'Lagaan' actor Rajesh Vivek dies of heart attack

Film and television actor Rajesh Upadhyay passed away following a heart attack in Hyderabad on Thrusday, January 14. He was 66.

The actor was supposedly shooting for a South Indian film when he suffered the cardiac arrest. His friend and colleague Vishnu Sharma confirmed the news. "He passed away today (Thursday) around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. I knew Rajesh for more than 40 years. It's extremely sad and a huge loss to the industry," Vivek told IANS.

Rajesh Vivek is best known for his role as astrologer Guran in Aamir Khan starrer superhit film ‘Lagaan’ and the postmaster in Shah Rukh Khan’s 2004 hit ‘Swades’. He was first introduced by Shyam Benegal in his film ‘Junoon’ (1978).

He made his mark as a villain in the beginning with films like ‘Veerana’ and ‘Joshilay’, often playing roles of henchman, but later on he started doing comic or supporting roles.

He was a part of the film industry for more than two decades and appeared in a string of Bollywood films such as ‘Bunty Aur Babli’, ‘Son of Sardar’, ‘Jodha Akbar’, ‘Bandit Queen’, ‘Karan Arjun’, ‘Agneepath’ (2012), ‘God Tussi Great Ho’ etc.

Originally a theatre-actor, he also appeared on popular television series ‘Mahabharata’, ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ and ‘Aghori’.

His last rites will be performed in Mumbai on Friday (January 15).