TORONTO/MUMBAI — Kader Khan, best known for penning some of the most powerful dialogues and comic timing as an actor, passed away on December 31 due to prolonged illness. He was 81.
Khan was admitted to a hospital in Canada and his son Sarfaraz confirmed that the actor died Monday.
“My dad has left us. He passed away on December 31 at 6 pm as per Canadian time due to prolonged illness. He slipped into coma in the afternoon. He was in the hospital for 16-17 weeks,” Sarfaraz told PTI.
He also said the last rites of the veteran actor will be performed in Canada.
“The last rites will be performed here in Canada only. We have our entire family here and we live here so we are doing it. We are thankful to everyone for their blessings and prayers,” he added.
The news of the death of the actor-screenwriter, who was at his peak in the 1980s-90s, comes a day after his son dismissed media reports of his demise.
Khan had developed breathing issues and the doctors had reportedly transferred him from regular ventilator to BiPAP ventilator.
As per reports, he was suffering from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a degenerative disease that causes loss of balance, difficulty in walking and dementia.
Born in Kabul, Khan made his acting debut in 1973 with Rajesh Khanna’s Daag and has featured in over 300 films.
He wrote dialogues for over 250 movies. Before becoming an actor he had written dialogues for Randhir Kapoor-Jaya Bachchan’s Jawani Diwani.
As a screenwriter, Khan frequently collaborated with Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra.
His films with Desai include Dharam Veer, Ganga Jamuna Saraswati, Coolie, Desh Premee, Suhaag, Parvaris and Amar Akbar Anthony and films with Mehra include Jwalamukhi, Sharaabi, Lawaaris, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar.
Khan’s frequent collaborator megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered the actor for his contribution to cinema.
“Kader Khan passes away. Sad depressing news. My prayers and condolences. A brilliant stage artist a most compassionate and accomplished talent on film.
“A writer of eminence; in most of my very successful films. A delightful company and a mathematician,” Bachchan wrote.
The duo worked together on blockbusters such as Do Aur Do Paanch, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Mr Natwarlal, Suhaag, Coolie and Shahenshah.
“Rest in peace Kader Khan saheb,” Manoj Bajpayee tweeted.
Union minister Smriti Irani credited Khan for giving the audiences some of the best funny moments.
“If you were a late 80s-90s kid who watched Hindi films, chances are you encountered the magic of Kader Khan. Never had the privilege of meeting him but if I ever had I would say ‘thank you for the laughter, thank you for your craft’,” she tweeted.
Calling him one of the finest actors of India, Anupam Kher said Khan will be missed for his brilliance.
“Kader Khan Saab was one of the finest actors of our country. It was a joy and a learning experience to be on the sets with him. His improvisational skills were phenomenal. His humour was eternal and original. He was a wonderful writer. We will miss him and his brilliance,” he wrote.
National Film Archive of India (NFAI) also paid tributes to the actor.
“We are deeply saddened by the demise of prominent actor-screenwriter #KaderKhan. Renowned for his effortless comic performances, he also wrote the striking dialogues for some of the most popular Hindi films like ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’, ‘Coolie’ and ‘Agneepath’,” a post on its official Twitter handle read.