Farooq Shaikh was a legendary Indian actor. He was at the peak of his career from the early 1970s to the late 1980s. He has contributed immensely in the Parallel Cinema or the New Indian Cinema. He has worked with noted directors like Muzaffar Ali, Satyajit Ray, Ketan Mehta and Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
He completed his schooling from St Mary’s School, Mumbai and college level education from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. He then studied Law at the Siddharth College of Law. To pursue an acting career, he joined the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.
He started his career as a theatre artist and served theatre for a very long period of time before entering the Bollywood film industry. He made his acting debut in 1973 with the Hindi language film Garam Hawa. The film was a huge hit and Farooq, though was in supporting role was well appreciated by critics. After which, he was offered many meaningful roles in art films. His most famous films of the 1970s include Shatranj Ke Khilari, Noorie, Mere Saath Chal and Gaman. Noorie was arguably the best romantic role that he played in his entire film career.
He continued delivering hits in the 1980s as well. His performance as a supporting actor in Supriya Pathak’s Baazar was well appreciated. He acted in few films during the 1990s and came back after a break in late 2000s and was seen in films like Lahore, Saas Bahu Aur Sensex, Yeh Jawaani Hain Deewani and Youngistaan. The latter was his last film. For his performance in the film Lahore, he won the National Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2010.
He has also hosted the famous TV show, Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai.