Nitish Bharadwaj | Srivideo
Born/Date of Birth: 2 June 1963
Place of Birth: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Spouse: Smita Gate (m. 2009), Monisha Patil (m. 1991–2005)
Parents: Janardan C. Upadhye, Sadhana Upadhye
Nitish Bharadwaj (born 2 June 1963) is an Indian film actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and former member of Parliament in Lok Sabha. He is best known for his role as Lord Krishna in B. R. Chopra's television series Mahabharat, as well as for his portrayal of several Avatars of Vishnu in some of Chopra's other works, such as Vishnu Puran. His debut directorial film in Marathi titled Pitruroon has won him accolades from both the audiences and critics and he now focuses on his film career entirely through screenwriting, directing and acting.
Theatre and radio
Born in Marathi Brahaman Bhardwaj gotra, Nitish started his arts career with his training in Marathi theatre as a Director, under many stalwarts such as Late Sudha Karmarkar, Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar and Prabhakar Panshikar. He then moved on to Professional Marathi theatre with Sai Paranjapye and later shifted to Hindi theatre on sound advice from his friend Ravi Baswani. Ravi was, in fact, instrumental in getting Nitish from Marathi to the nation-wide Hindi arena and Nitish has always acknowledged Ravi's contribution to his life. He worked with a thespian of Hindi theatre named Dinesh Thakur and performed in many of his plays till 1987. He later did a Hindi mythological play titled Chakravyuh, in which he reappears as Lord Krishna, the role he has mastered in the old Mahabharat. Though the play depicts the story of Abhimanyu's martyrdom, it brings out various issues out of the same story which are relevant to today's times. Chakravyuh is one of the most successful plays of Hindi Theatre in 2015 and has already had around 75 showings across India, including some prestigious theatre festivals like the Kala Ghoda Festival, Mumbai. Nitish also performed in a musical theatre production titled Moti Roti Patli Chunni (1993), with a renowned theatre in London (UK) named "Theatre Royal Stratford East". This play won the "London Time Out Dance & Performance Award" and toured across Britain and Canada.
Nitish also did 2 radio shows for BBC Radio 4 (London, UK), namely Bhagvad Geeta and Ramayan. He was nominated for the "Sony Radio award" for Ramayan in the UK in 1995.
Television and films
Nitish Bharadwaj has starred in many Marathi movies such as Khatyal Sass Natal Soon, Nasheebwan, Anapekshit, Pasanta Ahe Mulgi, Trishagi (with Nana Patekar) and the highly acclaimed Malayalam movie Njan Gandharvan, (1991) directed by P. Padmarajan. He directed a historical TV serial titled Gita Rahasya, Apraadhi for Star TV and a few documentary films. After Njan Gandharvan, Padmarajan was planning a film with Mohanlal and Bharadwaj in lead roles, but he died before it could materialise. In a later interview in 2019, Bharadwaj said that, if that film had happened, he might have settled in Kerala. He judged a Marathi dance reality show on ETV Marathi; Jallosh Survanayugacha, with Sudha Chandran and Ramesh Deo. Bharadwaj made his film direction debut in 2013 with a Marathi film starring Tanuja, Suhas Joshi and Sachin Khedekar titled Pitruroon. The film is based on a novella by Sudha Murthy. The film was acclaimed by both the critics and audiences. Pitruroon received many nominations and awards, and also gave Bharadwaj the prestigious Maharashtra State Film Award as the second Best Director of 2013. Bharadwaj played Krishna at the age of 23 and became an overnight star. Nitish Bharadwaj has also made appearances in movies including Mohenjo Daro and Kedarnath.
Bharadwaj contested the parliamentary elections from Jamshedpur and Rajgarh (in Madhya Pradesh) as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate and was elected to Lok Sabha as a Member of Parliament from Jamshedpur in 1996, by defeating veteran Inder Singh Namdhari. He lost to Laxman Singh (brother of then chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh) in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections. He also worked in BJP's organisational unit of Madhya Pradesh and was also its Spokesperson for a while, till he voluntarily retired from active politics.
Nitish was born to late Janardan C. Upadhye, a Senior Advocate of Bombay High Court and a veteran labour lawyer. He was also a close aide of George Fernandes in the labour movement in the 60s and 70s. Nitish's mother, the late Sadhana Upadhye, was the Head of Marathi Literature department in Wilson College, Mumbai. She was an exponent of the Bhagvad Geeta and Dnyaneshwari, the knowledge of which she imparted to Nitish from childhood.
In 1991, Nitish Bharadwaj married Monisha Patil, daughter of Vimla Patil, then editor of Femina. They have two children and divorced in 2005. Monisha now lives in London with their children. Bharadwaj married Smita Gate, an IAS officer (1992 batch) from Madhya Pradesh cadre, in 2009.
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