Noted TV, theatre artist Sulabha Deshpande dies at 79

One of the finest actors of theatre and TV world Sulabha Deshpande passed away today at her Mumbai residence after a prolonged illness. She was 79.  

Her last rites will be performed at Dadar crematorium at 5.30 pm on Sunday.

Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal expressed grief over her demise. He described her as “one of the great figures of Marathi cinema”.

 “She was a wonderful actor, very disciplined and always a team person. She never had any airs about her and was always helpful to the actors that she worked with. I particularly remember her work in Bhumika (1977),” Benegal said.

Sulabha Deshpande made her mark in Hindi as well as Marathi movies and also essayed prominent role in theatres.

She is best remembered for her role in movies like Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan (1978), Gaman (1978), Bazaar (1982) and Ijaazat (1987). She last starred in Gauri Shinde’s  ‘English Vinglish’ in 2012.

She started her career in theatre by directing plays for the students of Chhabildas Girl’s High School.

IIn 1971, she co-founded the theatre group Awishkar with her husband Arvind Deshpande and Arun Kakade. “In 1971, when Arvind and Sulabha started Awishkar, little did the two know that it would become the starting point of the iconic Chhabildas movement… It ended up shaping what Marathi theatre is today. I doubt they were aware of it at the time,” said Kakade.

May her soul rest in peace!