was released after his death. He appeared in Ramesh Sippy’s film Saagar. He also directed a film titled Hum Dono, starring Nana Patekar, Rishi Kapoor and Pooja Bhatt. The film was a hit and he was considered a good director.
From his schooling days he was interested in dramas and used to act and direct school plays. He participated in elocution competition and debates. This continued through his college days and intensified his desire to become a performing artist and a theatre personality. He started his career as an actor and director under the guidance of Gujarati theatre personality Pravin Joshi. He directed and acted in about 30 one act plays in Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and English from 1973 to 1978. Later on he joined Indian National Theatre and Indian Peoples Theatre Association where he came in contact with Balraj Sahni and other members of Indian Theatre and learned the finer aspects of acting.
The turning point in his career was Ismat Chugtai’s play Nila Kamra which he staged as his first commercial production in Hindi. In the late seventies when the Prithvi theatre was started Shafi Inamdar got an opportunity to produce several Hindi plays that paved the way for establishing him as a theatre personality to be reckoned with. He founded his own theatre group Hum Productions in 1982 and directed, produced and acted in various plays. He also staged comedies and folk theatre based on human drama Naag Mandala.
In 1984 came India’s most popular television sitcom Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, a comedy serial starring Shafi Inamdar in the main lead as the character Ranjeet which became a household name all over the country. He later on did other television serials like Adha Sach, Aadha Jooth, Mirza Ghalib and Teri Bhi Chup meri Bhi Chup. In 1983 he made first appearance on Hindi screen in the Shashi Kapoor produced and Govinda Nihalani directed film Vijeta followed by hard hitting but popular Ardh Satya. He acted in B.R.Chopra films like Aaj ki Awaz, Awaam and Dehleez and became a regular with B.R film camp.
One of his most appreciate defforts comes from film Krantiveer where he plays a TV Anchor, similar to Rajat Sharma from Aap ki Adalat, and exposes a group of corrupted people regarding politics, law and police. His witty dialogues and playful language was appreciated along with fans and others. Krantiveer was one of the highest grossing movies of 1994.
He died on 13 March 1996 of a massive heart attack