A day after dismissing reports of his death, Kader Khan’s son Sarfaraz confirmed on Tuesday morning that the veteran actor-writer passed away on Monday evening.
Best known for acting in popular films such Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Akhiyon Se Goli Maare, Joru Ka Ghulam, Haseena Maan Jaayegi, Aunty No. 1 and Judwaa, Khan was living in Canada with Sarfaraz and his daughter-in-law Shahista. He was 81.
"My dad has left us. He passed away on December 31 at 6 pm as per Canadian time due to prolonged illness. He slipped into coma in the afternoon. He was in the hospital for 16-17 weeks,” Sarfaraz told PTI.
"The last rites will be performed here in Canada only. We have our entire family here and we live here so we are doing it. We are thankful to everyone for their blessings and prayers," he added.
In the last few days, Khan was just able to maintain eye contact. He had stopped talking completely, was put on a BiPAP ventilator and showed symptoms of pneumonia. Sarfaraz had earlier told a media portal that Khan had recently undergone a knee surgery but despite it being successful, he couldn't walk owing to his ill health.
"The surgery did not go wrong. It was just that my father refused to get up after it. We were told that he has to make an effort and try to start walking from the next day but he just didn't do it," Sarfaraz said.
Khan was also suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), an extremely rare degenerative disease known to cause slow deterioration and loss of specific volumes of the brain, resulting in loss of balance, slowing of movement, difficulty moving eyes and dementia.
Born in Kabul in 1937, Khan made his acting debut in 1973 with Yash Chopra’s film Daag that starred Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore in lead roles. He went on to feature in over 300 films.
But before turning to acting, he was a prolific dialogue and screen writer and had penned dialogues for over 250 films, including Randhir Kapoor-Jaya Bachchan's Jawani Diwani and Rajesh Khanna’s Roti.
As a screenwriter, Khan is most celebrated for his collaborations with Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra for several successful films, including Dharam Veer, Coolie, Amar Akbar Anthony, Sharaabi, Lawaaris and Muqaddar Ka Sikandar.