Ramesh Sippy on casting Jagdeep as Soorma Bhopali in ‘Sholay’: He was born to play this character

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Veteran actor-comedian Jagdeep aka Soorma Bhopali (his character in ‘Sholay’) passed away on July 8 at his Bandra residence. He was 81 and died due to age-related issues. Bollywood celebs like Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor and others mourned the death of the legendary actor.

Ramesh Sippy recalled his memories of working with Jagdeep for the first time in ‘Brahmachari’. He told Mumbai Mirror, “I was the executive producer of the film, with Bhappi Sonie as the director. He played the cook-cum-caretaker of the orphan children. When we were casting for ‘Sholay’, I immediately thought of him, knowing that he was well-versed with Bhopal and would bring out the flavour of Soorma Bhopali. He was born to play this character.”

He further said, “I believe a comedian can do any role, but that’s not true of every actor. Jagdeep proved it right. Starting as a child actor, he did around 400 films, including many serious roles and even played the leading man a few times. He had a zest for life and was a wonderful storyteller. Now, his talented sons, Jaaved and Naved, will carry forward his legacy.”

Jagdeep was cremated on June 9 in South Mumbai. His sons Jaaved-Naved and grandson Meezaan performed his last rites. Later, while addressing the media, Jaaved said, “Due to the situation, we weren’t able to respond to everyone’s messages personally. My father has given 70 years to this industry and we can see all the love that is being showered on him. For all the contribution of my father, I would just request you all to offer a small prayer for the departed soul and for that we all will be very grateful. Thank You .”

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Also Read: Meezaan J pays tribute to late grandfather Jagdeep with a heartbreaking post