Veteran Marathi and Hindi film and stage actor Viju Khote has died early Monday morning, as confirmed by family sources.
He was 78 and is survived by his sister Shubha Khote, who is also an actor.
Renowned for his comedy roles, Viju Khote was famed for his role as the dacoit Kaalia in the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer ‘Sholay’.
One of the more popular lines from the 1975 film saw Amjad Khan’s Gabbar question Kaalia about a raid gone south.
“Kitne Aadmi The? (How many men were there?) Gabbar questions Kaalia.
In a career spanning around six decades, Viju Khote worked in over 300 films, including ‘Phir Hera Pheri’, and the bumbling Robert in ‘Andaz Apna Apna’, aside from numerous television shows, including the popular ‘Zabaan Sambhal Ke’, which was an adaptation of the hit British comedy, ‘Mind Your Language’.
Tributes poured in for the veteran star with actress Tisca Chopra remembering his iconic role from ‘Sholay’.
“He charmed us in so many varied parts .. most well loved was, of course #Kaalia from #sholay .. RIP #VijuKhote ji,” she tweeted.
“Sad to know about the demise of one of the finest actors #vijukhote ji. My deepest condolences to his family,” tweeted Ashoke Pandit, filmmaker and President of the Indian Film & TV Directors’ Association. (With inputs from IANS)