Veteran Hindi film and theatre actor Mr. Farooq Sheikh passed away late on Friday night in Dubai after succumbing to a sudden cardiac arrest.
Farooq ji was born on March 25 1948 and died at the age of 65. He was born to Janab Mustafa Shaikh, a Mumbai based lawyer and Farida Shaikh in Amroli, which is located in Gujarat’s Baroda District near Naswadi village near Bodeli town. . He was the eldest of five children. Farooq Sheikh’s families was that of landlords and thus he grew up in luxurious surroundings. He went to St. Mary’s School, Mumbai and then to St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Farooq Sheikh received his degree in Law from Siddharth College of Law, Mumbai. He was then married to Rupa Jainwith whom he had been in a committed relationship for a period of nine years. Rupa and Farooq’s three beautiful daughters were named Shaista , Sanaa and Rubina.
In his early days, he was active in theatre, doing plays with the Communist forum for theater (IPTA) along with Bengalis like Salil Chaudhury. Later in his acting career, Farooq ji had worked with cerebral filmmakers like Sagar Sarhadi, Satyajit Ray, Basu Chatterjee and others. His first major film role was in the 1973 film Garam Hawa, where Farooq had to do a supporting role with the leading man Balraj Sahani. The film is credited for being the pioneer of a new wave in Hindi Art cinema.
After making his debut with such an illustrious film, Farooq Sheikh went on to act in several famous films such as Bengali maestro Satyajit Ray’s first Hindi feature film ‘Satranj ke Khiladi’ alongside another fantastic actor Sanjeev Kumar (1977), Yashraj Films’ romantic saga ‘Noorie’ opposite Poonam Dhillon (1979), Basu Chatterjee’s cult comedy love story ‘Chashme Baddoor opposite the cerebral Deepti Naval (1981), the historical Umrao Jaan opposite the beautiful Rekha, Bazaar alongside Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil and Supriya Pathak , Saath Saath , Kisi Se Na Kehna and Rang Birangi (1983-87) – yet again opposite his much appreciated onscreen pair Deepti Naval and alongside another versatile co- actor Amol Palekar and Biwi Ho To Aisi(1988) opposite Rekha (Bollywood hero Salman Khan made his onscreen debut with this Romantic Comedy) . Farooq Sheikh formed a successful onscreen romantic pair with the sweet and bubbly Deepti Naval. In Shyam Benegal’s social black comedy ‘Katha’ and also in Yash Chopra’s directorial venture ‘Faasle’ Farooq Sheikh played an anti-hero. The Bollywood films, starring Farooq Sheikh , which were released in between the period 1985-1997 did not score well at the box office and Farooq Sheikh took a self imposed retirement from Bollywood.
Farooq Sheikh came back as a character artist to Bollywood with Elan in 2009 and won the National Award for the Best Supporting Actor for his film ‘Lahore’. He also acted as a corrupt and shrewd Diplomat/Home Secretary in Bollywood based Bengali Director Dibakar Banerjee’s noted Political Thriller ‘Sanghai’ and also acted as a soft hearted father of the new-age romantic sensation Ranbir Kapoor in another Bengali director Ayan Mukherjee’s super duper hit ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’.
In the latter half of the nineties, Farooq Sheikh had made his presence felt in a number of Hindi television shows and serials, Chamatkar which was aired on Sony and Ji Mantriji alongside Jayant Kriplani which was aired in Star plus were among the few. Farooq Sheikh’s work had also been appreciated in TV serial Shrikant, a mega serial based on the novel written by the famous Bengali author late Saratchandra Chattopadhyay which aired from 1985 to 1986 and was directed by Basu Chatterjee. He anchored the Binny Double or Quits Quiz contest which was telecast over the Radio Channel of Vividh Bharathi.
Farooq Sheikh also performed on stage in famous plays such as ‘Tumhari Amrita’ directed by Feroz Abbas Khan, featuring Shabana Azmi. The play was appreciated by audiences the world over for 12 years till 2004. A sequel to this play was staged in India in 2004 titled “Aapki Soniya” with Farooq Sheikh and Sonali Bendre as main leads. “Tumhari Amrita” completed its 20-year run on February 26 2012. Farooq Sheikh directed Azhar Ka Khawab, an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s famous novel Pygmallion.
He had been the host of the popular TV show ‘Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hain’ in which he interviewed many Bollywood celebrities like Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar etc. Farooq Sheikh’s skilled sense of humor and direct humble approach was the USP of the show.
Today when the world mourns the passing away of this wonderful actor and human being we have made a very humble attempt to summarize the great acts of this wonderful human being and legendary actor.
Image Credits: Google Images
A Sholoana Bangaliana Team Tribute