Ranjeet is known as the ruthless villain of Bollywood. He rose to fame by playing negative roles in the 70s and 80s. While he is infamously known as ‘Ranjeet- The Rapist’, his real name is Gopal Bedi. Not many people know that his friends and family also lovingly call him ‘Goli’. Ranjeet is one of the many stars who changed his name before his debut.
Recently, during a heart-to-heart conversation with senior journalist Bharathi S Pradhan, Ranjeet revealed how Sunil Dutt changed his name to ‘Ranjeet’ one fine day.
Ranjeet said, “Gopal was my real name. I was a footballer. That was in Delhi. I used to play for my college (Hindu College). So, being a goalkeeper, everybody started calling me ‘Goli’. When I came to Bombay, I made friends and my name ‘Goli’ got stuck. I used to meet Feroz Khan, Sanjay Khan and Sunil Dutt regularly and Goli was my introduction. Dutt Sahab’s film Reshma Aur Shera was the first film I signed but Sawan Bhadon came out earlier. So, in Reshma Aur Shera, my charater’s name was Gopal. One day, I and Dutt Sahab were going to Jaisalmer, he just asked me, “Please get yourself a filmy name. I changed my name from Balraj to Sunil Dutt, Yusuf Khan changed to Dilip Kumar, Jatin changed to Rajesh Khanna.” So, he gave me such examples. I asked him to select a name for me. He was like an elder brother to me. He gave me a lot of love. He asked me to pick a letter. Just like that, I picked ‘R’. While he was driving, he suggested the name ‘Ranjeet’. I was silent for a moment but then I said yes.”
“When we reached Jaisalmer, he told in his office that my name should be changed to Ranjeet in all publicity related work,” he concluded.
Ranjeet made his Bollywood debut in 1970 with Mohan Segal’s film Sawan Bhadon. Reshma Aur Shera, directed and produced by Sunil Dutt, was released a year later.
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