Actor Ranjit Chowdhry breathed his last at age 64. Not much is known about his death, except that he was reportedly suffering from an ailment for some months and was due for a surgery. The actor, who was known for his work spanning over three decades, was hailed by the celebrities of the film industry.
Rahul Khanna, Sanjay Gupta, Deepa Mehta, Rahul Dholakia, Anil Sharma, Poorna Jagannathan, Aseem Chhabra were among those who mourned the loss of Chowdhry.
Rahul tweeted that he was ‘gutted’ to hear the news. The Wake Up Sid star called him as the ‘towering icon of Indian diaspora cinema’ and a ‘master’ of his craft, despite his 'diminutive frame.' The actor also called Chowdhry as a ‘true original’ and that he was one of ‘most endearingly quirky and acerbically witty people.’
Rahul also recalled ‘fun memories’ while working on the film Bollywood/ Hollywood and an ‘’off-Broadway musical’, apart from memories of having dinners together. Rahul gave him a ‘standing ovation’ and raised a toast to him, while expressing his condolensces to his family.
Gutted to learn of #RanjitChowdhry’s passing. Despite his diminutive frame, he was a towering icon of Indian diaspora cinema and a master of his craft. By far, one of the most endearingly quirky and acerbically witty people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. A true original!— Rahul Khanna (@R_Khanna) April 16, 2020
I have such fun memories of working with him on Bollywood/ Hollywood, then, on an off-Broadway musical (that we both eventually ended up not doing) and, of course, the dinners at his apartment in New York. Giving you a standing ovation & raising a toast to you, my friend!— Rahul Khanna (@R_Khanna) April 16, 2020
My heartfelt condolences to his family & especially his son. 💔— Rahul Khanna (@R_Khanna) April 16, 2020
Deepa Mehta, who had directed him in Bollywood/Hollywood, also mourned Chowdhry’s death.
Delhi Belly actor Poorna wrote that Chowdhry made ‘magic out of nothing’, and filled depth into ‘paper thin roles’. She added that she was ‘heartbroken’ to hear about the loss of her ‘dear friend’ and one who reminded her of her father, for ‘the same humor, stubbornness and brilliance.’
This guy made magic out of nothing, filling paper thin roles with so much depth. I always saw my father when I was with him- the same humor, stubbornness and brilliance. Heartbroken, dear friend. RIP— Poorna Jagannathan (@PoornaJags) April 15, 2020
Sanjay Gupta recalled Chowdhury’s performance in his directorial Kaante, terming it as a ‘pleasure.’ The director thanked him for the joy through his performances, and terming his performance in Khatta Meetha as the ‘favourite.’
RIP my friend Ranjit Chaudhury. Had the pleasure of working with you in KAANTE.— Sanjay Gupta (@_SanjayGupta) April 16, 2020
Thank you for the joy you gave us through your performances.
KHATTA MEETHA is my favourite.
Keep smiling wherever you are.😊😊😊 pic.twitter.com/EIvZf8dwpL
Parzania and Raees director Rahul Dholakia wrote he was a fan of Chowdhry's work, for his 'great comic timing' and acting in films like Khatta Meetha, Khubsoorat, Lonely in America, and Sam & Me.
Very Sad to hear about #RanjitChowdhry - was a big fan of his films - Great comic timing & Good actor. khatta Metha, khubsoorat, lonely in America, Sam and me. He was also the first ever judge, in our Show Naya Andaz in New Jersey in 1993.#RIP— rahul dholakia (@rahuldholakia) April 16, 2020
Here are some of the other reactions:
My heartiest condolence.. RIP https://t.co/fiwZDjQxlQ— Anil Sharma (@Anilsharma_dir) April 15, 2020
Some of Ranjit Chowdhry’s popular performances were in the Rekha-starrer Khoobsurat and Baton Baton Mein. Apart from that he featured in films like Kaalia, Bandit Queen, Mississippi Masala, Fire, Lonely in America. Apart from films, he also starred in international shows like Prison Break and The Office.
He was also a writer and had written the screenplay of Deepa Mehta’s Sam & Me, which also starred him.
Ranjit Chowdhry was the son of actor Pearl Padamsee, who is the first wife of theatre veteran Alyque Padamsee. His half-sister Raeel Padamsee announced that the funeral will be held on Friday, apart from a special memorial gathering on May 5.