Farooque Shaikh: Actor and chat show host whose man-in-the-street persona won him a loyal following with Indian fans

 

Farooque Shaikh, who died on 27 December of a heart attack on a visit to Dubai with his family, was the plump, unlikely hero of scores of Bollywood films. He was born in 1948, his career beginning on a high note with the 1973 film Garm Hawa, about the Partition. His performance earned him a key role in Satyajit Ray's The Chess Players, a study of the decadence of India's feudal classes. His cherubic looks struck a chord with ordinary people, who identified with his man-in-the-street image.

Shaikh was active in Mumbai's theatre scene, and acted in a Hindi version of Yes Minister on Indian television. He also produced a popular show on which he interviewed Hindi film stars. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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