Veteran Bollywood actor-screenwriter Kader Khan died Monday after a long illness at a hospital in Toronto, Canada, his family confirmed to Indian media outlets. He was 81.
“My dad has left us. He passed away on December 31 at 6 pm as per Canadian time due to prolonged illness,” his son Sarafaraz told India news agency PTI. “He slipped into coma in the afternoon. He was in the hospital for 16-17 weeks.”
Born to an Afghan father and a mother from British-controlled India, Khan made his acting debut in 1973 in Daag: A Poem of Love. He went on to appear in small roles in films including Gupt Gyan, Bairaag, Goonj, and Amari among others. His career peaked between 1982 and 2005 when his versatility as an actor was established as both villain and comic relief in films such as Masterji, Dharm Adhikari, Nasihat and Dosti Dushmani, among many others.
He went on to act in over 300 films, and wrote on nearly 250 films. He appeared in several Bollywood hits including Coolie, Naseeb (Destiny) and Aankhen (Eyes).
His death was mourned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top Bollywood personalities, including star Amitabh Bachchan.
“Kader Khan brightened the screen with his stupendous acting skills. He was also a prolific screenwriter associated with many memorable films. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers,” Modi wrote on Twitter.
Bachchan shared his remembrances of Khan.