He made his acting debut in 1937, with film “Qazzak Ki ladki”  and acted in over 200 films in a career that spanned from the 1950s through to the early 1990s.
Like many of the older character actors who populated the Bollywood universe of the 1960s and 70s, Iftekar had been a lead actor in his youth during the ‘golden age’ of Bollywood in the 1940s and 50s. His roles ranged from father, uncle, great-uncle, grandfather, police officer, police commissioner, courtroom judge and doctor.
In the 1960s and 70s Iftekar graduated to playing uncle, father, and what came to be his specialty the police inspector roles. Generally he played ‘sympathetic’ characters, but on occasion he played the heavy. One of his most memorable roles as a heavy was as Amitabh Bachchan’s corrupt industrialist mentor in Yash Chopra’s classic “Deewaar” . Another of Iftekar’s classic roles was as the police inspector in Parkash Mehra’s “Zanjeer”. It was a small part, but the scene where Iftekar reprimands the near hysteric Amitabh Bachchan for taking the law into his own hands is incredibly powerful.
Besides Deewaar and Zanjeer Iftekar also had character roles in many of the classics of 1960s and 70s Bollywood cinema, Bimal Roy’s Bandini, Raj Kapoor’s Sangam, Manoj Kumar’s Shaheed, Teesri Manzil, Teesri Kasam)), Johnny Mera Naam, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Don, “The Gambler”, and Sholay to name but a few.
Apart from Hindi films he appeared in two episodes of the American TV series Maya in 1967 as well the English language films Bombay Talkie (1970) and City of Joy (1992). His Sister Veena was also an actress & acted in the movie like ‘Do Raste’ and others.