Dada Kondke

Dada Kondke
Born Krishna Kondke
8 August 1932(1932-08-08)
Naigaum, near Lalbaug, Mumbai
Died 14 March 1998(1998-03-14) (aged 65)
Dadar, Mumbai
Occupation Film Actor

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 dialogs in movies.

Dada Kondke was born in a mill-worker's family in Naigaon in central Mumbai[1] on Gokulashtami day and hence was named Krishna.[citation needed] Even though it is popularly believed that 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), no such entry exists. Krishna Kondke was called "Dada", an honorific Marathi term meaning "elder brother", which led to his popular name Dada Kondke.



Dada Kondke was a born in a mill-worker's family in Naigaum, near Lalbaug, Mumbai. These workers were mostly migrants to the city of Mumbai looking for employment in the prospering cotton mills. This section of the society was well connected to their rural roots. Dada's movies targeted this section of the society. Tamasha and stage drama's have always played an important role in Marathi entertainment industry. Dada had started his entertainment career with a band and then as a stage actor. While working for drama Dada toured all over Maharashtra which helped him understand what entertainment meant to the local population. This learning can be seen in his movies which targeted the masses rather than any particular social class. DADA was a native of Ingavali in Bhor which is in Pune district of Maharashtra.

Early life

Dada's early life was spent in chawls of Naigaum, a Marathi heartland of Mumbai. As a youngster Dada was a rough kid who later on took up job in a local grocery retail chain, Apna Bazaar. It was then that Dada lost most of his immediate family to unfortunate events. The recovery process changed Dada completely who decided to stay focused on the lighter side of life and make people around laugh. Dada became a member of a local band which earned him the nickname "Bandwale Dada" (literally translation, 'big brother who plays for the band'). [2].

Road to success

It was during this time that Dada got involved in cultural activities of Seva Dal. He started working in drama's and came in contact with various drama related personalities one of who was Vasant Sabnis, a well known Marathi writer. Dada decided to play big and started his own drama company, and approached Sabnis to compose a drama script for him. Sabnis was impressed with Dada's personality and his performance in "Khankhanpurcha Raja" (literal translation, Bankrupt king), and wrote a drama entitled, "Vichha Majhi Puri Kara" (literal translation, Fulfill my desires), which was a turning point in Dada's life. The drama went on to play over 1500 shows and made Dada a star. The drama got Dada into spotlight and also gave him an entry into Marathi movies through a role in Bhalji Pendharkar's movie "Tambdi Maati". This was followed by a lead role in "Songadya" a block buster which turned Dada's world around. Dada kept on delivering one hit after the other. He retained his team from Songadya and delivered his next hit "Ekta jeev Sadashiv". [2][3]

Dada's team

Dada Kondke's storylines were always based on the simpleton. He used same team of actors, technicians and playback singers to repeat the formula for success that he believed he had got from his debut film. Dada movies, produced under the "Kamakshi Pictures" banner, had the same set of people, which included Usha Chavan as the lead actress, Raam Laxman as his music director, initially Jayawant Kulkarni and then Mahendra Kapoor as the male, and Usha Mangeshkar as the female playback singer, and Bal Mohite as the chief assistant.


On March 14, 1998 at 3.30 am, at his residence Rama Niwas in Dadar, Mumbai Dada Kondke suffered a heart attack. He was rushed to Shushrusha Nursing Home, a stone’s throw away from his residence, where he breathed his last. Dr Anil Wakankar, his physician-cum-friend, had given him a routine check-up only the previous day. He was working on a film Jaraa Dheer Dhara with Usha Chavan when the end came. A few months after his death it came to light that he was surprisingly brought home when the doctors at Sushrusha decided to have a post mortem. Unconfirmed reports are that his domestic help and two local politicians were present at the time of his death


Dada's life has been full of controversies ranging from his stance on censorship in films, his relationship with political parties [2], and his personal life; controversy surrounded him even after his death.

Marital status

Dada was married to a woman named Nalini and was later divorced. In her divorce petition, Nalini stated that Dada and she never consummated their marriage and she had no contact whatsoever from 1967 onwards with him, whereas a girl named Tejaswini was born to her in 1969. Hence, Tejaswini is not Dada's daughter.[citation needed]. However, another source says that while the daughter was his, he did not accept her in his lifetime. [2].

Post death property disputes

His will was said to be fabricated. It bequeathed properties of not only Dada Kondke but also of Vijay Kondke, his brothers and mother.[citation needed] The Will also bequeaths properties of third persons not related to Kondke family.[citation needed] Secondly, the will did not appoint any executors. The witness deposition is also against the will as not being the same one Dada had actually signed.[citation needed]}

Film career

Songadya (1971): Dada's first venture in movie production was based on a story written by Vasant Sabnis, and was directed by Govind Kulkarni. Dada cast himself as Namya, the simpleton who falls to the glamour of Kalavati (played by Usha Chavan) who is a dancer in Tamasha. Namya's mother gets annoyed on knowing his visits to Tamasha and throws him out of house. Kalavati provides shelter to Dada and starts his career at Tamasha. The movie was a big hit and made Dada's simpleton image a huge success. Dada kept his simpleton image intact all the following movies. Even though the movie was big hit the movie, it's screening in Mumbai took a controversial turn when the owner of Kohinoor Theater in Dadar decided to screen Dev Anand's Teen Deviyan in spite of Dada booking the theater 4 weeks in advance. Dada then approached Shiv Sena supremo, Balasaheb Thackeray for help. Soon Shiv Sainiks gathered and started protesting outside the theater. Eventually Songadya was released in Kohinoor and was a big hit. Some of the other people, who played major characters in this movie, were Nilu Phule, Ganpat Patil, Sampat Nikam and Ratnamala.

Partial Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1969 Tambdi Maati
1981 Ganimi Kawa
1971 Songadya
1972 Eakta Jeev Sadashiv
1973 Andhala Marto Dola
1975 Pandu Hawaldar
1976 Tumch Amach Jama
1977 Ram Ram Gangaram
1978 Bot Lavin Tithe Gudgudalya
1980 Hyoch Navra Pahije
1987 Aalee Angawar
1988 Muka Ghya Muka
1990 Palva Palvi
1992 Yevu Kaa Gharaat
1994 Sasarche Dhotar
1984 Tere Mere Beech Mein Hindi
1985 Andheri Ratme Diya Tere Hathme Hindi
1986 Khol De Meri Juban Hindi
1989 Aage Ki Soch Hindi
1977 Chandu Jamadar Gujarati
2000 Le Chal Apne Sang (dedicated to the memory of)- produced by Sunita Kondke


  1. ^ Dada Kondke award for best regional film introduced-Pune-Cities-The Times of India
  2. ^ a b c d Dada Kondke : End of an era
  3. ^ Rediff On The Net, Movies:A journalist remembers Dada Kondke

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