Manmohan Desai Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

Manmohan Desai (1937–1994) was a popular Indian film director and producer who had his most successful career in film production during the 70s and 80s. Films such as Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1973), Dharam Veer (1977), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Naseeb (1981), Coolie (1983) and Mard (1985) were directed and produced by him. He died on 1 March 1994 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.


Manmohan Desai was born on Friday, 26 February 1937 (age 57 at the time of death) in Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India (now Mumbai, Maharashtra). His zodiac sign is Pisces. He was an alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, but left the college before completing his graduation to pursue a career in the film industry.

Physical Appearance

Height (Approx): 5′ 5″

Weight (Approx): 50 kg

Hair Color: Black

Eye colour: black

Manmohan Desai with actor Rishi Kapoor


Manmohan belongs to a Gujarati family.

parents and siblings

Manmohan was born to Kikubhai Desai and Kalavati Desai. His father was an Indian film producer who owned Paramount Studios, later known as Filmalaya (1931–1941). His productions mainly consisted of stunt or action-based films such as Circus Queen, Golden Gang and Sheikh Chilli.

Kikubhai Desai and Kalavati Desai

Manmohan had a sister and an elder brother, Subhash, who became a producer in the 50s and gave him his first break in the film Chhaliya (1960). His brother later made films such as Bluff Master (1963), Dharam Veer (1977), and Desh Premi (1982) with Manmohan as director.

Subhash Desai, brother of Manmohan Desai

wife and children

Manmohan Desai was married to Jeevanprabha Gandhi, the writer of the films directed by Manmohan, including Sacha Jhootha (1970), Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1973), Roti (1974), Dharam Veer (1977), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977 ) were included. ), and Coolie (1983). He also wrote scripts for films such as Osman (1976), directed by Rajendra Prasad, and Ram Robert Rahim (1980), directed by Vijaya Nirmala. Manmohan lost his wife in April 1979. He has a son and two daughters. His son, Ketan Desai, is a screenwriter, film director and producer, like his father. Ketan has directed films such as Allah-Rakha (1986), Toofan (1989) and Amar Akbar Anthony (1977). Ketan is married to Kanchan, daughter of actor Shammi Kapoor and actress Geeta Bali. Manmohan has two granddaughters, Pooja and Raj Rajeshwari.

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Manmohan Desai with daughter-in-law Kanchan Kapoor and son Ketan Desai.

other relatives

His nephew, Danny Desai (son of Subash Desai), was an assistant director and special effects technician. After leaving work in the film industry, he started working as a pilot.


Manmohan fell in love with actress Nanda in the late 80s, a few years after his wife’s death. They got engaged, but two years after their engagement, Desai died at his home in Mumbai. In an interview, Nanda’s brother Jaiprakash recalled his sister’s love story with Manmohan. He said that Manmohan’s son Ketan took the help of actress Waheeda Rehman to introduce his father to Nanda. Jaiprakash remembered,

So Waheeda ji organized a small dinner. After having dinner, he left sister and mother-in-law alone. Then mother-in-law expressed her feelings to her sister and said, ‘I want to marry you.’ Didi said that she would have to take advice from her family first. Upon his return that night, I was the first person with whom he discussed the proposal. I said Manji was an eminent filmmaker, a wonderful human being and a charming personality and she should move forward. ‘I’d like to see you get settled,’ I said. Gradually the family also joined it. After his approval, Didi calls Waheedaji and says that she is ready for it. The second meeting was held at our place. Didi wanted a traditional marriage.”

Manmohan Desai with actress Nanda



Manmohan Desai has made a huge contribution to Indian cinema. He had a career spanning 29 years in which he gave 13 memorable hits. In his early days in the film industry, he assisted and worked with renowned film director Babubhai Mistry. He started his journey as a director and screenwriter with the 1957 film Janam Janam Ke Phere. He then directed and produced the film Chaliya, which was released in 1960.

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Movie Chhaliya Poster

He is popular for making family and masala films. He shared a close relationship with actor Amitabh Bachchan and directed him in several films.

Manmohan Desai with actor Amitabh Bachchan

He also worked with leading writers like RD Burman, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Kalyanji-Anandji. Most of the songs in the films produced and directed by Desai were sung by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Mohammed. Rafi. Manmohan gave big hits like the romantic comedies Bluffmaster (1963) and Kismat (1968); action films like Sachcha Jhootha (1970) and Dharam Veer (1977); Action comedies like Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Naseeb (1981), Coolie (1983) and Mard (1985).

Movie Poster- Bluff Master

A scene from the movie Amar Akbar Anthony

Movie Poster – Coolie (1983)


Manmohan Desai died on 1 March 1994 in Girgaum, Mumbai. Any details regarding the nature of Manmohan’s death remain mysterious today. He died after falling from the railing of the balcony of his flat in Girgaum, Mumbai. It is not clear whether the incident was an accident or suicide.

Facts/General Knowledge

  • Ram Sheshadri Iyengar, who is Emraan Hashmi’s great-grandfather, worked as an accountant in Manmohan’s father’s office.
  • In 1963, Manmohan intended to produce a film titled ‘Chhoti Si Duniya’ starring Raj Kapoor and Nutan. However, the film did not become successful due to financiers withdrawing support, resulting in its cancellation.
  • In 1983, Manmohan Desai planned to direct a film titled “Construction Rani” starring Rati Agnihotri. The plan was to produce the film in five different languages; However, the project could not be realized.
  • Manmohan is also called the “Miracle Man of Bollywood”.
  • Manmohan’s film Amar, Akbar, Anthony was one of the first commercial Indian films to be telecast during prime time by the BBC network.
  • Manmohan Desai loved cricket but due to a back injury he could not continue playing it.
  • He considered Billy Wilder as his inspiration for filmmaking.
  • Manmohan did not feel like studying and he regretted going to school.
  • After Bluff Master, Manmohan collaborated with actor Shammi Kapoor for a film for which he was to be paid Rs 500 for a 30-day schedule. When Manmohan did not like the incomplete film, he re-shot the entire film without taking any extra money from the producers.
  • On 1 December 2005, Connie Hahm along with Amitabh Bachchan published a book in honor of Manmohan Desai, titled Manmohan Desai’s Enchantment of the Mind, which explored his life, work and filmmaking.

    Charm of Manmohan Desai’s mind

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