Saeed Jaffrey, the trademark character artist of series of Bollywood films including Shatranj ke Khiladi and Sai Paranjpe’s Chashme Baddoor is no more. Saeed was an Indian-British actor and passed away yesterday. He was 86 years. His niece Shaheen wrote on Facebook: “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.”
Jaffrey’s Masoom director Shekhar Kapur tweeted: Goodbye dear Sayeed. Started my career with u in Masoom. Can’t forget ur kindness n enthusiasm for your art n others.
Jaffrey starred in acclaimed films like Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj ke Khiladi, for which he won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and Sai Paranjpye’s Chashme Baddoor. He was very well-known abroad, having appeared in several international movies including Gandhi and A Passage To India as well as on the TV shows Tandoori Nights, The Far Pavilions and The Jewel In The Crown. His co-stars include Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Pierce Brosnan.
Jaffrey also had roles in several mainstream Hindi movies like Ram Lakhan, Khoon Bhari Maang and Naseeb.
Saeed Jaffrey was born in Malerkotla, Punjab and studied at Aligarh Muslim University, the Wynberg Allen School and Allahabad University. He started his career on stage, setting up a theatre company of his own in New Delhi. He later went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art or RADA in London.
He was married to actress-author Madhur Jaffrey, with whom he had three children. His daughter Sakina is a well-known actress. He and Madhur Jaffrey divorced in 1965 and he later married casting director Jennifer Sorrell in 1980, remaining married to her until his death.