Veteran actor Saeed Jaffrey has died at 86. Renowned for his memorable roles in Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977), Heena (1991), Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985), Masoom (1983), Mandi (1983) and Chashme Buddoor (1983), Jaffrey was struggling with cancer for months.
Saeed’s niece shared an interview of the actor on Facebook and 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.”
The actor, who was actively working in Bollywood films till 2011, also had a small stint with All India Radio in 1950s. He later started his own English Theatre group in Delhi, Unity Theatre, and became the first Asian actor to tour US with a Shakespeare Company. He also broke new grounds when he appeared on Broadway alongside Dame Glady Cooper in the stage production of Passage to India. Not many are aware that when he finally moved to England, he took up job of a salesman at Harrods to supplement his income.
Jaffrey also worked in several British and Hindi films including The Man Who Would Be King, A Passage to India and Richard Attemborough’s Oscar-winning film, Gandhi. He also worked in British shows and films like Tandoori Nights, The Jewel in the Crown, The Far Pavillions and Staying On.
The actor got married twice, he has three daughters from his first wife Madhur. His second wife Jennifer is a casting agent.
He was honoured with Filmfare awards for his performances in Heena, Ram Teri Ganga Maili and Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khiladi. The veteran actor was also awarded the Order of British Empire for his contribution to drama.