Noted actor Sulochana Latkar, known for her innumerable mother roles in Hindi and Marathi cinema, died on Sunday due to prolonged illness at a hospital here, her grandson-in-law Parag Ajgavkar confirmed. She was 94.
Sulochana, started her career in 1940s and went on to feature in over 250 films in a six decade long journey in the movies.
The actor was admitted to Shushrusha Hospital in Dadar on May 8.
"She passed away at around 6.30 pm at the hospital due to prolonged illness. She had a respiratory tract infection for which she was admitted on May 8," Parag told PTI.
Some of Sulochana's notable films are "Sasurvas", "Vahinichya Bangdya", and "Dhakti Jau" in Marathi and "Aaye Din Bahar Ke", "Gora Aur Kala", "Devar", "Talaash", and "Azaad" in Hindi. The actor largely played on-screen mother in the Bollywood films of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, almost invariably dressed in a white saree. She worked with all the lead stars of the era, including Sunil Dutt, Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Dilip Kumar, and Amitabh Bachchan.
The Hindi blockbuster hits she starred in are "Heera", "Reshma Aur Shera", "Jaani Dushman", "Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai", "Jhonny Mera Naam", "Kati Patang", Mere Jeevan Saathi", "Prem Nagar", and "Bhola Bhala".
Politicians and actors called Sulochana's demise an irreparable loss to the Indian film industry.
In his condolence message, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said in her death the film industry has "lost an artiste who exuded strength and innocence." She carved a niche for herself with her portrayal of various characters in Hindi and Marathi cinema in a career spanning more than six decades, Pawar said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said the film industry had lost a motherly figure, adding that she had good relations with families in both Hindi and Marathi film industries.
"The film industry has lost an evergreen artiste," Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said.
"The death of Sulochana didi is the end of a glorious era in Marathi and Hindi cinema," said senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar.
Actor-producer Riteish Deshmukh paid her a tribute in a Twitter post.
“The news of the death of Sulochana Didi is very sad. A heartfelt tribute to this great actress who ruled the hearts of audiences in Marathi and Hindi cinema," he wrote.
Actor Sharib Hashmi shared the veteran actor's photograph and captioned it with a broken heart emoji.
Indian Film & TV Directors' Association tweeted: "@DirectorsIFTDA mourns the demise of veteran Actress #Sulochana Latkar. We pray to the Almighty to bless her noble soul and give courage to her bereaved family to bear the irreplaceable loss." Sulochana was honoured with Padma Shri in 1999. She is survived by her daughter Kanchan Ghanekar.
Her last rites will be held tomorrow at 5 pm at Shivaji Park crematorium in Dadar.
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