A.K. Hangal passed away at 9 a.m. at the Asha Parekh Hospital in suburban Santacruz in Mumbai, where he was admitted on August 16 after fracturing his thigh bone.
Initially, he was examined at home and put on medicines. However, later, he was shifted to the hospital’s ICU and put on ventilator support as his condition deteriorated.
Hangal, who had been in and out of hospital with a history of pulmonary tuberculosis, chronic kidney disease and hypertension, needed to be operated however the doctors felt he was unfit to go under the knife.The yesteryear actor, who has acted in over 225 films, is best known for character roles in films like Namak Haram, Sholay, Shaukeen, Aaina, Bawarchi and others.
Not so long ago, the 97-year-old actor had told TOI, “I have lived my life on the sets. And it was exciting to go back to one.” Hangal was reliving his experience of shooting for a new television show titled Madhubala after a gap of seven years. This picture was taken on the sets. He had reached the sets on a wheelchair and wasn’t sure he’d be able to handle the shoot physically. However, once the cameras started rolling, there was no stopping the actor within.
AK Hangal started his Hindi film career at the very late age of 50 with Basu Bhattacharya’s Teesri Kasam in 1966 and Shagird, and went on to play as the man of principles playing the on-screen father or uncle of the leading men/women in the films in the 70’s 80’s 90’s or sometimes the quintessential meek and oppressed old man. His pivotal roles in the films like Namak Haraam, Shaukeen (1981), Sholay, Aaina (1977), Avtaar, Arjun, Aandhi, Tapasya, Kora Kagaz, Bawarchi, Chhupa Rustam, Chitchor, Balika Badhu, Guddi, Naram Garam are considered to be among his best. He, as a character actor, always was part of the most of the films with Rajesh Khanna as the lead hero like Aap Ki Kasam, Amar Deep, Naukri, Prem Bandhan, Thodisi Bewafaii, Phir Wohi Raat, Kudrat, Aaj Ka M.L.A. Ram Avtar, Bewafai till Sautela Bhai in 1996. His best performances in his later years was in Shararat (2002) his character roles in Tere Mere Sapne (1997) and Lagaan.
A K Hangal is survived by one son and was in a dire strait before the film industry chipped in with funds after news of the veteran actor’s failing health broke out last year.
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