Renowned Marathi actor, director and theatre personality Smita Talwalkar passed away early Wednesday at a private hospital where she was being treated for ovarian cancer, her doctor said. She was 59.
The end came at 2.30 am.
Murlidhar Kamat, who was treating the actor, said that she was first treated for the disease six years back.
"It recurred after sometime and she was treated again. She responded quite well and she faced this disease with great courage. Yesterday she was very serious and this morning she passed away," he said.
A winner of two National Awards, Talwalkar was the director of one of the country's largest fitness chains, Talwalkars.
In a condolence message, the official Twitter handle of the PMO said: "Condoling the passing away of veteran film personality Smita Talwalkar, PM said that her demise is a major loss to Marathi film industry. PM recalled Smita Talwalkar's contribution to the Marathi film industry & prayed that her soul rests in peace."
"Sad to hear about Smita Talwalkar. We lost a versatile actor and director. My tributes to her," reacted chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on her demise.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar described her as "legendary actor who will always remain in the hearts of the people."
Survived by a son and a daughter, Talwalkar's last rites shall be performed later Wednesday afternoon in Mumbai.
Starting her professional career as a television newsreader, some of Talwalkar's popular Marathi movies included Kalat Nakalat, Tu Tithe Mee, Prem Manjhe Prem Manjhe Asta, Chaukat Raja, Saatchya Aat Gharat and Sawat Majhi Ladki, besides several television serials and plays.