Bollywood remembers 'soft-spoken' Shyam Ramsay
Veteran filmmaker Shyam Ramsay, celebrated for his horror films, passed away yesterday
Shyam Ramsay, one of the seven Ramsay Brothers known for cult horror films such as Purani Haveli (1989) and Tahkhana (1986), succumbed to pneumonia at a hospital yesterday, his family said. "He was hospitalised two to three days ago as he was not feeling well. He passed away at around 5 am today," a relative said.
Veteran actors Raza Murad, Puneet Issar and Pankaj Dheer were among those who paid tribute to the filmmaker, remembering him as a "humble" and "polite" man. Murad, who worked with the Ramsay Brothers in the 2006 film, Family: Ties Of Blood, said that despite infusing horror in the hearts of the audience, the entire kin was soft-spoken.
"Shyam was respectful, the entire family was. The kind of films they made were amazing. The brothers were sweet; we would joke that we'd get diabetes if we talked to them for five minutes. They were the joint family filmmakers in every department of filmmaking, and were extremely committed," the actor said.
Murad recounted how Shyam convinced him for Family after he had initially rejected the role. "It sounded like I was just among the men from the underworld. I thought I would be one of the actors who may not get importance, so I turned down the role. Shyam called and narrated the role in detail. He said, 'I'm sorry I couldn't narrate it to you. You have an important role and we would never waste you'," he added.
Issar, who starred in their cult classic Purana Mandir (1984), remembered Ramsay as a "capable technician". "Shyam ji knew the craft very well. He was a man of few words. He and Tulsi [brother] used to direct together. They had great clarity. It's such a big loss," he said.
Director Vikram Bhatt said, "Shyam Ramsay carried the torch of horror films right through the '70s and '80s. Even amongst the Ramsay Brothers, he was considered the leader. He was innovative and regaled his audiences with fabulous spooky cinema from time to time. His passing is indeed sad, and his contribution to the dark films will always be held in high esteem," said Bhatt.
The Ramsay brothers also consisted of Tulsi, Kumar, Keshu, Arjun, Gangu and Karan. Shyam is survived by daughters Sasha and Namrata.
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