Veteran Hindi and Marathi film-theatre actor Viju Khote passed away on Monday due to multiple organ failure. He was 77.
The actor, most famous for playing the dacoit Kalia in "Sholay" and Robert in "Andaz Apna Apna", died at his residence.
"He passed away today at 6.55 am peacefully in his sleep at the residence. He has been unwell since quite sometime. He had multiple organ failure," actor Bhavana Balsavar, his niece, told PTI.
"He did not wish to die in the hospital so we had brought him home few days ago. It is a great loss for all of us," she said.
The last rites of the actor will be performed at Chandan Wadi around 11 am. The actor is related to veteran actors Shubha Khote and Durga Khote.
Khote featured in popular films like "Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak", "Ventilator" and the TV show "Zabaan Sambhalke".
Renowned for comedy roles, Viju was famed for the evergreen lines: "Kitne Aadmi The?", "Do, Sarkar" from the film "Sholay" in which he played dacoit Gabbar Singh's bumbling sidekick Kaalia.
In a career spanning around six decades, Khote worked in over 300 films, including "Phir Hera Pheri", Andaz Apna Apna," besides some television shows and ads.
Upon hearing the news, Indian filmmaker and social activist Ashoke Pandit expressed sorrow. He wrote on Twitter, "Sad to know about the demise of one of the finest actors #vijukhote ji. My deepest condolences to his family."
Tisca Chopra wrote, "He charmed us in so many varied parts .. most well loved was, of course #Kaalia from #sholay .. RIP #VijuKhote ji."
Actress Esha Gupta wrote, "You’ve given us many unforgettable roles in the best of the films, thank you for your contribution to indian cinema,RIP #VijuKhote ji🙏🏽."
Suniel Shetty wrote, "Will miss you Viju ji... Rest in peace 🙏 #vijukhote #RIPVijukhote,"
Rishi Kapoor and Ajay Devgn also tweeted their condolences.
RIP. Viju Khote. Dear friend over the years. Though much elder,we used to bike together along with sister Shobha Khote ji,when I was young. Passionate and well informed about American films. We will miss you” Viju kutte aahe? pic.twitter.com/6e6KXaepFI— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) September 30, 2019
Actors like Viju Khote were institutions by themselves. Their large body of work will always be remembered. I’m fortunate to have worked with him on quite a few films. RIP Sir🙏 My heartfelt condolences to the family.— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) September 30, 2019
(With inputs from Agencies--IANS and PTI)
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