Sayeed Jaffrey

Dobaara movie review

Sayeed Jaffrey

Posted: 11/17/2015 10:56 AM IST
Sayeed Jaffrey

Yesteryears Legendary actor Saeed Jaffrey, one of the first Indian actors to successfully establish a career in both Bollywood and international movies by starring in classics like Shatranj Ke Khilari, Gandhi and My Beautiful Laundrette expired at the age of 86.

Saeed Jaffrey was born on January 8, 1929 at Malerkotla, Punjab. Mr Jaffrey was an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University, the Wynberg Allen School and the Allahabad University. He later studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and was awarded his second post-graduate degree, in drama, by The Catholic University of America.

"Today, a generation of Jaffreys has passed away. Saeed Jaffrey has joined his brothers and sister and is rejoicing in the lap of his Heavenly Father, eternally," his niece Shaheen Agarwal posted on Facebook on Sunday.

"Goodbye dear Saeed. Started my career with you in Masoom. Can't forget your kindness and enthusiasm for your art and others," Director Shekhar Kapur tweeted.

He is the most accomplished actors of his time, Jaffrey has started his career in All India Radio and then moved to America as a Fulbright scholar, where he studied drama from The Catholic University of America. He was the first Indian to take Shakespearean plays on a tour to the US, which he left to marry his first wife Madhur Jaffrey.

As a young actor in Delhi, he ran a theatre company named Unity Theatre, which has produced plays based on the works of Tennessee Williams, Christopher Fry and Shakespeare.

Mr Jaffrey struck a balance between critically acclaimed films and mainstream Bollywood. He was directed by Satyajit Ray in Shatranj Ke Khiladi, and won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. He starred in Mandi, Masoom and Chashme Buddoor. His masala films include Ram Lakhan, Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Dil and Aaina.

His noted international films are The Man Who Would Be King, Death on the Nile, Sphinx, The Jewel in the Crown, A Passage to India, My Beautiful Laundrette, The Deceivers, After Midnight, On Wings of Fire and Chicken Tikka Masala.

In Gandhi, he played Sardar Patel, working under the stewardship of Richard Attenborough and with an august cast led by Ben Kingsley. In ‘A Passage To India’, he was directed by David Lean. In John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King, his co-stars were Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer. He made The Deceivers with Merchant Ivory and Pierce Brosnan

He starred with Daniel Day-Lewis in Stephen Frears' film adaptation of Hanif Kureishi's My Beautiful Laundrette, scoring a BAFTA nomination in 1985, the first Asian actor to do so. Saeed Jaffrey also appeared in the TV miniseries The Far Pavilions and The Jewel In The Crown, long-running British soap Coronation Street and headlined the cast of sitcom Tandoori Nights.

Mr Jaffrey was the Radio Director for All India Radio between 1951 and 1956 and Director of Publicity and Advertising at the Government of India Tourist Office. Saeed Jaffrey was married to actress-author Madhur, with whom he has three children - Meera, Zia, and Sakina. The couple divorced in 1965. In 1980, he married casting director Jennifer Sorrell, who also acted as his agent. Mr Jaffrey was the first Indian to receive the Order of the British Empire or OBE.

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