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Johny Walker

Johny Walker
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About Johny Walker

While issuing tickets as a B.E.S.T. bus conductor, Badruddin used to entertain passengers aboard with some antics. These antics caught the attention of actor and script-writer Balraj Sahni in 1950 while he was once traveling in a B.E.S.T. bus on which Badruddin, then 27, was working as a conductor. Sahni was penning at that time the script for the movie, Baazi (1951), and introduced Badruddin to Guru Dutt as a candidate for the role of a comedian. Badruddin's screen test consisted of acting as a drunk, and he did it so well that Guru Dutt gave him the screen name, "Johnny Walker", after the famous Scotch whisky brand. (Walker was always a teetotaler.) Later Johnny was cast as the hero in a movie, Johnny-Walker (1957), which was named after himself.

He had a close friendship with Guru Dutt, who would often change scripts of his movies to accommodate a role for Johnny. The death of Guru Dutt in 1964 deeply impacted him.

During the 1970s through the '90s, he had a few small roles in movies. His role in Anand showed that he could excel in a serious role even if it was for only a few minutes. His last performance was in actor/director Kamal Hasan's Chachi 420 in 1998; he had performed at the request of poet/director/writer Gulzar who had scripted that movie.

He also starred in the Punjabi film Teri meri ek jindari.

Johnny Walker married Noor (short for Noorjehan), a sister of Shakila (actress). He met Noor in 1955 on the sets of Guru Dutt's film Mr. and Mrs. 55. Johnny and Noor had three daughters: Kausar, Tasneem, and Firdaus; and three sons: Nazim, Kazim, and Nasir. Nasir is a well-known movie and TV actor.

Johnny Walker was a humble man, who kept a low profile even at the peak of his career. Ironically, despite his being typecast as a drunk in most of his films, he was an observant Muslim who never touched alcohol.
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