Actor Nirmal Pandey,best known for his role as Vikram Mallah in Bandit Queen,died on Thursday following a heart attack. He was 48. He is survived by wife Archana Pandey.
Born in Nainital,Pandey,an alumnus of the National School of Drama in Delhi,made his debut in Bollywood in 1996 as a transvestite in Amol Palekars Daayraa . It won him the Best Actress Award with Sonali Kulkarni,the female lead of the film,at the Valenciennes Film Festival in France in 1997.
Some of his most memorable performances include his roles in Sudhir Mishras Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin and Vinay Shuklas Godmother. Pandey later ventured into television where he acted in shows like Hatim and Princess Dollie Aur Uska Magic Bag.
Pandeys death comes as a shock to filmmaker Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan whose film Lahore,with the actor in a key role,is due for release on March 19. I rushed to the hospital as soon as I heard about it. I had a word with him two days ago and we were to shoot the making of the film on Friday. It is unfortunate that he passed away so young, he said.