Veteran actor Saeed Jafri has passed away at the age of 86 on Sunday. He was suffering from age related ailments.
The news of his demise was shared on Facebook by his niece Shaheen Aggarwal who wrote, ‘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.’
Born in Malerkotla, Punjab on January 8, 1929, Saeed Jafri was an Indian-born actor who has appeared in numerous British and Indian movies.
Saeed was the first Asian to receive British and Canadian Academy Awards nominations, and also the first Indian to receive the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contributions to drama.
Fans remember him most for his role in Bollywood films that include ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Henna, Chashme-Baddoor, Judaai, Dil, Ajooba’.
A familiar figure in the arts scene, Jafri was known for roles in The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977), Gandhi (1982), A Passage to India (1965 BBC version and 1984 film), The Far Pavilions (1984), and My Beautiful Laundrette (1985). He has also appeared in many other Bollywood films in the 1980s and 1990s. For television he has starred in Gangsters (1975–1978), The Jewel in the Crown (1984),Tandoori Nights (1985–1987) and Little Napoleons (1994). He also appeared as Ravi Desai on Coronation Street and in Minder as Mr Mukerjee in Series 1 episode The Bengal Tiger.
Jafri started his career by setting up a theatre company called Unity Theatre, at New Delhi. His early theatrical work included roles in productions of Tennessee Williams, Christopher Fry, Wilde, and Shakespeare. He did his studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and went to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship, where he took a second post-graduate degree in drama from The Catholic University of America.
He won Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Shatranj Ke Khiladi in 1978 and got best Actor 12th annual Genie Awards for Masala in 1991.
He was married to Madhur Jaffrey (divorced 1965). They have three daughters Meera, Zia, and Sakina Jaffrey, who is also an actress.
Prime Minister’s Office also tweeted about Saeed Jaffrey’s demise- “Saeed Jaffrey was a multifaceted actor whose flair & versatility will always be remembered. Deepest condolences on his passing away”: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) November 16, 2015
Director Shekhar Kapur mourned the actor’s death. He tweeted: “Goodbye dear Sayeed. Started my career with u in Masoom. Cant forget ur kindness n enthusiasm for your art n others.”— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) November 16, 2015