Google on Sunday honoured late Bollywood actor Farooque Shaikh on Sunday on his 70th birth anniversary. A treasure trove talent, Shaikh is remembered for his performances in films such as Chashme Baddoor, Noorie, Shatranj Ke Khiladi and Umrao Jaan, to name a few, and for television serials such as Chamatkar and Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai, a television show he hosted where he interviewed people from all walks of life. He was also known for his theatre performances. His best performance was in the play Tumhari Amrita in which he starred with Shabana Azmi.
“Today’s Doodle by Nimit Malavia is a tribute to Farouque Shaikh’s cinematic career in a style evocative of hand-painted movie posters of the 1970s, and especially Umrao Jaan. We see the wide-eyed romantic hero of the 1970’s mature into a comfortingly familiar TV presence of the 1990’s, bridging the gap between mainstream and art house cinema in India along the way,” Google said in its blog post on the doodle.
Shaikh was born in 1948 in a village near Gujarat’s Surat. The eldest of five siblings, he studied law at the Siddharth College of Law, Mumbai. He reportedly took up acting after his legal career failed to take off.
His first big role in a film was as a supporting actor in MS Sathyu’s 1973 film Garam Hawa, which had Balraj Sahni in the lead. Soon he became a known face to reckon with in the world of parallel Hindi cinema. He starred in close to 48 films throughout his career. He is also the recipient of the National Award for Best Supporting Actor for the 2010 movie Lahore.
He was known as much for his serious roles as for his comic ones. His comic timing was impeccable. He starred in a number of roles opposite yesteryear actor Dipti Naval. The two starred in almost nine films, which include Noorie, Chashme Buddoor, Umrao Jaan, Katha, Saath Saath, Kissi se Na Kehna, Rang Birangi, Maya Memsaab and Tell Me Oh Khuda.
Shaikh died of a heart attack at the age of 65 in Dubai, where he was enjoying a vacation with his family, on December 28, 2013.