You might be clueless when we mention his name but one look at the picture on your right and you will know whom we are talking about.
We are talking about Sudhir who was well-known for his bad guy roles in scores of A-list movies like Haré Rama Haré Krishna (1971), Deewaar (1975), Baadshah (1999, which toplined Shah Rukh Khan). He has also portrayed Amitabh Bachchan’s brother in Satte Pe Satta (1982).
Sudhir is no more, after battling a lung ailment.
Sudhir’s real life name was Bhagwandas Mulchand Luthria and he was fondly called Bhagu by his film industry colleagues.
The grid of his family is complicated. On checking out with various sources, it was learnt that his elder brother was Arjun Luthria, father of Milan Luthria, whose most talked-about film is The Dirty Picture.
Right from the 1970s through the ‘80s, when crime thrillers and vendetta movies were the rage, Sudhir featured as the baddy hanging around vice dens, cabaret dens and of course, perilous cliff side where climaxes were frequently shot.
He cannot be categorised in the league of Pran, Ajit and Amrish Puri. Often playing the henchman and gunman, he had a strong screen presence.
Sudhir’s identifying marks were his nattily cut jackets, a piercing voice, thin moustache and hair shaded a tint of red.
No doubt, we would like to describe Sudhir’s villainy style in more detail. However, the immediate point to stress is: why didn’t anyone in the film industry or among the media, learn about the passing away of Sudhir,who was presumably in his 70s.
His step- son, best-selling author, Ashok Banker, was shocked to hear the news from us. He said, “Really? I don’t know why I haven’t been informed by anyone. I had lost contact with him for the last two decades. In fact, in the last three decades, I must have met him only once – at the Candies Café in Bandra. That was around 1994.”
Banker adds, “I feel sad to hear the news. He was a good man, he was married to my mother briefly 37 years ago. They separated but didn’t divorce. He didn’t remarry and I am told continued to regard me as his son.”
Sudhir has left behind a bungalow in west Andheri. Who inherits this? That’s the big question, which should unravel in the coming days.
Sources said that after a stint in TV serials, Sudhir had retired from the scene. He had invested wisely, part of the bungalow would often be hired for film and TV shoots.
“His family and friends have chosen to keep the passing away of Sudhir quiet, perhaps because he would have liked it that way,” the source concluded.