In Memoriam: Celebs we lost in 2017
Almost at the end of the year , when we take time to reflect back upon all those we have lost. True pioneers and giants have passed away in 2017, from stars to power players behind the camera. Their work speaks volumes, their names etched in history — we may not see them around but in our hearts they will live on! Each death has brought an outpouring of sympathy in public, and had touching tributes.
Here are the details of notable people who left us in 2017:
1. Sitaram Panchal
Actor Sitaram Panchal was seen in popular films like “Bandit Queen”, “Slumdog Millionaire”, “Peepli Live” and “The Legend of Bhagat Singh”. Sitaram is best remembered for his role in “Paan Singh Tomar”. He is also popular for his work in Akshay Kumar’s Jolly LLB 2.
Mr Panchal’s wife said that, ever since the lung cancer was detected in January 2014, he has taken Ayurvedic treatment. Later he has lost a lot of weight. Then he started a new homeopathic medicine, following which his condition worsened and discontinued the medicines.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the actor asked for help in a Facebook post that shared last month. While mentioning his health condition, he wrote, “Bhaio, meri help karo meri cancer se halat kharab hoti ja rahi hai, apka kalakar bhai Sitaram Panchal.” Sitaram Panchal passed away as he had breathing difficulties. The news of his demise was confirmed to indianexpress.com by his family members.
2. Reema Lagoo
Actress Reema Lagoo was a veteran of the Marathi stage and has appeared in several high profile Bollywood films. Lagoo’s best-known roles were as mother to the Salman, Akshay and became favourite new-age mom to the audience. Reema was remembered for her roles in Aashiqui, Saajan, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Vaastav, Hum Saath Saath Hain and Kal Ho Na Ho. She was a part of several theatre productions, TV shows and films.
Reema Lagoo died of a cardiac arrest in Mumbai on 18th May 2017. She was 59 years Old. Ms Lagoo had been taken to the Kokilaben Hospital. Her last rites was attended by Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao, Kajol, Rishi Kapoor, Sonali Kurkani and Rakesh Bedi. It is really shocking for all that she is no more.
3. Vinod Khanna
The young and dashing actor Vinod Khanna. At the start of his career, he played supporting or villainous characters in films such as “Purab Aur Paschim”, “Sachaa Jhutha”, “Aan Milo Sajna”, and “Mastana” in 1970. He got his first break as the solo lead hero in the film “Hum Tum Aur Who” in 1971.
Dynamic actor Vinod Khanna passed away on 27 April 2017 in Mumbai. The actor, who was also an MP from Gurdaspur, had been reportedly suffering from cancer. He was diedat the age of 70.
4. Om Puri
One of India’s finest actors, Puri was an alumnus of the prestigious National School of Drama, Film and Television Institute of India and was a part of several critically acclaimed films like Ardh Satya. Om Puri made his film debut in 1976 with the Marathi film ‘Ghashiram Kotwal’. He was made honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2004 for his contributions to the British film industry. Om Puri received one of India’s highest civilian honour Padma Shri award, in 1990.
Om Puri has passed away, he was found dead at his Mumbai residence in the early hours of 6 January 2017 morning. He was 66 years old. As confirmed by his friends from the film fraternity the actor succumbed to a major heart attack.
5. Kishori Amonkar
Kishori Amonkar was recognised as one of the foremost singers in the Hindustani tradition. Amonkar’s mother was the well-known vocalist Mogubai Kurdikar, who trained under Alladiya Khan Saheb, the doyen of the Jaipur gharana. Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori passed away on 3 April 2017 in Mumbai after a brief illness.
In recognition of her contribution to the arts, she received many awards, including the Padma Bhushan (1987) and Padma Vibhushan (2002), two of India’s top civilian honours. In 2010, she became a fellow of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
6. PN Bhagwati
Former Chief Justice of India Prafulchandra Natwarlal Bhagwati, considered a pioneer of judicial activism in the country for introducing the concept of PILs. A Gujarati, Bhagwati served as the CJI from 12 July 1985 to 20 December 1986.
Boasting an accomplished judicial career, Bhagwati is best known for introducing Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 1986. Bhagwati passed away at the age of 95 on 15 June 2017 after brief illness, family sources said.
7. UR Rao
Udupi Ramachandra Rao was a space scientist and chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation. He was also the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad and Nehru Planetarium at Bengaluru and chancellor of the Indian Institute for Space Science and Technology (IIST) at Thiruvananthapuram.
