Farooque Shaikh was born in 25 March 1948 at Amroli near Surat in Gujarat. His father name is Mustafa Shaikh and Mother Farida. His father Mustafa Shaikh was a lawyer settled in Mumbai, whose family hailed from Hansot village (Bharuch district, Gujarat). Shaikh’s family were Zamindars (landowners), and he grew up in luxurious surroundings. Shaikh attended St. Mary’s School, Mumbai and then graduated from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. He then studied law at Siddharth College of Law, Mumbai. Shaikh came to acting after failing to relate to his profession in law. At St. Xavier’s College that Shaikh met with Roopa, his future wife. Both of them were active in theatre while at college and later they got married. They have two daughters, Shaaista and Sanaa. His younger daughter Sanaa works with the NGO United Way Mumbai.
Career and Professional Life
He was active in theatre, doing plays with IPTA and with well-known directors like Sagar Sarhadi. His first major film role was in the 1973 film Garam Hawa, where Farooque had a supporting role and the leading man was Balraj Sahni. He first gained popular recognition as a quiz master on radio, but it was his participation as an anchor on Bombay Doordarshan shows such as Yuvadarshan and Young World that made him a household name. Sheikh in Gaman (1978) acted as the migrant Bombay taxi driver from Badaun in Uttar Pradesh dreaming about returning home to meet his wife, but never saves up enough to return home. He went on to act in several notable films such as Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977), Noorie (1979), Chashme Buddoor (1981), Umrao Jaan( 1981), Bazaar (1982) Saath Saath(1982), Rang Birangi,(1983) Kissi Se Na Kehna (1983) Ek Baar Chale Aao (1983) Katha (1983) Ab Ayega Mazaa (1984) Salma (1985) Peechha Karo (1986) Biwi Ho To Aisi (1988) And Maya Memsaab (1993) . He formed a successful pair with Deepti Naval. He also did a slightly negative role in Katha.
He had been the host of the popular TV show Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai, in which he interviewed many Bollywood celebrities. His sense of humour and direct humble approach was the USP of the show. What is less known about Farooque Shaikh is his contribution to the UNICEF polio eradication programme. He made several extensive trips to two polio-endemic states, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and worked closely with its programme teams who were working with communities to get greater acceptance of the polio vaccine.
- National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor (2010)
- ITA Award for Best Actor – Comedy (2001)
- Indian Telly Award for Best Anchor/s (2003)
- ITA Award for Best Anchor (2003)
Farooque Shaikh died of a heart attack in the early hours of 28 December 2013 in Dubai, where he was on holiday with his family. His funeral prayers, held in Mumbai at Millat Nagar Mosque on 30 December 2013 in the evening, were attended by many personalities, including Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi. He was buried in Muslim Qabristan, Four Bungalows, Andheri West. His grave is near his mother’s grave.