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Actor who starred in Gandhi dies

2015-11-16 14:54

New Delhi  — Saeed Jaffrey, an Indian actor acclaimed for his roles in international films including Gandhi, A Passage to India and My Beautiful Laundrette, has died at age 86.

His death was announced by his niece Shaheen Agarwal on Facebook on Sunday. She did not give any details. The TimesNow television news channel said Jaffrey died in London on Sunday.

Jaffrey's international career saw him working with actors such as Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Roshan Seth, James Ivory, Richard Attenborough and Daniel Day-Lewis.

His other international films included The Jewel in the Crown, Chicken Tikka Masala, The Man Who Would Be King and"Death on the Nile.

In a tweet on Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Jaffrey as "a multifaceted actor whose flair and versatility will always be remembered."

Jaffrey started his 40-year career with state-run All India Radio before moving to the United States as a Fulbright scholar, studying drama at the Catholic University of America, according to the Press Trust of India.

He was the first Indian to take Shakespearean plays on a tour to the United States. He later quit the tour to marry his first wife, Madhur Jaffrey, an Indian-born actress, food and travel writer, and television personality. He had three children with her before getting divorced in 1965.

Jaffrey launched his Bollywood career in the 1980s with roles in popular movies such as Masoom (Innocent), Satyajit Ray's"Shatranj Ke Khiladi (Chess Players) and Henna. He worked with several top Bollywood actors, including Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Madhuri Dixit.

Jaffrey was the first Indian to receive the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to drama.

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