Bollywood actor Satish Kaul, who played a significant role in the 1973 romance ‘Prem Parbat’ and as Lord Indra in BR Chopra’s hit mythological series ‘Mahabharat’, died in a hospital in Punjab on April 10 due to complications arising from COVID-19. He was 74.
According to a report in PTI, Kaul’s sister said the actor had contracted COVID-19 last week and was hospitalised in Ludhiana.
“He died today morning due to COVID-19 at the hospital. He had a fever and wasn’t keeping well. We admitted him to the hospital on Thursday and got him tested, where it turned out that he was COVID-19 positive,” Satya Devi told PTI.
Kaul, a Bollywood outsider, did not have a successful inning in the entertainment industry and is known to have struggled for acting jobs.
In May 2020, he publicly sought for work and urged his colleagues to help him during the lockdown in India.
“I’m struggling for medicines, groceries, and basic needs. I appeal to the industry people to help me. I got so much love as an actor, I need some attention now as a human in need,” he told PTI. At that time, he also claimed that he was desperate for work and was open to any acting job to keep his life afloat.
“It’s OK if they’ve forgotten me. I got so much love and I’m grateful. I will forever be indebted to the audience for that. Right now, I wish I can buy a decent place of my own where I can stay. The fire to act is still alive in me. It isn’t over. I wish someone gives me a role even today, any role, and I would do it. I’m raring to act again,” Kaul told PTI at the time.
Like thousands of actor hopefuls who enter Bollywood to take a stab at acting and fame, Kaul’s career saw several lows.
His credits include playing supporting roles in films such as ‘Shiva ka Insaaf’ and ‘Inaam Dus Hazaar’. He also worked with director Pahlaj Nihalani in his films including ‘Ilzaam’ and ‘Aag Hi Aag’.
In an interview published in Bollywood Hungama, Nihalalni describes Kaul as “hard-working, friendly, hungry for work, always eager to face the camera, always wondering where the next meal would come from.”
But his eagerness and earnestness did not translate to more work. After offers in Bollywood dried up, Kaul set his eyes on Punjabi cinema and was seen in films including ‘Jatt Punjabi’ and ‘Lacchi and Rano’.
He also featured in television serials such as ‘Vikram-Vetal’ and ‘Mahabharat’.
In 2015, he had a hip-replacement surgery and was bed-ridden, which brought any dream of reviving his acting career to a halt.
Despite his public plea for work and financial assistance, not much help came his way on both fronts and he met with an inglorious end.