Patekar was born in a Marathi family as Vishwanath Patekar on 1 January 1951 in Murud-Janjira in Raigad District, Maharashtra, to Dinkar Patekar, a small textile printing businessman, and Sanjanabai Patekar, a housewife. He is an alumnus of the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai. Nana Patekar was married to Neelakanthi Patekar and they have a son Malhar Patekar. But their marriage life did not go well and it resulted in a divorce later on.
In September 2015, Nana Patekar established an organisation, Naam Foundation, with fellow Marathi actor Makarand Anaspure, which works to provide aid to farmers to overcome by drought conditions in Maharashtra, India. He turned director with his movie Prahaar. Patekar did some playback singing in the films Yeshwant (1997), Wajood (1998) and Aanch (2003). His first debut film gaman. He entered into Tamil industry in the year 1978. He is an actor, writer, director and filmmaker. Nana Patekar is said to have a unique acting style. He is famous for his brash style of delivering his dialogues and his way of speaking reflects his deliverance of the lines. It is widely rumoured that he ad libs all of his lines and is held in high regard for this ability. He is known to give generously to the poor. He is also a sketch artist, a secret not known to the outside world. His sketches have sometimes helped the Mumbai Police to track criminals.
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