Born Vishwanath Patekar in Murud-Janjira, Maharashtra, to Dinkar Patekar (a painter) and his wife Sanjanabai Patekar. He is an alumnus of the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai.Born Vishwanath Patekar in Murud-Janjira, Maharashtra, to Dinkar Patekar (a painter) and his wife Sanjanabai Patekar. He is an alumnus of the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai.
He acted in movies such as Gaman (1978), Mohre (1987) and Salaam Bombay! (1988) and was noticed by the mainstream Bollywood industry for his portrayal of the villain in the 1989 film, Parinda, for which he won his first National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor. He was also awarded the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for the role. He won the Filmfare Best Villain Award in 1992 for Angaar.
In 1994, he won the National Film Award for Best Actor for his performance in Krantiveer (1994). He also won the Filmfare Award and the Star Screen Awards in the best actor category.
Nana portrayed the character of a ghost in the children's film Abhay (The Fearless) which won two awards at the 42nd National Film Festival held in 1994.
Patekar has played many types of roles. He has played the occasional villain but been a hero in most of his films. He played a truant, gambling son in Krantiveer (1994), a wife beater in Agni Sakshi (1996), a deaf father to Manisha Koirala in Khamoshi: The Musical (1996) and a schizophrenic in Wajood (1998). In the movie Ab Tak Chappan (2005) he plays a police officer who is a sharpshooter. He shared the screen space with the legendary superstar Amitabh Bachchan in Kohram where he played an undercover Indian Army intelligence officer chasing Bachchan's incognito. Patekar has also done comic roles in Welcome (2007) in which he plays a powerful crime lord who once desired to be an actor in films.
He turned director with his movie Prahaar: The Final Attack co-starring Madhuri Dixit. His other films as an actor include Hu Tu Tu and Bluff Master. For his performance in Apaharan, he received the Filmfare Best Villain Award as well as the Star Screen Award Best Villain. He is going to be in Sangeeth Sivan's next film, which is a remake of the Telugu film Athadu (2005) and as the character Anjaneya Prasad (CBI officer), which was originally played by Prakash Raj.
Patekar did some playback singing in the films Yeshwant (1997), Wajood (1998) and Aanch (2003).
He has an honorary Captain's rank from Indian Army. He underwent training for his role as a Army officer in Prahaar and was thus awarded the rank. He joined the Territorial Army in the early 1990s. He also took up the sport of rifle shooting and qualified for the G.V. Mavlankar Shooting Championship.
He has also acted in few Marathi movies and plays. He is known to donate generously to the poor.
Nana Patekar starred in the Marathi film Deool, released on 4 November 2011.