He breathed his last at his residence in Bengaluru at the age of 85 on 24 July 2017 due to age related ailments. He had launched India’s first satellite Aryabhata in 1975.
8. Girija Devi
A legendary singer of the Benaras gharana, Girija Devi was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972, Padma Bhushan in 1989 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016. No Singer Like Girija Devi Will Ever Be Born. Considered as the queen of thumri and fondly called Appa-ji, Girija Devi was admitted to the city’s BM Birla Heart Research Centre earlier in the afternoon with cardiovascular ailments.
Eminent classical singer and Padma Vibhushan awardee Girija Devi has a cardiac arrest and passed away in Kolkata city hospital on 24 October 2017. She was 88 and is survived by her daughter.
9. Inder Kumar
Iconic Inder Kumar Bollywood actor Inder Kumar had over 20 films to his name, which included ‘Wanted’ with Salman Khan, ‘Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge’ and also briefly starred as the character Mihir in the television show ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’.
Inder Kumar was quite close to Salman Khan’s family as the two actors have worked together in several projects together. His last outing was the 2011 film ‘Yeh Dooriyan’. He was passed away on 28 July 2017 after a cardiac arrest. He was 44.
10. Arjan Singh
IAF Marshal Arjan Singh is famous for his role in the 1965 India-Pakistan war. Arjan Singh, is an India’s oldest, five-star ranked air force officer. On 15 August 1947, Arjan Singh had the unique honour of leading the fly-past of more than a 100 air force aircraft over the Red Fort in Delhi.
Singh was admitted to the Army’s Research and Referral hospital. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the three Service chiefs – General Bipin Rawat, Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa – visited Singh at the hospital. He passed away at the age of 98 on 16 September following a cardiac arrest. The legendary warrior was laid to rest with full state honours, including a flypast by fighter jets in Delhi.
Veteran actor Shakila, who is remembered for her performances in “Aar Paar” and “CID”. Often described as ‘fairy queen of Indian movies’, she appeared in famous songs such as Babuji Dheere Chalna, Neend Na Mujhko Aaye and Leke Pehla Pehla Pyaar. Yesteryear Bollywood actor Shakila passed away in 2017.
At the height of her popularity in the 50s, she appeared in films such as Wadia Movietone’s Hatim Tai (1956), Raj Kapoor’s Shriman Satyawadi (1960) and with Shammi Kapoor in China Town (1962). Shakila passed away in Mumbai on 20 September 2017 after suffering heart attack at age of 82. She had been ill with kidney problems and diabetes for some time.
12. Rishang Keishing
Rishang Keishing, who hailed from Bungpa village in Ukhrul district, was elected to the Lok Sabha in the first parliamentary elections held in 1952. He had also represented Manipur in Rajya Sabha.
Former Manipur Chief Minister and a member of the first Lok Sabha Rishang Keishing passed away on Tuesday 23 rd August following a brief illness. Keishing passed away due to multiple organ failure. The veteran Congress leader was 96. A Naga, he served as the Chief Minister of Manipur from 1980 to 1988 and from 1994 to 1997.
Veteran actress Shyama. Considered as one of the most beautiful actresses of her time, she went on to do films like Sawan Bhado, Milan and Sharada during her 40 year career. She acted in a total of 175 movies and also won the Filmfare Award Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in Sharada.
Shyama passed away on the morning of 14 November, at the age of 82. The funeral took place at Mumbai’s Marine Lines. It’s really disheartening to know about the demise of Shyama.
14. Kunwar Narayan
Eminent Hindi poet and Jnanpith awardee Kunwar Narayan a collection of stories, “Akaaron Ke Aas Paas”, his collection of literary criticism, “Aaj aur Aaj se Pehle”, is also considered among his best works. Narayan was bestowed with a Jnanpith award, Padma Bhushan and a Sahitya Akademi award for his for his immense contribution to Hindi literature in the last six decades.
His first book Chakravyuh came out in 1956. He passed away on 15 November 2017 at his home at the age of 90 years. According to family sources, Kunwar Narayan was in coma since July 4 after suffering from brain haemorrhage.
15. Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi
Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi senior Congress leader and West Bengal Congress’ former president and former Union Minister. Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi was a popular leader with rich political and administrative experience. He did notable work to popularise football in India.
Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, in coma since 2008, died at a hospital in Delhi at the age of 72. He was critically ill for a few months before his demise. He passed away on 20 November 2017.