77-year-old Bollywood character actor, director and producer Deven Verma died in Pune early Tuesday morning following a heart attack and kidney failure, family sources said.
Deven Verma. File Pic
He is survived by his wife Rupa Ganguly, the younger daughter of the late legendary actor Ashok Kumar.
Deven Verma breathed his last around 2 am at his home in Pune, the city of his birth from where he graduated in politics and sociology before joining the film industry. The funeral will be performed Tuesday afternoon at the Yerawada crematorium.
Deven Verma started his acting career as a stage artist and eventually made his Bollywood debut with a supporting role in Yash Chopra's 'Dharmputra' in 1961, which did not do well. He shot to fame with his performance in 1975 film 'Chori Mera Kaam', which bagged him his first Filmfare Award for Best Comedian.
Verma went on to star in memorable films like 'Chor Ke Ghar Chor', Sanjeev Kapoor-starrer 'Angoor', 'Gol Maal', 'Khatta Meetha', 'Naastik', 'Rang Birangi', 'Dil', 'Judaai', 'Andaz Apna Apna' and 'Dil Toh Pagal Hai'. His dual role of Bahadur in Gulzar's 1982 film 'Angoor', is considered as one of the most loved comic roles in Hindi cinema.
Verma, who was married to Ashok Kumar's daughter Rupa Ganguly, turned producer with 'Yakeen' in 1969 and also took to direction two years later with 'Nadaan'. He produced and directed Amitabh Bachchan-starrer 'Besharam' in 1978. He also acted in Marathi and Bhojpuri films.
Known as a man of principles, he had consistently refused to act in roles that demanded poking fun on handicapped and physically compromised people, earning respect in the film industry. He retired from films after working in 'Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai' and 'Calcutta Mail'.