Veteran actor Viju Khote, best known for his roles in films such as Sholay and Andaz Apna Apna, died in Mumbai on Monday morning, reported news agency PTI. Viju Khote was 77. Speaking to PTI, the actor's niece Bhavana Balsavar said: "He passed away today at 6.55 am peacefully in his sleep at the residence. He has been unwell since quite sometime. He had multiple organ failure." Ms Balsavar also said that Viju Khote was brought back home from the hospital as he wanted to be with his family in his final days: "He did not wish to die in the hospital so we had brought him home few days ago. It is a great loss for all of us," she told PTI. The last rites will be performed at Chandan Wadi around 11 am, reported PTI.
Viju Khote is credited with having starred in over 300 films across Hindi and Marathi cinema. Some of Viju Khote's most remembered roles include dacoit Kalia in Sholay, who was second in command to Amjad Khan's Gabbar. His dialogue "Sardar maine aapka namak khaya hai" from Sholay continues to be a famous reference till date. Viju Khote is also well remembered for his dialogue "Galti se mistake ho gaya" in Aamir Khan and Salman Khan's Andaz Apna Apna, in which he played a confused thug named Robert.
Rishi Kapoor, who worked with Viju Khote in Karz, remembered the late actor with these words: "We will miss you."
RIP. Viju Khote. Dear friend over the years. Though much elder,we used to bike together along with sister Shobha Khote ji,when I was young. Passionate and well informed about American films. We will miss you" Viju kutte aahe? pic.twitter.com/6e6KXaepFI— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) September 30, 2019
Fans mourned Viju Khote on Twitter, fondly remembering him as Kalia of Sholay and Robert of Andaz Apna Apna. "From Kalia of Sholay to Robert of Andaz Apna Apna, he played many roles in Hindi cinema which may have been small but never forgotten even after all these years," read a tweet while another added: "Kalia is immortal."
From Kaalia saying that epic dialogue 'maine aapka namak khaaya hain sardar' to playing the funny Villian in Andaz apna apna to many TV shows where you've made us laugh with your expressions.— Arvind Ramachander (@arvindia4u) September 30, 2019
Thank you #VijuKhote ji
Marathi actor Viju Khote no more :(— Abhijeet (@abhic4ever) September 30, 2019
From Kaliya of Sholey to Robert of Andaz apna apna, he played many roles in Hindi cinema which may have been small but never forgotten even after all these years. pic.twitter.com/sRt8kjc81C
Kalia is immortal - RIP Mr.Viju Khote pic.twitter.com/mPlPENBs49— Satya (@absolutesatya) September 30, 2019
RIP to the Legendary actor Viju Khote who played a very famous and popular role of Kalia in Sholay pic.twitter.com/xNZQUnZ9vn— Awarapan (@KingmakerOne1) September 30, 2019
Ashoke Pandit, President of Indian Film and Television Director's Association, also mourned Viju Khote in a tweet.
Sad to know about the demise of one of the finest actors #vijukhote ji. My deepest condolences to his family.— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) September 30, 2019
Viju Khote, also a Marathi cinema stalwart, featured in several TV soaps as well, with his most popular role being in Nineties' sitcom Zabaan Sambhalke.
Viju Khote was last seen in 2018 film Jaane Kyun De Yaaron, ahead of which he also starred in a web-series titled Jeeney Bhi Do Yaaron.
In the recent years, Viju Khote has starred in films such as Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, Golmaal 3, Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge and Priyanka Chopra's Marathi production Ventilator.
(With PTI inputs)