Veteran director Rakesh Kumar, known for films "Mr. Natwarlal", "Khoon Pasina", "Do Aur Do Paanch" and "Yaarana" with megastar Amitabh Bachchan, has passed away.
According to media reports, the filmmaker died after a long battle with cancer on Thursday. He was in his 80s.
Kumar served as assistant director on Prakash Mehra's 1973 blockbuster "Zanjeer", headlined by Bachchan, before foraying into direction with "Khoon Pasina" in 1977.
His film credits also included movies such as "Commander", "Kaun Jeeta Kaun Haara" and "Suryavanshi".
Bachchan also shared the news of Kumar's death in a post on his official blog on Saturday night.
"Morose is the day .. for another colleague has left us and me in particular .. Rakesh Sharma, first AD to Prakash Mehra on ZANJEER' .. then independent director for other PM (prakash mehra, as we often joked with him, as the PM of the country ) films .. and singularly - 'Hera Pheri', 'Khoon Pasina', 'Mr Natwarlal', 'Yaarana', et al .. and such great camaraderie on sets and elsewhere, socially, during events and Holi," the 80-year-old actor wrote.
Bachchan said Kumar has left an imprint that is "hard to remove or forget".
"His sense of screenplay and direction, writing and execution on the spur of the moment and the fun times on location during Nattu and Yaarana.. his complete faith in his worth..
"And the ease with which he would grant us the liberty of skipping shootings on the odd day, just to be able to spend time relaxing fooling around and being in the company of uncontrollable laughter and gaiety," he added.
The "Uunchai" actor remembered Kumar as the "most affable and kind hearted human" who was always ready to deal with the inconveniences faced by artists.
"You made many of us prominent with your innovative ideas for story and film, Rakesh, and you shall ever be remembered.." he added.
Kumar is survived by his wife, son and daughter. A prayer meeting will be held for him on Sunday in Andheri.