He is called the sophisticated villain of Hindi films. Even real-life wrong-doers would be afraid of him. I am talking about Actor K N Singh. He expired 18 years ago this day. I met him for an interview some years before his death. He was active as a villain and character actor from 1936 to 1992. Born Krishan Niranjan Singh in Dehradun to onetime prince and prominent criminal attorney, he almost became a barrister himself. He changed his mind when his father defended and got a guilty man acquitted with his skillful defense.
He left home in anger and after brief periods of businesses later; he met Prithviraj Kapoor and through him director Debaki Bose. Thanks to these people, he got his first character role in the director’s movie Sunehra Sansar (1936). He debuted as a villain in Baghban (1938). He loved reading and learning new things a lot. He told me that the book An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski is a good one for an actor. Staring into mirrors, which were present in those times (instead of light reflectors) during his working days, had left him completely blind. When an army doctor was consulted; he was told that the optic nerves had completely dried, due to which the vision impairment had occurred.
Bollywood and K N Singh: Here are some songs from a few movies starring K N Singh:
Aayiye meherbaan… Howrah Bridge (1958)
Ek do teen aaja mausam hai rangeen… Awara (1951)
Ae jaani jeene mein kya hai… Funtoosh (1956)
Hum tumhare hain… Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)
Main dhoondhu tujhe galiyan aur chaubara… Singapore (1960)
Ashiq hoon ik mehejabeen ka… Pagla Kahin Ka (1970)