Khubsoorat actor Ranjit Chowdhry dies at 65
Actor Ranjit Chowdhry died in Mumbai on Wednesday at the age of 65. Best remembered for his performances in the middle-of-the-road cinema of the 70s and 80s as made by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee, the veteran actor is said to have been ailing for some time.
The news of his death was shared by his half-sister and well known theatre personality, Raell Padamsee. Taking to the photo-sharing platform, she wrote with a black-and-white photo of Ranjit: “For all those who knew Ranjit, the funeral will be held tomorrow and a gathering to celebrate his life n share his stories on May 5th. With love, Raell.”
Ranjit was the son of Mumbai theatre heavyweight Pearl Padamsee and the stepson of ad film maverick, Alyque Padamsee, also remembered for playing MA Jinnah in Ben Kingsley’s Gandhi.
Ranjit’s portrayal of confused but charming youngster in family dramas such as Khatta Meetha (1978), Baton Baton Mein (1979) and Khubsoorat (1980) are still appreciated by the audience. Ranjit is best remembered for playing Jagan Gupta in Hrithikesh Mukherjee’s iconic film, Khubsoorat. The song Saare Niyam Tod Do, where he features alongside Rekha.
After moving to the US, Ranjit worked in a number of US shows, the most famous being The Office and Prison Break. He reportedly also wrote the screenplay for Deepta Mehta’s Sam & Me (1991), for which he also found an honourable mention at the Cannes Film Festival. He also featured in Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala (1991) and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996), Hollywood films The Night We Never Met, It Could Happen To You, Girl 6 and The Perez Family. He also appeared in Hindi films such as Fire (1996), Bollywood/Hollywood (2002) and Kaante (2002).
Ranjit was remembered as much for the depth of his performances as for his acerbic wit. While Rahul Khanna called him “a towering icon of Indian diaspora cinema and a master of his craft”, Poorna Jagannath wrote, “This guy made magic out of nothing, filling paper thin roles with so much depth.”
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