Ray regular passes away

Calcutta, Jan. 5: Veteran actor Haradhan Bandopadhyay, who had acted in several Satyajit Ray films, passed away in a private hospital this afternoon after a protracted lung infection. He was 86.

Bandopadhyay earned his spurs on stage alongside the likes of Ahindra Choudhury, Chhabi Biswas and Utpal Dutt.

In a screen career spanning six decades, Bandopadhyay acted in 66 films, crowned by Ray classics like Mahanagar, Sonar Kella, Seemabaddha, Joy Baba Felunath and Shakha Proshakha.

"Our association goes back a long way… almost 50 years. It was a joy to work with him. He used to come to our house very often and he never forgot Baba's (Satyajit Ray's) birthday and death anniversary. Most importantly, he worked till the last day," said filmmaker Sandip Ray, who had directed Bandopadhyay in films like Goopy Bagha Phire Elo, Kailase Kelenkari and Gorosthanay Sabdhaan.

Bandopadhyay had been shooting for Khoka 420, starring Dev, when he was taken ill on the sets. His last Tollywood release was the blockbuster Shatru, starring Jeet.

Bandopadhyay's Bollywood film credits include Pradeep Sarkar's Parineeta and the more recent Barfi!, where he was "Dadu" to Priyanka Chopra.

"Even at 86, he was the youngest on the Barfi! sets, always ready with an anecdote and forever ready to learn. I feel honoured to have worked with him," director Anurag Basu told The Telegraph from Mumbai this afternoon.

Bandopadhyay had shared the dais with Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan at the opening ceremony of the Calcutta Film Festival in November and had also been conferred the Banga Bibhushan award by the state government.

He is survived by his wife and two sons.