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RIP Saeed Jaffrey

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

(8 January 1929 – 15 November 2015)

Saeed Jaffrey, one of the first Indian actors to successfully establish a career in both Bollywood and international movies by starring in classics like ‘Shatranj Ke Khilari’, ‘Gandhi’ and ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’, has died at the age of 86

The actor's death was confirmed by his niece Shaheen Agarwal on Facebook on Sunday. "Today, a generation of Jaffreys has passed away. Saeed Jaffrey has joined his brothers and sister and is rejoicing in the lap of his Heavenly Father, eternally," she posted.

Director Shekhar Kapur, who worked with the noted actor in his directorial debut "Masoom", remembered Jaffrey as a kind man.

"Goodbye dear Saeed. Started my career with you in Masoom. Can't forget your kindness and enthusiasm for your art and others," he tweeted.

His good friend Devi Dutt fondly remembers his association. Reveals Dutt, “I remember, he was cast in the role of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. But unfortunately, he got relatively very little  publicity thru the film credit-titles media hype, in those days. And he apparently felt quite upset about that.  There was so much that I learnt from Jaffrey-saab, whom I later signed on for my landmark  movie ‘Masoom’ directed by Shekhar Kapur and ‘Bhavna’ directed by Pravin Bhatt. By nature, he was very warm and modest and he had no tantrums. With a passion for acting he was willing to ’play’ versatile characters, even those with negative shades. All I can say that Saeed-saab, was a cultured gentleman actor who made India proud. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” signs off Devi Dutt.

He starred in as many as 100 Hindi films, including acclaimed projects like Satyajit Ray's "Shatranj Ke Khiladi" opposite Sanjeev Kumar. He credited Ray for bringing him back to Indian films.

His famous Bollywood outings include "Chashme Buddoor", "Masoom", "Kissi Se Na Kehna", "Mandi", "Mashaal" "Ram Teri Ganga Maili", "Ram Lakhan", "Ajooba" and "Henna" among many others.

His noted international films are "The Man Who Would Be King", "Death on the Nile", "Sphinx", "The Jewel in the Crown", "A Passage to India", "My Beautiful Laundrette", "The Deceivers", "After Midnight", "On Wings of Fire" and "Chicken Tikka Masala".

Jaffrey received a BAFTA nomination for "My Beautiful Laundrette".

He is also the first Indian to receive the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contributions to drama.

(Additional inputs by Chaitanya Padukone)

B-Town condoles death of Jaffrey
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the death of the "multifaceted" actor. "Saeed Jaffrey was a multifaceted actor whose flair and versatility will always be remembered. Deepest condolences on his passing away," Modi posted on twitter.

Jaffrey's friend and "Henna" co-star Rishi also paid tribute to him on Twitter.

"R I P. My friend, my colleague of several films- Syd Jeffries alias Saeed Jaffery to the world, leaves us. Cheers to you!" he wrote.

Bhandarkar remembered his stint as an assistant director to him in a film. "Saddened by the demise of versatile actor #SaeedJaffrey ji. Had a privilege of working with him as a Asst Director. Condolences to his family."

"What a Fabulous Actor!! Shatranj ke Khiladi!!! My fav. Saeed Jaffrey film... RIP," singer Shaan wrote.

"The Lunchbox" actress Nimrat Kaur tweeted, "Never met Mr Saeed Jaffrey outside of all the amazing men he brought alive on screen...A class actor. Heavens are in great company today..."

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