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Veteran stage and film actor Shriram Lagoo dies at 92

The legendary Indian artiste had a strong body of work in both films and theatre in Marathi and Hindi.

Our Correspondent

Legendary theatre and film actor Dr Shriram Lagoo died today at a hospital in Pune of age-related problems. He was 92.

Lagoo is considered one of the great actors of the Indian stage and cinema and leaves behind a huge body of work in Marathi and Hindi theatre and films.

Born in Satara in 1927, the young Shriram studied in Pune’s famous Fergusson College and went on to obtain MBBS and MS degrees, practising for a while as an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist. 

But he had started doing theatre during his college days and he gradually began devoting more time to his passion than his profession. Eventually he shut his medical practice and became a full-time actor.

His performance as the fading thespian Ganpatrao Belwalkar in Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar's classic Marathi play Natsamrat won him immense popular and critical acclaim and remains his best-known role in theatre. Some of his other popular plays were Surya Pahilela Manus, Aadhe Adhure (Hindi), Dubhang, Sundar Mee Honar, Himalayachi Savali, and Gidhade.

Among his notable films were Pinjra (1973, Marathi), Samna (1975, Marathi), Inkaar (1977, Hindi), Gharaonda (1977, Hindi), Singhasan (1979, Marathi), Swayamvar (1980, Hindi) and Gandhi (1982). He acted in more than 200 films.

Lagoo was a well-known atheist and also a leading light of the anti-superstition movement in Maharashtra along with the likes of Shyam Manav and the late Dr Narendra Dabholkar.

His last public appearance was last year when he was invited to watch the Marathi movie Aani... Dr Kashinath Ghanekar (2018) in Pune. Sumeet Raghvan played Shriram Lagoo in the biopic on the life of the late Marathi film and stage star Dr Kashinath Ghanekar, incidentally also a medical professional and one of Dr Lagoo's great rivals on stage.