Kashinath Ghanekar – The first superstar of Marathi theatre

Kashinath Ghanekar (1930 – 1986) was a Marathi film and theatre personality, best known as an actor par excellence during 1960s and 1970s. He enjoyed a huge fan following crowd for more than two decades, and owns many memorable characters which played on Marathi stage as well as celluloid. ‘Ashrunchi Jhali Phule’ is his most popular play, where he portrayed ‘Professor Lalya’. He has also done a few Bollywood films like Abhilasha.

Kashinath Ghanekar hailed from Chiplun, Maharashtra. He joined theatre in the early 1960s, which paved his way to films also. Yet he appeared in a couple of films in the early 1950s – Laxmi Aali Ghara and Dharam Patni. 1964 Marathi play, Ithe Oshalala Mrutyu marked his stage debut in professional theatre. His second play, ‘Garambhicha Bapu’ was a major hit. Since then he enjoyed a celebrity status for two decades because of immense talent he owned in portraying different kinds of roles.

Pathlaag in 1960 marked his re-entry to films, and he played both lead and supporting roles till late 1970s after which he completely switched to theatre. He was fully active in theatre when he passed away following a cardiac arrest, aged only 55. He was on a theatre tour at Amravati when death took him away so unexpectedly.

Kashinath Ghanekar – Some interesting and less-known facts

Kashinath Ghanekar was featured in the popular song, ‘Waadiyan Mere Daman’ aside Nanda in Abhilasha (Female version sung by Lata Mangeshkar)

1. He was also a dental surgeon by profession, and owned a clinic where he treated his patients.

2. He married twice during his lifetime. His first marriage with Irawati Bhide, a gynaecologist and obstetrician had no children and ended in divorce.

3. His second marriage lasted for only three years and it ended with his death in his mid-50s. He has one daughter, ‎Rashmi Ghanekar from his second marriage.

4. His second wife Kanchan is the daughter of Marathi veteran actress Sulochana Latkar. They had a good age gap, and they got married in 1983.

5. His second wife penned a biography titled “Nath Ha Maza“.

6. In Marathi theatre he was the highest paid star during the period, 1960 to 1980.

7. Among the three films with actress Uma Bhende, ‘Madhuchandra’ was a major hit, where he played a double role.

8. Hindi film ‘Aansoo Ban Gaye Phool’ was a screen adaption of his popular stage play, Ashrunchi Jhali Phule. Ashok kumar played his role onscreen.

9. He played second lead aside Nanda and Sanjay Khan in 1968 Bollywood romantic love triangle, Abhilasha. He also acted in Dadi Maa.

10. Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar Natyagruha theatre is named after him.


(Visited 869 times, 1 visits today)


A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *