Veteran actor-comedian Jagdeep dies at 81 in Mumbai

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Veteran actor-comedian Jagdeep, best known for his role as Soorma Bhopali in “Sholay”, died on Wednesday at his residence at the age of 81.

The actor, whose real name was Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jafri, had not been keeping well, producer Mehmood Ali, a family friend, told media.

“He passed away at 8.30 pm at his residence in Bandra. He was not keeping well because of age-related issues,” Ali said.

The actor will be laid to rest at a cemetery in south Mumbai around 11.30 am on Thursday, Ali added.

Jagdeep was the last of the comic icons alongside seniors Johnny Walker and Mehmood.

He started his cinema journey with the 1951 film “Afsana”, which marked filmmaker BR Chopra’s directorial debut.

Jagdeep, whose family’s fortunes had declined with the death of his father and the Partition, was eager to help his mother which led him to the sets of “Afsana” after someone scouted him on the streets.

The role promised him three rupees but the amount doubled when he was given a dialogue.

The actor kept picking up big and small roles in his early career, impressing directors like Bimal Roy, who cast him as shoe-shiner Lalu Ustad in his 1953 film “Do Bigha Zamin”.

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