Bollywood's Soorma Bhopali no more

In the world of Bollywood, Jagdeep shot to fame with the blockbuster film 'Sholay' for his iconic character Soorma Bhopali that made him famous in the hearts of his fans forever. No wonder this hilarious character went on to become a legendary character in the history of Indian cinema.

The legendary comedian and veteran Bollywood actor, whose real name was Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jafri, began his career as a child actor in the 1951 film titled 'Afsana' by then famed director BR Chopra.

Before the yesteryear star landed to the role of Soorma Bhopali, he starred in over 400 films in his career like 'Ab Dilli Door Nahin', 'Munna', 'Do Bigha Zamin', 'Aar Paar', 'Bramhachari', 'Qurbani', 'Shahenshah', 'Andaz Apna Apna' and several others.

In one of his old interviews, Jagdeep had shared how his character Soorma Bhopali came into being. It happened when the actor told screenplay writers Salim-Javed about a forest officer from Bhopal called Soorma. Later, he even discussed the peculiarities of that person that got incorporated in the blockbuster hit 'Sholay'.

Soon the comedian-actor gave his fabulous comic roles to the audience. Undoubtedly, the fans started applauding and appreciating his roles even more than before. There are very few comic actors who gather such a massive fan following among film audiences as much as Jagdeep did.

Apart from making the audience laugh, Jagdeep also experimented with different genres, like in Ramsay Brothers' horror films, such as 'Purana Mandir' and 'Saamri'. He had also taken the director's chair when he decided to make the film 'Soorma Bhopali' in 1988, which was a spin on his own character from 'Sholay'. He played the central character in the film. Veteran actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Rekha had made cameo appearances in the same movie.

The comic actor left for his heavenly abode at the age of 81, leaving behind sweet old memories of his acting skills. He was suffering from age-related ailments and breathed his last at his residence in Mumbai at nearly 8:30 PM on July 8. The fans and many celebrities from the Hindi film industry offered their heartfelt condolences to the family of the late actor. The last rites were performed at a cemetery in South Mumbai in the presence of his family and comedian-actor Johnny Lever at 11:30 AM on July 9.

"My first film and the first time I ever faced the camera, was in the film 'Yeh Rishta Na Toote' with the legend himself Jagdeep bhai. We will miss you. May his soul rest in peace," wrote Johnny Lever on 'Twitter'.

Amitabh Bachchan also recalled his time with the yesteryear actor, "Jagdeep, the actor of exceptional comedic repertoire, passed away. He had crafted a unique individual style of his own and I had the honour of working with him in several films."

"I worked with him in a couple of films. He was always keen to work. He was such a good actor. His comic timing was impeccable. He has been in the film industry since childhood," said veteran actor Prem Chopra.

The passing of the veteran actor, unfortunately, has left a big void in the Hindi film industry.

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