News|August 26, 2012 4:12 pm

Veteran actor A.K. Hangal dead

Bollywood’s distinguished character artist A.K. Hangal, who endeared himself to the audience by playing the role of the lovable old man in films like Sholay, Shaukeen and Namak Haram, died on sunday following a brief illness.

The 95-year-old actor 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.

Best known for his one-liner from blockbuster Sholay — Itna sannaata kyun hai bhai (why so much silence is there), Hangal entered Bollywood when he was in his 40s and went on to act in over 200 films.

This is really a sad thing…now I am left all alone. I have no words to describe his loss.

his son Vijay said.

He was a strong man…he has been a great support to me.

he said.

Avtaar Veenit Kishan Hangal was born in a Kashmiri Pandit family in Sialkot (Pakistan) and came to the city of dreams — Mumbai — at the age of 21.

He made an impressive mark as the old man who gets up and joins the troupe in the song Ghanan Ghanan, where he sang one line Kale Megha Kale Megha Pani To Barsao in Aamir Khan-starrer Lagaan.

The actor, who was honoured with the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to Hindi cinema in 2006, was in the news last year for living a life in penury.

His son Vijay, a retired still cameraman in Bollywood, appealed for help after failing to meet Hangal’s medical expenses. Several Bollywood celebrities like the Bachchans, producer-director Vipul Shah, and actors Mithun Chakraborty, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan came forward to help him.

Recently, he returned to face the studio lights after several years for TV series Madhubala.