Director Govind Nihalani remembers his 1983 film Ardh Satya's Rama Shetty
Sadashiv Amrapurkar's last Bollywood outing was 'Bombay Talkies' last year. The actor featured in the Dibakar Banerjee directed segment titled 'Star'. Interestingly, Amrapurkar had no clue who Dibakar was when he was approached till his daughter told him that he was a much-acclaimed director.
The actor passed away yesterday after battling a lung infection for which he was hospitalised. He was 64.
In the last few years, Amrapurkar, who had his heydays in the '80s and '90s, had steered clear of Bollywood tired of doing repetitive roles of being the bad guy or the funny guy. He was more inclined towards Marathi theatre, his first step into the world of acting. He lived a life without any starry trappings. When the stage beckoned, he would travel to the interiors of the state for his shows or keep himself busy reading. Every evening he would take a walk at a park near his Panch Marg residence in Versova. He would be recognised as "that actor who did villain's roles."
Govind Nihalani cast him in his 1983 film 'Ardh Satya' on the late playwright Vijay Tendulkar's recommendation. Amrapurkar essayed the character of the underworld don Rama Shetty in 'Ardh Satya' with such aplomb that it is still considered as one of Hindi film's landmark villainous roles. Says Nihalani, “Vijay Tendulkar had written the script of Ardh Satya and when we were casting, I had decided to take a new face. Tendulkar took me to see his play Hands Up. It was a comedy with Bhakti Barve as his co-actor. Sadashiv was playing the role of a cop. I saw him as a cop, but cast him as a don. His sense of timing was impeccable and he could display the nuances of the character through his penetrating eyes. My decision was right as it went on to be his most remembered film.”
In his first Marathi film titled 22 June 1897, he essayed the character of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Apart from 'Ardh Satya', he is best remembered for his role of a eunuch (Maharani) in Mahesh Bhatt's 'Sadak' in 1991. Though he had proved his versatility, he was still waiting as an actor for that perfect role.
Sadashiv Amrapurkar's family members
Anil Sharma. Pics/Nimesh Dave