Bollywood’s favourite ‘Shammi Aunty’ dead, industry bids adieu

Mumbai: A character actress for nearly six decades, Nargis Rabadi, popularly known as ‘Shammi Aunty’ in the industry, died at her home, aged 87.

According to Bollywood personality Ashok Shekhar, she had been ailing for some time. She breathed her last at her Juhu Circle home late on Monday.

Her funeral took place at the Oshiwara cemetery, with celebrities like Asha Parekh, Farida Jalal, Boman Irani, Farah Khan, Annu Kapoor and Priya Dutt in attendance.

She became a popular character artiste portraying supporting roles of aunt, granny, elderly spinster in the family, et al, besides acting in television serials.

Shammi mostly featured in comic roles. The late actress starred in films like “Coolie No. 1”, “Mardon Wali Baat” and “Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi”. She also appeared in many popular television serials such as “Dekh Bhai Dekh”, “Zabaan Sambhal Ke”, “Shriman Shrimati”, “Kabhi Yeh Kabhi Woh” and “Filmi Chakkar”.

Tributes to Shammi, who was a Parsi and the former wife of legendary Bollywood filmmaker, the late Sultan Ahmed, came in from Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, megastar Amitabh Bachchan, designer Sandeep Khosla, Abhishek Bachchan, Farah and Divya Dutta.

Sharma wrote: “My heartfelt tribute to veteran actor Shammi on her unfortunate demise. Her extensive and inspiring contribution to Indian cinema will always be remembered.”

“Shammi Aunty… Prolific actress, years of contribution to the industry, dear family friend… passes away. A long suffered illness, age… Sad… slowly slowly they all go away,” Amitabh, who has “fond remembrances” of her, tweeted.

The actor also shared some photographs of Shammi Aunty.

Amitabh’s son Abhishek wrote: “I will really miss you Shammi Aunty… You always gave the warmest hugs and never failed to make everyone smile. So many memories, so much happiness, gone but not forgotten. Rest in peace.”

Boman, who worked with Shammi in her last big screen outing “Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi”, wrote: “Bid farewell to everyone’s favourite aunty, Shammi Aunty. Played her grandson a few years ago. She was the most fun person on set. Loved her very much. Will miss her. May her soul rest in peace.”

Anil Kapoor wrote: “A great actress, always happy and smiling… Shammiji will be missed. I was lucky enough to have worked with her in Eeshwar and she was a joy to be around… My condolences to her loved ones.”

Shammi was close to adopted son Iqbaal Rizzvi.

Khosla took to Instagram to post an elegant photograph of the late actress, and described her as “special”, “guide”, “best friend”.

Farah wrote: “Our beloved Shammi Aunty is no more… Most wonderful, loving and funny. Working since my dad’s films and I was lucky to work beside her in ‘Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi’. God bless her.”

Divya said Shammi’s “talent, warmth and laughter is cherished”.

Actor Vindu Dara Singh said he would remember her as “always smiling and peaceful and very gracious”.