Many refer the year 2020 as a curse! Undeniably, many lost their near and dear ones and livelihood as COVID-19 pandemic struck the world. Of course, 2020 left a deep scar in the minds and hearts of many. Though the situation is promising to alter now, the irreparable losses can’t be undone.
Like in all other facets of profession and skill, the Indian film and television industry too lost several gems in the year 2020. Noted actors, director, singers, choreographers and many others, who had made a space in the hearts of the audience, will be missed forever. The popularity of the creative personalities reached the sky for their skills and performances in entertaining the audience for over decades. Here, we bring the list of the 14 gems that we lost in the year 2020.
Legendary actor Irrfan Khan, who made it to Hollywood, left his admirers in deep sorrow on April 29. The 53-year-old actor passed away after a protracted battle with cancer. Irrfan was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine cancer in 2018 and since then was under treatment. He was last seen in Angrezi Medium that released on March 13. The untimely demise of the talented actor left the entire film industry in shock.
Irrfan who started his career with a small character in Salaam Bombay, released in 1988, has left his mark in British and American films. In his long career, that spanned over 30 years, he has earned numerous accolades. He is more remembered for his real-life character portrayal and his struggling career.
Legendary Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor passed away on April 30. He was 67 years old. After a two-year battle with leukemia he lost to it. The entire film fraternity, apart from his family and friends, was left shocked on his untimely demise. Different social media handles got flooded with the messages of condolences and homages.
Rishi aka Chintu was born in the Kapoor family which still is one of the most respected families in the Indian film industry. He made his debut as a child artist in Mera Naam Joker in the year 1970 and as an adult he got reintroduced in Bobby in 1973. He was last seen in The Body in 2019 that released before his death. Ram Baran Singh and Kitty Boy were released posthumously.
Sushant Singh Rajput’s death on June 14 left everyone dumbstruck. The young actor was found dead at his home and the reason behind his death is still shrouded in mystery. The TV star’s popularity drew attention of movie lovers after his Bollywood debut with Kai Po Che! With MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, the Pavitra Rishta actor set a benchmark in the industry.
SSR, who started his career after dropping out of his engineering courses, had worked in several commercially hit movies. His last film ‘Dil Bechara’ that released posthumously garnered lots of appreciation. Fans and movie lovers still mourn the 34 old actor’s death.
Legendary Filmmaker Basu Chatterjee breathed his last on June 4. The filmmaker-screenwriter was best known for directing films like Choti Si Baat, Rajnigandha, Baaton Baaton Mein, Ek Ruka Hua Faisla and Chameli Ki Shaadi among others.
He passed away at 93 following age-related ailments. For Doordarshan, Chatterjee made hit TV serials like “Byomkesh Bakshi” and “Rajani”. His last directed film was “Gudgudee” in 1997, starring Anupam Kher and Pratibha Sinha.
Veteran actor Jagdeep whose iconic character of Soorma Bhopali in Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra starrer-‘Sholay’ tickled generation, passed away on July 8. Jagdeep, whose real name was Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jafri, was the father of Bollywood actor Jaaved Jaaferi and TV director Naved Jaffrey.
His stellar performance in different movies portraying different characters still tickles movie lovers. However, his catchphrase in Sholay “Mera naam Soorma Bhopali aise hi nahin hai” is still remembered by fans. The veteran actor started his career as a child artiste and was seen in films like Do Bigha Zamin and Aar Paar. He has acted in over 300 films in his career spanning over six decades.
Ebrahim Alkazi, considered the father of modern Indian theatre, passed away on August 4. He was the first Director of the National School of Drama (NSD) and staged more than 50 plays during his distinguished career, winning the BBC Broadcasting Award in 1950. The 94 year old was a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan (2010), Padma Bhushan (1991) and Padma Shri (1966) honours.
Director Nishikant Kamat, best known for his films “Drishyam” and “Madaari” breathed his last on August 17. He was suffering from Liver Cirrhosis. The 50 year old made his directorial debut with Marathi film “Dombivali Fast” in 2005. His Bollywood debut was “Mumbai Meri Jaan”, also starring Irrfan.
Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee died on November 15. The actor was battling with multiple ailments including neurological complications and was under treatment. The 85 year old actor was admitted to hospital after he tested COVID positive. The Dadasaheb Phalke awardee had earned several accolades for his performance and contribution to the entertainment industry.
Actor Asif Basra was found hanging in a private residential complex in Dharamshala on November 12. Basra’s sudden death was a blow to the industry. The actor was struggling to get back on his feet after the lockdown that came into effect in March to curb the spread of COVID-19. The 53-year-old actor was best known for his performance in Jab We Met, Kai Po Che!, Paatal Lok, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai.
Legendary playback singer and actor SP Balasubrahmanyam (SPB) passed away on September 25. Coronavirus attacked his lungs and permanently silenced the singer who had sung over 40,000 songs in 16 languages in a career spanning over five decades.
On August 5, in a Facebook post, the 74-year old SPB said that he was suffering from a very mild attack of coronavirus and had got himself hospitalised to take rest. SPB has earned several accolades throughout his over five decades of playback singing career.
India’s first Oscar winner Bhanu Athaiya passed away in Mumbai on October 15. The 91-year-old costume designer passed away after her prolonged illness. In a career spanning five decades and over 100 films, she won two National Awards. She won an Oscar for her work in the 1983 film, Gandhi.
Veteran Bollywood Choreographer Saroj Khan passed away on July 3. The 71-year-old choreographer died due to cardiac arrest. She won the National Award thrice in her lifetime. In 2003, she received the honour for the song “Dola re dola” in “Devdas, picturised on Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan.
Saroj Khan made her debut as a choreographer in 1974 with Geeta Mera Naam. Her latest works included choreographing Kangana Ranaut in “Manikarnika” last year and “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” in 2015. Bollywood mourns the demise of the ‘Master.’
Bollywood composer-singer Wajid Khan of the popular sibling composer duo- Sajid-Wajid passed away on June 1. The 42-year-old singer and composer died of a cardiac arrest. He had multiple issues including kidney ailment. He also had tested COVID-19 positive and the situation worsened as his immunity was low.
Sajid-Wajid shot to fame with the Salman Khan blockbuster “Dabangg” in 2010. The duo has several super hit songs in their kit. As the news of Wajid Khan’s demise spread, Bollywood took to social media to express grief and shock.
Actress Arya Banerjee, who acted in several Bollywood films including the critically acclaimed ‘The Dirty Picture’ was found dead at her apartment in south Kolkata on December 12. The police broke open the door of her third-floor apartment and found that the body of the 33-year-old actress was lying in the bedroom.
Apart from these popular artistes, the country lost several other unsung stars who will be missed forever.