The film fraternity is mourning Nirmal Pandey of “Bandit Queen” fame, who died of a heart attack Thursday. While superstar Shah Rukh Khan says he would have loved to work more with Pandey, veteran actor Anupam Kher says he was fond of his “casual stance towards life”.
“Will miss Nirmal Pandey. Great talent. May his soul rest in peace. Simple and a nice guy. Wonderfully quirky actor. Wish had worked with him more,” Shah Rukh posted on micro-blogging site Twitter.
A National School of Drama alumnus, Pandey began his career on the stage. He was associated with London-based theatre group Tara, and did plays like “Heer Ranjha”, and “Antigone”. He acted in around 125 plays.
After doing bit roles in movies, he got his big break in Shekhar Kapur’s acclaimed film “Bandit Queen” (1996) and in the same year featured in Amol Palekar’s “Daayra” and Sudhir Mishra’s “Is Raat Ki Subah Nahi”.
In 1998, he did “Train To Pakistan” and next year featured in “Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain”. He also acted in several television serials including “Hatim” and “Princess Dollie Aur Uska Magic Bag”.
Anupam Kher, who is also a theatre enthusiast, posted: “I’m so shocked and sad at the sudden death of Nirmal Pandey. He was a wonderful actor. I liked his casual stance towards life. Sad. RIP (rest in peace).” Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar says Pandey will always be remembered for his performances.
“Nirmal Pandey, who was a great actor and gave some memorable performances, passed away. He will always be there in our hearts… May his soul rest in peace,” said Bhandarkar. Riteish Deshmukh says “we lost a good actor” and Lara Dutta has offered “condolences and prayers to his family”.
Pandey’s “Lahore” released Friday and director Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan is disconsolate that the actor could not see the film. “He plays a soft-hearted Pakistani Anwar Sheikh in the movie. He has a very meaty and powerful role in the movie. But unfortunately, I will not be able to show him the film,” Singh said.