Known for the six-part Italian miniseries Sandokan (1976), which was a colossal success in Italy and made him a household name there, Kabir Bedi received a lifetime achievement award at the ongoing Venice International Film Festival.
Variety.com reported that the actor received the Filming Italy Movie Lifetime Achievement award from producer and actress Tiziana Rocca and Roberto Stabile, internationalization advisor and head of special projects for DGCA-MiC at Cinecittà. The online report quoted the actor speaking about promoting Indo-Italian relations as he said, “I have tried to make people in Italy focus on India for many years, and people in India focus on Italy. for many years”.
“Since the time of Sandokan, I have done more than six major series in Italy and not many people realize that Bollywood really [commercial Hindi cinema] and Hollywood are a much smaller part of my life than my career in Italy,” he added. Expressing his gratitude to the festival, the actor shared the news on Instagram.
Directed by Sergio Sollima, Sandokan was based on Emilio Salgari’s novels that featured the pirate hero Sandokan. The synopsis for the series, as described on Bedi’s website, reads: The brave Sandokan is a young Indian prince who has lost his kingdom and his title as a result of British annexation. Along with his friend Yáñez De Gomera, Sandokan is now the ruler of the island of Mompracem, a lair of pirates who constantly attack British forces.
The series launched Bedi’s international career, as it became the most successful series in European television history. In the Introduction to Sandokan, Bedi describes the series as an “incredible experience.”
Bedi is known for his roles in Kachhe Dhaage (1973), Khoon Bhari Maang (1988), Kurbaan (1991), Main Noon Na (2004), and most recently Sahib, Biwi Our Gangster 3 (2018).
His international career includes playing the villain in the James Bond film Octopussy (1983) and starring in the American television series The Bold and the Beautiful. He also starred in the Italian film The Black Corsair (1976) and The Return of Sandokan (1996), a sequel to the series.
In 2010, Bedi was appointed a Cavaliere (Knight) of the ‘Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana’, the highest ranking civilian honor of the Italian Republic.
In 2021, the actor published his autobiography Stories I Must Tell, a memoir about his rise from a middle-class boy in Delhi to a remarkable international career.