Bollywood actor Anupam Kher turned 62 today. In an illustrious career spanning more than three decades, he has essayed an array of roles. Besides being an actor, he is also known for being vocal on various social and political issues.

Gone are the days when a quintessential on-screen daddy used to be a strict and uncompromising in terms of maryada (morality) and parampara (tradition). In some situations, he would be a single parent to a girl he raised with utmost love and affection. So if his daughter fell in love with a man of her choice, he would be visibly miffed. There were exceptions, but the image of a typical on-screen father continues till date.

In 1984, Mahesh Bhatt directed a film called Saaransh. The drama dealt with the life of an elderly couple who have difficulties in coping up with the death of their son. For the role of a father, Bhatt introduced a newbie called Anupam Kher. The bald actor won hearts with his gripping performance in the debut flick. And there was no looking back for this National School of Drama (NSD) alumnus. He also dabbled with negative roles in few films for which he won accolades.

In 1991, Bhatt made Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahi featuring Aamir Khan and Pooja Bhatt. Kher played a rich businessman Seth Dharamchand who gets sleepless nights due to his rebellious daughter Pooja. The film went on to become a commercial success and Kher established his image of a cool dad. Two years ago, he had won the National Award for his role in Daddy, which was also helmed by Bhatt. But Kher will be best remembered as father to Shah Rukh Khan in blockbuster Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge. The hilarious scene in which Kher congratulates SRK for failing in his graduation classes. We are not glorifying flunking in examinations by the way. But Kher supports Shah Rukh in his bid to finally unite with his ladylove. The role won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in a comic role.

If Kher was Shah Rukh’s dad in DDLJ, he played Rani Mukerji’s doting father in Karan Johar’s debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. There is a scene in which he candidly confronts Tina (Rani) about her feelings for Rahul (none other than Shah Rukh). After Tina’s death, he assumes a fatherly responsibility to his son-in-law and heaves a sigh of relief only after Rahul reunites with Anjali (Kajol).

Those born in the late 80’s and 90’s might remember R Madhavan-starrer Rehnaa Hai Tere Dil Mein, which acquired a cult status in years to come. The romantic film had Anupam Kher playing a doting father to Maddy (Madhavan) who helps him in wooing Reena (Dia Mirza) and stands by him during troubled times. Just have a look at this scene from the film.

 Besides these films, Kher also won accolades for playing Priety Zinta’s father in Kya Kehnaa. In Hum Aapke Dil Me Rehte Hain, he backs his daughter-in-law Megha (Kajol) when his son Vijay (Anil Kapoor) decides to annul his marriage after a year. It was indeed a splendid performance by the veteran actor.

Well, Anupam Uncle is the coolest dad one could wish for.