Farooque Sheikh was born into a 'zamindar' family near Baroda on March 25, 1948. He was the eldest son of his lawyer father Mustafa Shaikh. The family moved to the then Bombay as his father had a successful practice, which in part, prompted Sheikh to take up law initially. He met his wife Rupa during his college. They were very active in theatre during their college days. (All photos/mid-day archives)
Farooque Sheikh made an impressive debut with MS Sathyu's 'Garm Hawa', one of the greatest movies ever made on Partition. He often joked that he did the film for a princely sum of rupees 750. He played the youngest son of Balraj Sahni in the movie that depicted the dilemma of a Muslim businessman who decides to stay in India even though the political - social climate is not very supportive and half of his family has already moved to Pakistan.
In picture: Farooque Sheikh and Poonam Dhillon in Noorie
Farooque Sheikh's performance in 'Garm Hawa' attracted the attention of Satyajit Ray. Ray cast Sheikh in the role of Aqeel in 'Shatranj Ke Khiladi'. The actor along with Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Om Puri, Naseeruddin and Deepti Naval was instrumental in keeping the parallel cinema movement alive in the '70s and '80s.
In picture: Farooque Sheikh with Rekha. The duo were seen together in Biwi Ho To Aisi, which marked Salman Khan's Bollywood debut
Farooque Sheikh's most notable films of that era include Ray's 'Shatranj Ke Khiladi', 'Noorie', 'Chashme Buddoor', 'Kissi Se Na Kehna', 'Katha', 'Umrao Jaan', 'Faasle' and Sagar Sarhadi's 'Bazaar'.
In picture: Farooque Sheikh in a still from the legendary Chashme Buddoor
In a career spanning almost four decades, Farooque Sheikh's body of work is not huge as he ignored the alluring, money-spinning world of commercial cinema to focus on roles that were nearer to reality. 'Katha' saw him playing a negative role of good for nothing flirt, who ditches the girl at the last moment. He played the role of Nawab Sultan opposite Rekha in 'Umrao Jaan'. They paired up again for commercial drama 'Biwi Ho To Aisi'.
In picture: Farooque Sheikh in Umrao Jaan
In picture: Farooque Sheikh with Deepti Naval in a still from 'Saath Saath'.
The legendary pairing featured in numerous classics in the '80s namely Chashme Buddoor, Saath Saath, Katha and Kissi Se Na Kehna. With the gradual fading away of middle-class cinema, their chemistry also lost out in the race. After a gap of nearly three decades, they were seen together in the critically-acclaimed Listen Amaya.
Farooque Sheikh was equally active in the world of theatre and TV. His most famous stage play was 'Tumhari Amrita' with friend Shabana, which completed 20 years in 2012. The play, an unrequited love story read out through reams of letters, received great success. The play was a major hit in Dubai last year.
In picture: Farooque Sheikh and Shabana Azmi during the play Tumhari Amrita
Farooque Sheikh also acted in a number of television serials like 'Shrikant', 'Chamatkar', 'Ji Mantriji' besides hosting the popular chat show 'Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai' in which he interviewed many celebrities.
In picture: Farooque Sheikh and Deepti Naval in Chashme Buddoor
Farooque Sheikh featured in just over 50 films, but it was enough for him to make an impact. Furthermore, his finesse at creating a balance between the two worlds continued till the end -- he was seen in the box office blockbuster Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and the critically acclaimed Club 60.
In picture: Farooque Sheikh and Deepti Naval in another still from Chashme Buddoor
Farooque Sheikh won the 2010 National Film Award for best supporting actor for the film Lahore. His life was passionately dedicated to his art.
In picture: Farooque Sheikh with Sarika during the promotions for Club 60
Farooque Sheikh was not just appreciated for his craft, but also for the warmth and love he exuded as a person. There were many who vouched for his excellence as a human being. Mahesh Bhatt, after Sheikh's demise tweeted, "The warmth of your smile lingers in our memory," while Divya Dutta remembered having told him, "The warmth and genuiness you exude is unparallelled." "His smile was straight from the heart," she added.
In picture: Farooque Sheikh with Sharat Saxena, Tinnu Anand and Satish Shah
It is that smile and the craft, captured in several movies that his fans and future generations will remember for years to come.
In picture: Farooq Shaikh with frequent co-star Deepti Naval, who were last seen together in Listen... Amaya
With his boy-next-door persona and understated style, Farooque Sheikh made his entry into films at a time when the parallel art cinema was making its presence felt and he went on to work in some of the best movies of that era.
In picture: Farooq Shaikh and Deepti Naval, who formed a strong bond of friendship over the years
As someone who trained as a lawyer, Farooque Sheikh came to acting after failing to relate to his profession in law. Theatre was something that he was already doing in college.
In picture: A candid photo of a young Farooq Shaikh at a party
The multi-faceted actor's life came to an abrupt end on December 27, 2015 following a cardiac arrest in Dubai, where he was vacationing with his family. He was 65. Farooque Sheikh is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Farooq Shaikh delivered strong performances by doing roles that were both serious and comic in nature.
You are being truly missed Farooque ji!
On Farooque Sheikh's death anniversary, we pay tribute to the Chashme Buddoor actor with a collection of vintage images from his life and illustrious career
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