Mumbai, 16 Nov. Veteran actor Saeed Jaffrey, best known for his role in Satyajit Ray's Shatranj Ke Khilari, passed away on Sunday at the age of 86. The news of his death was posted on Facebook by his niece Shaheen Aggarwal along with a touching tribute.
"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," she wrote.
Jaffrey, who was best known for his role as a nobleman obsessed with the game of chess in Shatranj Ke Khiladi, had worked with famous Hollywood actors like Ben Kingsley, Richard Attenborough, Pierce Brosnan and Ingrid Bergman, among others.
Jaffrey married twice. He married actress and travel writer Mehrunima (Madhur Jaffrey) in 1958 and the couple separated in 1965. Jaffery, in his diary entry which was published by The Indian Express, regretted divorcing Mehrunima.
In 1980, Jaffery married casting director Jennifer Sorrell in 1980, a report in NDTV said. Jaffery is survived by three daughters Meera, Zia, and Sakina Jaffrey. Sakina is an actress.
His death was condoled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, director Shekhar Kapur among others on Twitter.
Jaffrey was praised for his versatile roles in films like Gandhi, Chashme Buddoor, Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Henna, Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Dil, A Passage to India and The Man Who Would Be King, to name a few. Jaffrey was also seen in several television shows, such as Gangsters, The Jewel in the Crown, Tandoori Nights and Coronation Street.
Have a look at some of Saeed Jaffrey's most memorable roles.
The 1977 film was directed by the legendary satyajit Ray and was based on Munshi Premchand's short story of the same name. Jaffrey played Mir Roshan Ali, a nobleman obsessed with chess, with actors such as Sanjeev Kumar, Amjad Khan, Shabana Azmi and Richard Attenborough. His work earned him the Filmfare award for Best Supporting Actor.
Jaffrey essayed the role of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi in 1982 and acted alongside the likes of Ben Kingsley and Roshan Seth. His portrayal of the character earned him several accolades.
Jaffrey was at his comic best as the local shopkeeper Lallan Miyan in Sai Paranjape's 1981 hit Chashme Buddoor. Jaffery won accolades for his chemistry with the actors (Farooq Sheikh, Ravi Baswani, Rakesh Bedi) and his brilliant comic timing which was one of the highlights of the award-winning film.
Jaffrey was nominated for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his portrayal of Kunj Bihari in the 1985 film. His character was pivotal in reuniting the estranged couple, which formed an important climatic scene in the film.
Jaffrey played advocate Hamidullah in David Lean's 1984 film A Passage to India, which was an international hit with eleven nominations at the Academy Awards. He was part of the 1965 BBC version as well.