Deven Verma, Bollywood’s veteran comedian known for spreading laughter with his endearing performances in films like “Angoor” and “Khatta Meetha”, died Tuesday morning, leaving behind a void hard to fill.
Deven was 77. He died Tuesday following a heart attack and kidney failure. He breathed his last around 2 a.m. at his home in Pune, the city of his birth from where he graduated in politics and sociology before joining the film industry.
He is survived by his wife Rupa Ganguly, the younger daughter of the legendary actor Ashok Kumar. Deven’s last rites were held at the Yerawada crematorium.
His colleagues expressed their grief over his demise and also thanked him for making their childhood memorable.
“Deven Verma – incredible actor, comic excellence second to none. Thank you for making my childhood so memorable. Will miss you sir – RIP,” actor Riteish Deshmukh tweeted.
Apart from a string of actors and filmmakers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled his death, saying he was “admired by film lovers”.
Ever since the news of his death spread, condolences kept pouring in.
“RIP Deven Verma saheb… the reason for many a smiles through childhood and more,” tweeted singer Mohit Chauhan.
Deven was also seen in comedy film “Andaz Apna Apna” as actor Aamir Khan’s father. Aamir remembered his co-star for his exuberance.
“He was a wonderful co-star. I remember on the sets of ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ he always had a joke on his lips and kept us all in high spirits,” Aamir said.
Actress Anushka Sharma talked about his one-liners from Rajkumar Santoshi’s film.
“RIP Deven Verma…How much I love his scene in ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ “Main betiyon ko chudiyaan pehnaoonga…Aap ma ko,” Anushka tweeted.
Filmmaker Karan Johar applauded his comic timing.
“#RIPDevenVerma …your straight-faced impeccable comic timing still doesn’t have a successor,” Johar tweeted.
Filmmaker B.R. Chopra’s discovery, Deven made a transition from theatre to films with 1961 partition drama “Dharmputra”. However, the actor known for his light-hearted roles started his stint with comedy with “Gumraah”, a film that starred Ashok Kumar in the lead role.
After that the actor bagged roles in films like “Anupama”, “Khamoshi”, but it was his performance in “Chori Mera Kaam” that won him his first Filmfare Award.
Then there was another masterpiece “Angoor”, in which he teamed up with Sanjeev Kumar. The actor, known for his jolly nature and rib tickling gigs, won three Filmfare Awards in the best comedian category and one of them was for “Angoor”.
In the latter part of his life, Deven turned to character roles with films like “Judaai”, “Dil To Paagal Hai”, and “Kora Kagaz”. He last featured in “Calcutta Mail” in 2003.
In his long career, the actor also produced and directed movies such as “Besharam” and “Dana Paani”.
He tried his hands in television too and entertained telly audience through “Gubbare”, “Zabaan Sambhal Ke” and “Mamla Gadbad Hai”.