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Coronavirus update: Actor-director Lalit Behl dies of COVID-19 complications

The theatre and television artiste made his film debut with son Kanu’s directorial debut Titli (2015).

Behil in a still from Mukti Bhawan

Our Correspondent

Veteran artiste Lalit Behl died in New Delhi’s Apollo hospital owing to complications from COVID-19. He was 71.

The theatre artiste made his film debut with son Kanu’s directorial debut Titli (2015).

Born on 15 August 1949, Behl formed a theatre group while in college, acting in and directing several plays like Kya Number Badlega, Nayak Katha, Kumarswami and Suryast. He was a gold medallist from the department of Indian theatre, Panjab University, Chandigarh, and moved to Delhi after receiving his diploma.

In Delhi, he worked with the Shriram Center and the National School of Drama Repertory Company as a stage actor. Later he moved to the medium of television, producing and directing Doordarshan telefilms such as Tapish, Aatish and Sunehri Jild and serials like Afsaane and Sada-e-Vadi.

The father and son made an impressive impact on the big screen with the award-winning Titli which was screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Festival in 2014. The senior Behl was also recognized for his moving performance in Shubhashish Bhutiani’s Mukti Bhawan (2017), alongside wife and actress Navnindra Behl, where his character wants to go to Varanasi to die.

He also acted in the Amazon Prime Video web-series Made In Heaven, the feature Judgementall Hai Kya (2019), and the anthology Shuruaat Ka Twist (2019).

The veteran artiste is survived by his wife Navnindra, son Kanu and daughter-in-law, music composer Sneha Khanwalkar.

Actor Adil Hussain, who played Behl’s son in Mukti Bhawan, was among the many who remembered the actor online.

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