Variety

Veteran Bollywood actor Jagdeep of Sholay fame dead

PTI Mumbai | Updated on July 09, 2020 Published on July 09, 2020

Veteran actor Jagdeep, whose paan-stained grin and mischievous eyes as Soorma Bhopali in Sholay made him popular across generations, died on Wednesday at his residence. He was 81.

The actor had not been keeping well, said producer Mehmood Ali, a family friend.

“He passed away at 8.30 pm at his residence in Bandra. He was not keeping well because of age-related issues,” said Ali.

A prolific career

Jagdeep will be laid to rest at a cemetery in south Mumbai around 11.30 am on Thursday, he added. The last of the comic icons in the tradition of seniors Johnny Walker and Mehmood, the actor had a prolific career that lasted beyond 400 films and many memorable roles.

Jagdeep, whose real name was Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jafri, started his journey in cinema with the 1951 film Afsana, which marked filmmaker BR Chopra’s directorial debut.

It was a riches-to-rags story for child Jagdeep, whose family’s fortunes declined after his father’s death and the partition.

In interviews, he recalled how his mother, once used to servants and other luxuries, raised him while working as a cook in an orphanage.

Young Jagdeep was eager to help her and at the age of six or seven, he landed on the sets of Afsana after being spotted on the streets of Mumbai.

The role promised him three rupees as fee, which was doubled when the young actor got to mouth a dialogue.

Recalling his father’s journey in cinema, his actor son Jaaved Jaaferi once said Jagdeep was destined to be a part of show business.

“My father was a child when he was looking for a job after partition. When someone asked him if he wanted to work in films, he said all he needed was a job. He was chosen from the streets to star in a film as a child actor. He was destined to be in the industry, it was fate,” Jaaferi had told PTI in a recent interview.

After Afsana , Jagdeep kept picking up big and small roles with directing greats like KA Abbas in Munna, Guru Dutt in Aar Paar and Bimal Roy in Do Bigha Zamin.

Actors Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpayee, Ayushmaan Khurrana, Sanjay Mishra, Johnny Lever and director Hansal Mehta took to social media to pay tributes to the great artiste who made everyone laugh with his roles.

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Published on July 09, 2020
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