8 August 1932
Naigaum, near Lalbaug, Mumbai (Village-Ingavali, Tal-Bhor, Pune)
|Died||30 September 1997
Rama Niwas, Shivaji Park, Mumbai
|Occupation||Actor, Director, Lyricist, Writer|
|Home town||Ingavali, Tal-Bhor, Pune|
|Spouse(s)||Nalini Kondke (1960–1967)|
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 family owning a grocery shop and owners of chawls in Morbaug area of Mumbai which were let out. His family members were also foreman handling millworkers of Bombay Dyeing on 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. He was credited with introducing the genre of sex comedy to Marathi cinema and Indian cinema.
Kondke was a born and raised in a cotton mill-worker family in a chawl in Naigaon, near Lalbaug, Mumbai. His family originally hailed from the village of Ingavali which was in the erstwhile Bhor State near Pune. Kondke and his migrant family retained close connections to their rural roots. As a youngster, Kondke was a rough kid who later on took up job in a local grocery retail chain called Apna Bazaar. He lost most of his immediate family to unfortunate events and the grieving process changed him profoundly. These events made him focus more on the lighter side of life and make people laugh. Kondke started his entertainment career with a band and then worked as a stage actor. While working for the drama companies, Kondke toured all over Maharashtra which helped him understand what entertainment clicked with the local population.
Kondke was involved in cultural activities of Seva Dal, a Congress party volunteers organization, where he started working in dramas. During this period came in contact with various Marathi stage personalities including writer, Vasant Sabnis. Later, Kondke started his own theatre company, and approached Sabnis to compose a drama script for him. Sabnis appreciated Dada's performance in Khankhanpurcha Raja (literal translation, bankrupt king), and agreed to write a modern Marathi language Tamasha or loknatya (folk play) (Loknatya). The drama was named Vichha Majhi Puri Kara (literal translation, fulfill my wish).The drama went on to play over 1500 shows all over Maharashtra and made Dada a star.
Vichha Majhi Puri Kara got Kondke into spotlight and in 1969, he got entry into Marathi movies through a role in Bhalji Pendharkar's movie Tambdi Maati which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Marathi. He then turned producer with Songadya in 1971. Songadya was based on a story written by Vasant Sabnis, and was directed by Govind Kulkarni. He cast himself as Namya, the simpleton who falls for the glamour of Kalavati (played by Usha Chavan) who is a dancer in a Tamasha. Some of the other people who played major characters in this movie were Nilu Phule, Ganpat Patil, Sampat Nikam and Ratnamala. Kondke retained his team from Songadya and delivered his next hit Eakta Jeev Sadashiv. Kondke's story-lines were always based on the simpleton engaged in lower level occupations. For example, Kondke portrayed himself as a Dhobi (Laundry Man) in Aali Angavar, Poor Farmer in Songadya, and a Police Constable in Pandu Havaldar. Kondke is known for using the same team of actors, technicians and playback singers to repeat the formula for success that he believed he had got from his debut film. Many of his movies, produced under the "Kamakshi Pictures" banner, had Usha Chavan as the lead actress, Rajesh Mujumdar as screen play writer (from Pandu Hawaldar onward), Raam Laxman as music director, Jayawant Kulkarni and later Mahendra Kapoor as the male playback singer, Usha Mangeshkar as the female playback singer, and Bal Mohite as the chief assistant. Kondke often employed the veteran actor-dancer, Bhagwan Dada in dancing sequences in his films Aali Angavar, Hyoch Navra Pahije, Bot Lavin Tithe Gudgulya, and Ram Ram Gangaram.
|1972||Eakta Jeev Sadashiv||Marathi|
|1973||Andhala Marto Dola||Marathi|
|1976||Tumcha Amacha Jamala||Marathi|
|1977||Ram Ram Gangaram||Gangaram||Marathi|
|1978||Bot Lavin Tithe Gudgudalya||Chhotu||Marathi|
|1980||Hyoch Navra Pahije||Gopi||Marathi|
|1984||Tere Mere Beech Mein||Gangaram||Hindi|
|1986||Andheri Raat Mein Diya Tere Haath Mein||Hindi|
|1988||Mukaa Ghya Mukaa||Marathi|
|1989||Mala gheun chala||Ganpa||Marathi|
|1992||Yevu Kaa Gharaat||Marathi|
|2000||Le Chal Apne Sang||Hindi||(dedicated to the memory of) produced by Sunita Kondke|
As a lyricist he wrote multiple songs on animals
Balasaheb Thackeray helped Kondke with screenings of "Songadya", a film full of sexual innuendos that many found objectionable. Thackeray's justification for supporting Kondke was that he was a Marathi "manoos" (man). In return, Kondke, with Gajanan Shirke, helped found the Chitrapat Shakha, Shiv Sena's culture police. Dada Kondake was impressed with Balasaheb Thackeray's charisma and had toured Maharashtra to set up the roots of Shiv Sena, political party lead by Thackeray. Kondke was very active Shiv sainik and was able to influence many areas of rural Maharashtra due to his popularity and way of making fiery speeches to impress the masses.
He was married to his wife Nalini but they later got divorced. He did not remarry. On September 30, 1997, Kondke suffered a heart attack at his residence Rama Niwas in Dadar, Mumbai. He was rushed to Shushrusha Nursing Home, where he was declared dead on admission. At the time, Kondke was working on the film Jaraa Dheer Dhara with Usha Chavan.
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