Noted cinematographer Ashok Mehta, who was suffering from lung cancer, passed away today in a hospital, sources said. He was 65. Mehta was critically ill for some time now.
Mehta was admitted to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in suburban Andheri. "He passed away due to advanced lung cancer. He died at 1 pm," hospital sources told PTI.
Actor Arjun Rampal was among the first from Bollywood to check on the ailing Mehta when he was at the hospital.
Mehta produced, wrote and directed Arjun's second film 'Moksha'. The duo shared a close bond as Arjun considered him as his mentor and father figure.
Ashok had many prominent films to his credit, including Shekhar Kapoor's 'Bandit Queen', Shyam Benegal's 'Mandi' and 'Trikaal', Shashi Kapoor's 'Utsav', Subhash Ghai's 'Ram Lakhan', 'Khalnaayak', M F Hussain's 'Gaja Gamini', multi starrer comedy film 'No Entry', Shah Rukh Khan's 'Chalte Chalte'.
Apart from being a cinematographer, Mehta even wrote dialogues for 'Moksha' and 'Hum Tumhare Hai Sanam'.
Bollywood tweeted their grief over the demise of Mehta.
Director Madhur Bhandarkar said, "Sad to hear about demise of the Cinematographer Ashok Mehta who changed the vision of Indian Cinema. RIP!"
Shekhar Kapur tweeted, "Bye Ashoki, Friend Guru India's Greatest DOP. Sorry we never worked after Bandit Queen. Thank
you for teaching me to be fearless in cinema."
"This man was a real Tiger! He would roar the word 'Bachche'! Kind soul. Ace DOP. Ace Family man. Ace Friend. Ace Countryman. RIP Ashok Mehta," said actress Dia Mirza.
Anurag Kashyap posted, "RIP Chachu... the nicest man I knew in Mumbai... ever inspiring and ever giving."