Chunkey Pandey: The Star He Could Have Been

Chunkey Pandey was born as Suyash Pandey on 26 September 1962 and his screen name is Chunkey Pandey which he used after getting into the film industry. Both of his parents were doctors but Chunkey Pandey always wanted to be an actor. Before becoming an actor, he first worked as an instructor in an acting school in 1986. He was senior to many aspiring actors the most famous among them is Akshay Kumar. Chunkey Pandey made his debut with the movie Aag hi Aag opposite Neelam Kothari, it did average business but his second movie Paap ki Duniya was a superhit where his co-star was Sunny Deol. In a career spanning three decades, he worked in more than 100 movies. Chunky Pandey came into the limelight after his brilliant performance as a friend of Munna (Anil Kapoor) in the movie Tezaab. The movie was a milestone in his career and he got a Filmfare Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Male).  Post Tezaab, Chunky featured in many hit movies during the late 80s and early 90s but most of them were multistarers and the other actor always received more recognition than Pandey.  Most of his solo movies were flops. He could have been a big star as he had all the qualities of being a star but a few bad choices and some bad luck never let him be a big star.

Also Read: Archana Puran Singh’s Tryst with Acting

His Bollywood career sustained because of him never being arrogant about playing second fiddle to other actors. He along with Govinda gave one of the biggest blockbuster movies of the 90s i.e. Aankhen, His collaboration with Sunny Deol also was a success with hit movies like Paap Ki Duniya, Vishwatma, and Lootere. It was during the mod 90’s when Chunky Pandey’s career started to decline mostly because of new actors like Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Ajay Devgn coming into the industry and delivering big hit movies. He got married to Bhavana Panday in January 1998. They have two daughters, Ananya Pandey and Rysa Pandey. Ananya is also an actress who debuted with Dharma Production’s movie Student of Year 2 alongside Tiger Shroff and Tara Sutaria.

Offers of movies stopped coming to Chunkey Pandey and then he was offered a movie in Bangladesh. He then took a break from Bollywood and went on to work in the Bangladesh film industry.  Unexpectedly Chunky became a megastar in Bangladesh, after featuring in several Bengali films. He was called ‘Amitabh Bachchan of Bangladesh’. Though Chunkey can’t speak Bengali, his voice is dubbed in Bangladeshi movies. After working in Bangladesh for six years, he came back to Mumbai and started his career in Bollywood again with movies like Qayamat: City Under Threat, Elaan, Don: The Chase Begins Again, and Apna Sapna Money Money. In 2010, he acted in the comedy movie Housefull with Akshay Kumar and Ritesh Deshmukh. The movie was a big hit and Chunkey’s character Aakhiri Pasta became very famous and he worked in all the movies of the Housefull franchise. Chunkey Pandey also worked as villain in movies like Begum Jaan, Prassthanam, Saaho, and the web series Abhay.

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