Indian cinema has seen a lot of negative roles, which proved that villainy is not just a negative character but an important part of the screenplay. You must have a few movies where the protagonist’s role gets less attention than the villain, who despite being in a negative role, dominates the hearts and minds of people. One such iconic villain was Ranjeet, who rose to fame with the reputation of having committed 350 on-screen rapes.
A locket dangling on bare chest and signs of lustful exploits in eyes, there’s just one name that immediately comes to the mind – Ranjeet. He is one of the most popular villians of the 70s and 80s.
Ranjeet’s real name was Gopal Bedi, and people fondly called him ‘Goli’, including people in the film industry. The name Gopal Bedi was changed just to appear in films and Ranjeet even got his real name as his character name in over 25 films. The Amritsar-born actor has a long story behind how he came to Mumbai and the film industry.
His father was a businessman, who wanted his son to take over the business as well. But Ranjit’s fate was somewhat different. He secretly applied for the National Defence Academy and was also selected. The angry father decided to give up thinking that the son would become a soldier. After this, Gopal Bedi started taking training in the Air Force. But during this time, he fell for his trainer’s daughter and was thrown out of the force as soon as the matter came to light.
After this, Gopal came to Delhi. Here, he saw two films of Dev Anand, Guide and Hum Dono, twenty times each. It was from here that he started coming closer to films. With some help, he managed to get into films, which later turned Gopal Bedi into Ranjeet. He was an evil villain against superhit heroes of that time in big movies. In his career, he played a tremendous role and carved a different place for himself.
It is said that the makers of Gabbar’s character in Sholay also had a deep consideration for him. Ranjeet got tremendous recognition from the film ‘Sharmilee’, which had Rakhee in the lead.
Ranjeet played a lot of characters in his journey in both movies and TV serials, but a dialogue “Bhagwaan ke liye mujhe chhod do” (let me go, for the sake of God) kept Ranjit’s villainy alive for years. “Itni achhi cheez bhagwan ke liye chhod du, to main kya karunga?” (How can I leave such a beautiful thing for God), “Beauty Beauty Beauty… Beti Beti Beti,” are some of his popular dialogues.
Ranjeet was one of the Bollywood villains, whom girls used to crush on. Even though he played negative roles, he had style and a charming personality. At the same time, he was equally ferocious in films. One special thing that hardly anyone will know is that there was a record of raping 350 people onscreen in his name. Undeniably, Ranjeet was a wicked, but talented villain.