Actor Saeed Jaffrey, a veteran of dozens of Bollywood and international films, has died at the age of 86. Tributes have poured in since Jaffrey suffered a brain hemorrhage in London. Jaffrey starred in such acclaimed Indian films as Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj ke Khiladi (The Chess Players) and more than 100 Bollywood productions. He also appeared in A Passage To India, Gandhi and The Man Who Would Be King, and earned a Bafta nomination for his role in 1985’s My Beautiful Laundrette. The news of his death was announced on Sunday by his niece Shaheen Aggarwal on Facebook.
He was born in Malerkotla, Punjab in a Punjabi Muslim family. His film credits include The Man Who Would Be King (1975), The Far Pavilions (1984), and also appeared in many Bollywood films in the 1980s and 1990s. For television he starred in Gangsters (1975–1978 ), The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Tandoori Nights (1985–1987) and Little Napoleons (1994). He also appeared as Ravi Desai on Coronation Street and in Minder as Mr Mukerjee in Series 1 episode The Bengal Tiger.
He also worked with actors including Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Pierce Brosnan. He starred in popular cinema directed by Satyajit Ray, James Ivory and Richard Attenborough. He was the first Indian to take Shakespearean plays on a tour to the United States. He was also the first Asian to receive British and Canadian Academy Awards nominations, and also the first Indian to receive the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contributions to drama. He also served as the Radio Director (1951–1956) for All India Radio and Director of Publicity and Advertising at the Government of India Tourist Office, U.S (1958–1960).
The actor was married to actress-author Madhur Jaffrey with whom he had three children, including actress Sakina Jaffery. They divorced in 1966.He is survived by his wife Jennifer. His funeral is expected to take place in London two weeks’ time.
Saeed Jaffrey, OBE (8 January 1929 – 15 November 2015)