The always-charming character actor Saeed Jaffrey, who acted in Indian as well as British films from the late '60s to the mid '00s, has reportedly passed away at the age of 86.
Veteran actor Saeed Jaffrey passes away at 86 pic.twitter.com/fkQdt4H1iz— Zoom TV (@ZoomTV) November 16, 2015
Described by Robert Butler as a "short, dapper, ebullient actor" who "turns an interview into a monologue" in a 2011 interview published by The Independent, Jaffrey is well-known for his work in Hindi films such as Chashme Buddoor (1981), Masoom (1983), Mashaal (1984), Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985), Ram Lakhan (1989), Dil (1990), Ajooba (1991), and Henna (1991).
Before that, however, Jaffrey had carved a niche for himself as a serious actor who had two post-graduate degrees in drama — one from London's Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art, another on a Fulbright scholarship from The Catholic University of America — and worked in critically-acclaimed international productions such as John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Satyajit Ray's Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977), Sir Richard Attenborough's Gandhi (1982), David Lean's A Passage To India (1984), and Stephen Frears' My Beautiful Laundrette (1985).
In a career spanning more than 40 years, Jaffrey worked with some of the finest actors across the world in a variety of cinema and became the first Indian to receive the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contributions to the dramatic arts.
On Monday, as news of his death broke, tributes started pouring in.
Goodbye dear Sayeed. Started my career with u in Masoom. Cant forget ur kindness n enthusiasm for your art n others. https://t.co/NFlWdNIhl0— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) November 16, 2015
What a Fabulous Actor!! Shatranj ke Khiladi!!! My fav. Saeed Jaffrey film... RIP https://t.co/9TjxOzSJkP— shaan (@singer_shaan) November 16, 2015
RIP Saeed Jaffrey.
What a fine actor he was.
Always with that warm glint in his eyes.
And, irrespective of the role: gave it his all!— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) November 16, 2015
Many recounted some of his finest, most memorable on-screen moments.
Sorry to hear about Saeed Jaffrey, so much personality, I always imagine him as the man he played here https://t.co/Yjsm1T7p8s— Faiza S Khan (@BhopalHouse) November 16, 2015
From Patel in 'Gandhi' to a decadent nawab in Shatranj Ke Khilari, he exuded a personality that overshadowed his roles. Saeed Jaffrey, RIP— Madhavan Narayanan (@madversity) November 16, 2015
But perhaps the most elaborate tributes came from his niece Shaheen Aggarwal, posted on Facebook.
Saeed Jaffrey; storyteller after my own heart, as Karadi the bear.Now this is how English should be spoken.Go on! Give your children a listen