David Abraham Cheulkar (1909 – 28 December 1981), popularly known as David, was a Jewish-Indian Hindi film actor and a member of Mumbai’s Marathi speaking Bene Israel community. In a career spanning four decades, he played mostly character roles, starting with 1941 film Naya Sansar, and went on to act in over 110 films, including memorable films like, Gol Maal (1979), Baton Baton Mein (1979) and Boot Polish (1954) for which he was awarded the 1955 Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award.

Early life

David graduated from the University of Mumbai with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the year 1930. After a six year unsuccessful struggle to land himself a job, he decided to try his luck in the Hindi film industry by becoming a professional actor. During these years of struggle, he also managed to obtain a degree in law from the Government Law College.

Finally, on 15 January 1937, with the help of his close friend Mr. Nayampalli, a veteran character actor, he managed to land himself his first role in a movie. The movie was Zambo and it was being produced and directed by Mohan Bhavnani who was the Chief Producer of the Films Division of the Government of India.

David was actively associated with IPTA, a theatre organization and went on to be part of many Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’s films, including, Palme d’Or nominee Pardesi (1957), Shehar Aur Sapna (1963), which won the 1964 National Film Award for Best Feature Film, Munaa and Char Dil Char Raahein.

Strongly associated with avuncular roles, David is best known for his portrayal of “John Chacha”  in the 1954 hit and Filmfare Award for Best Film winner and Palme d’Or nominee, Boot Polish, directed by Prakash Arora, for which he won the 1955 Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award. The song “Nanhe Munne Bachche” from the film, picturized with him became a memorable song of that era.

In his prime, in the period 1959-1975, David was one of the best and the well-known anchor, compere and the host of the prominent award shows and other functions. In one of the speeches Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister, told any of the event will be surely be incomplete without David’s speech.

He was involved in promoting sports, and later became India’s Olympic Games representative He was awarded the Padma Shri award in 1969 by Government of India.

He never married and died on 28 December 1981 in Toronto, Canada of a heart attack at the age of 73.

Selected filmography[edit]
Gehri Chot – Urf: Durdesh (1983) – Released after his death. Canada, Bangladesh, India joint production.
Sumbandh (1982) – Released after his death.
Khubsoorat (1980)
Gol Maal (1979)
Baton Baton Mein (1979)
Hamare Tumhare (1979)
Gol Maal (1979)
Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978) — Bade Babu
Khatta Meetha
Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977)
Chupke Chupke (1975)
Abhimaan (1973)
Anuraag (1972)
Haathi Mere Saathi (1971)
Nanak Naam Jahaz Hai (1969)
Satyakam (1969)
Ek Phool Do Maali (1969)
Samay Bada Balwan (1969)
Sapnon Ka Saudagar (1968)
Mere Huzoor (1968)
Bambai Raat Ki Bahon Mein (1967) [12]
Upkar (1967)
Anupama (1966)
Mamta (1966)
Himalaya Ki God Mein (1965)
Sangeet Samrat Tansen (1962)
Ek Phool Char Kaante (1960)
Return of Mr. Superman (Mr. Superman ki Wapsi) (1960)
Amar Deep (1958)
Pardesi (1957)
Bhai Bhai (1956)
Boot Polish (1954)
Rahi (1952)
Sawan Aya Re (1949)
Insaaf (1946)
Nargis (1946)
Ghulami (1945)
Insaan (1944)
Tasveer (1943)
Anjaan (1941)
Naya Sansar (1941)
Zambo (1937)

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Abraham_Cheulkar