Actor Gufi Paintal, best known for playing 'Shakuni mama' in the epic TV serial "Mahabharat", died on Monday at a hospital here due to age-related issues, his nephew Hiten Paintal said.
He was 79.
The veteran actor, whose real name was Saravjit Singh Paintal, was admitted to a hospital in suburban Andheri.
"Unfortunately, he is no more. He passed away at the hospital at around 9 am. His heart gave up. He passed away peacefully in his sleep," Hiten told PTI.
Hiten had earlier told PTI that his uncle was not keeping well due to age-related health issues.
"He had blood pressure and heart issues. He was keeping unwell and all this was going on for a while. Things got severe now so we got him to the hospital for observation. He has been in the hospital for seven to eight days. He was critical initially, but right now he is stable," Hiten had told PTI.
Actor Mukesh Khanna, who played Bhishma in the DD series, said he had a long association with his "Mahabharat" co-star. "I had a long relationship with him since ‘Mahabharat’ and cast him in ‘Shaktimaan’ later. In ‘Mahabharat’, we had long confrontational scenes between each other. He was the one who called me for ‘Mahabharat’ and that marked the beginning of our association. He was the one who would call people, then there would be the audition," Khanna told PTI.
Cine & TV Artistes' Association (CINTAA) paid tribute to Gufi Paintal on Twitter.
"CINTAA expresses its condolences on the demise of Gufi Paintal (Member since Sept. 1992)," the trade union posted.
Actor Nimrat Kaur remembered the actor as "the indelible Shakuni Mama from our childhood days".
"…such stellar contribution to the Indian cinematic landscape. Prayers and strength to the family. Rest in peace Gufi Paintal ji," she tweeted.
"Dahaad" star Gulshan Devaiah shared Gufi Paintal's photo on Twitter and tweeted his condolences.
"Sarabjeet Singh 'Gufi' Paintal. 4th October 1944-5 June 2023 #Shradhanjali," Devaiah wrote in the caption.
Paintal's acting credits also include 1980s Hindi films such as “Suhaag”, “Dillagi”, as well as television shows “CID” and “Hello Inspector”, but his manipulative uncle act as Shakuni mama, the king of Gandhara region and master of the dice, from BR Chopra's "Mahabharat" made him a household name.
His younger brother Paintal (real name Kanwarjit) is also a noted actor.
Gufi Paintal is survived by his son, daughter-in-law and a grandchild.
The last rites will be held today at around 4 pm at a crematorium in suburban Andheri.
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