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Veteran actor Vikram Gokhale passes away at Pune

Veteran actor Vikram Gokhale (November 14, 1945-November 26, 2022) passed away today at Pune

An actor of par excellence, Vikram Gokhale who was at home in films, television and stage passed away today at the age of 77. He died at Pune’s Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital where he was undergoing treatment since November 5.

Born on November 14, 1945 in Bombay Presidency, he has done several notable roles in Marathi theatre and films; Hindi movies and TV shows.

Making his debut in 1971 in the Amitabh Bachchan starrer “Parwana”, Gokhale’s career spanned five decades in which he essayed varied roles, including that of a father, villain, professor, businessman and policeman among others, leaving his mark of perfection in each one of them.

His association with the superstar Bachchan continued later when Gokhale worked with him in 1990 action-drama “Agneepath” in which he played the upright police commissioner’s role. Later, he was seen in Big B’s “Khuda Gawah” (1992) and “AB Aani CD” (2020).

He won the National Award for Best Actor in a Marathi film “Anumati” in which he virtually lived the role of a husband who would go to any length to defray the hospital bills of his wife who is in coma. Neena Kulkarni was his co-star in the movie directed by Gajendra Ahire.

His directorial debut film was “Aaghaat” which deals with how private hospitals treat their patients and families, Gokhale earned handsome praise for his able portrayal of a drunk and corrupt doctor who would go to any length to save himself.

In “Natsamrat” (2015) directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, Gokhale teamed with another able actor Nana Patekar. While the latter essayed the lead role of Ganpat, the former portrayed Rambhau. The two characters as contemporaries of theatre look at the nature of life and its challenges. Fans in particular remember the scene in the film when Rambhau on his deathbed recites lines from the Mahabharata.

Gokhale came from a family which was very closely associated with stage and screen. Durgabai Kamat, his great grandmother was the first female actor of the Indian screen, while his grandmother Kamlabai Gokhale was the first female child actor of Indian cinema. Chandrakant Gokhale, his father was a seasoned Marathi film and stage artist who had acted in over 70 Marathi and Hindi films.

Apart from his contribution to the world of arts, he was an entrepreneur who ran a real estate firm called Sujata Farms in Pune and was a social activist who supported and worked for disabled soldiers, children of people afflicted with leprosy and education of orphans.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief at the passing of Gokhale. His tweet read: “Vikram Gokhale Ji was a creative and versatile actor. He will be remembered for many interesting roles in his long acting career. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family, friends and admirers. Om Shanti.”

Among others who condoled his death were Akshay Kumar, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kapoor and Anupam Kher.

Gokhale is survived by his wife Vrushali and two daughters.