Hansal Mehta, Raj and DK remember the late actor’s unforgettable character Khopdi from Nukkad
Sameer Khakhar, best known for playing the lovable drunk Khopdi in the classic 1980s television serial Nukkad, died at a hospital in the early hours of Wednesday due to multiple organ failure.
The actor, who was most recently seen in the Amazon Prime Video series Farzi and moved to the US in the 1990s for a few years to become a software developer, was 71.
Filmmakers Hansal Mehta, Raj and DK
Khakhar’s younger brother Ganesh informed, “He had respiratory problems since yesterday and later became unconscious. He was admitted to the intensive care unit of MM Hospital. Slowly and gradually, he suffered multiple organ failure. He passed away at [Wednesday morning],” said Ganesh.
Khakhar’s notable works include TV show Circus, Shrimaan Shrimati and films such as Parinda, Salman Khan-starrer Jai Ho, Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra’s Hasee Toh Phasee, Sudhir Mishra-directed Serious Men, and Vikas Bahl’s web series Sunflower.
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta thanked Khakhar for the memories of Khopdi. “For some reason I was nicknamed Khopdi in college after his iconic character in Nukkad. My closest friends from the time still call me Khopdi. But I guess it’s time to say goodbye to the OG. Goodbye Sameer Khakhar. Thank you for the memories,” Mehta captioned a series of the late actor’s photos on Twitter.
“Khopdi has left this Circus and gone to the Nukkad in the sky,” wrote director Nila Madhab Panda on Twitter, adding, “Good bye Sameer Khakhar, thank you for all those wonderful memories, your characters will always stay with us. Om Shanti.”
Khakhar hit the headlines in early 2021 after a tweet from a film journalist, informing industry people that the actor was looking for work, caught the attention of industry colleagues such as Satish Shah and Gulshan Devaiah.
The actor most recently starred in Shahid Kapoor and Vijay Sethupathi-led Farzi, where he played the role of a foul-mouthed elderly person named Illyas. Filmmaker duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, who created and directed the series, paid a tribute to Khakhar on their Instagram Stories. They shared a photo of the actor from the show and wrote, “Khopdi from Nukkad had made such an impact on us as kids. He was different and quirky. He was inebriated, but always spoke the truth. Then decades later we read his interview, where he mentioned how he longed to get back in front of the camera. And we jumped to get him to do a cameo in #Farzi. The original elan and improv was intact! With each take he tried to do something fun. Just the outtakes were so hilarious. We were lucky to have worked with this maverick actor, even if for one day.” The last rites were conducted at a Borivali crematorium in the presence of his family and some friends from Khakhar’s days in Gujarati theatre. He is survived by his wife.
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