Filmmaker Ravi Chopra, 68, died on Wednesday afternoon in a private South Mumbai hospital. He had been admitted last Thursday since he was suffering from a lung ailment. He is best-known for directing the television series, Mahabharat, which ran from 1988 to 1990.
Son of producer-director B R Chopra and nephew of Yash Chopra, Ravi started his career as a director with films such as Zameer (1975) and The Burning Train (1980).
Reacting to news of his death, actor Hema Malini said, “Many tele-series based on the epic have since been made, but none has come close to to his version, the first on television.” She played the lead opposite Amitabh Bachchan in Ravi’s most popular work in recent times, Baghban (2003).
“Ravi was always sure what he wanted from an actor — it was his greatest quality as a filmmaker. He would convince the actor if they weren’t on the same page as him. Ravi was keen to cast me in Baghban. We had plans to work again but couldn’t since he fell ill,” she added.
Rati Agnihotri, a family friend who worked with Ravi in Mazdoor (1983), said, “He was such a lively person. This reflected in his work too. Ravi has had a huge part to play in my growth as an actor and a human being.”