Veteran film, television and stage actor Vikram Gokhale passed away on Saturday at Deenanath Mangeshkar Memorial Hospital in Pune where he had been admitted earlier this month following health complications. He was 77.
Doctors had informed only on Friday that his health had seen considerable improvement and that he may be taken off the ventilator, but things took a turn for the worse overnight and he suffered from multiple organ failure. Gokhale’s condition deteriorated on Saturday morning and he passed away at 1.45 pm, his close friend Rajesh Damle said.
Gokhale’s family said his mortal remains will be kept at Balgandharva Rang Mandir on Jangli Maharaj Road at 4 pm for people to pay their final respects. The last rights will be performed at Vaikunth Crematorium at 6 pm.
The actor’s wife Vrushali Gokhale had earlier issued a statement to the media stating, “Mr Vikram Gokhale is critical since the last 24 hours. Doctors are trying their best. He is not responding to the treatment as expected. He has multi-organ failure.”
Great actor, generous human: Maharashtra Deputy CM Fadnavis
Expressing his condolences, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Saturday that Vikram Gokhale’s death is a huge loss to Hindi and Marathi cinema. “Apart from his authority as an actor, theatre person, director, Gokhale was above all a large-hearted, generous human being. He was well-versed with social issues and fought against it. A versatile actor who conveyed powerful sentiments through his eyes, Gokhale always exuded tremendous confidence,” he said.
“While Gokhale established himself as a great actor in the field of cinema, he always came forward to help orphans and families of individuals who faced difficulties while working in the armed forces. In his death, it feels as if we have lost a living university in the field of cinema,” Fadnavis said, adding, “His talent came through powerfully in each role that he enacted with precision. He gave justice to each role he played on screen.”
“I offer my heartfelt tribute to this great actor and human being. And pray to God may his family, friends, followers get strength in this sad moment,” he said.
Gokhale started his acting journey on the Marathi stage and had been awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for acting in theatre in 2011. In 2013, he won the national award for best actor for his role in the Marathi film Anumati. He stepped into films in 1971 with Parwana, which also featured Amitabh Bachchan. The two developed a relationship of respect and long-lasting friendship, going on to share the screen in Agneepath (1990), Khuda Gawah (1992) and AB Aani CD (2020) as well.
Over the decades, Vikram Gokhale gave stellar performances in a range of roles in prominent Hindi films such as Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Traffic, Hichki and Ab Tak Chhappan. His oeuvre of Marathi films ranged from Aamhi Bolato Marathi, Lapandav and Kalat Nakalat to Godavari, Prawaas and Natsamrat. Gokhale has also acted in and directed the Marathi film Aaghat. In recognition of his contributions, the actor was honoured with the Vishnudas Bhave Award in 2015 by the Akhil Maharashtra Natya Vidya Mandir.
Off screen, Gokhale’s acting academy, located on the Pune-Satara Road, honed new talent. He was also well known for extending support to performers and allied workers in distress. When the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the livelihoods of those who depended on films, television and advertisements, Gokhale donated his land to raise funds for their sustenance.
Vikram Gokhale was last seen in the Marathi film Godavari, which hit theatres earlier this month. He is survived by wife Vrushali and daughters Asavari and Neha.
– With inputs from Anuradha Mascarenhas