25 March: Remembering Farooq Sheikh on Birthday

OV Digital Desk
5 Min Read
Farooq Sheikh

Farooq Sheikh (25 March 1948 − 28 December 2013) was an Indian actor, philanthropist, and television presenter. He rose to fame because of his acting in films of the 70s and 80s. He was generally known for his work in art cinema also known as parallel cinema.

Life and Career

Farooq Sheikh was born on 25 March 1948, in Vadodara, Gujarat. He completed his graduation from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Afterward, he completed his law degree at Siddharth College of Law. He also attended the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune.

Shaikh and Roopa met at St Xavier’s. They were active in theater and later married after nine years. He made lots of friends at St. Xavier’s, including, Sunil Gavaskar. Shabana Azmi, the actress and the daughter of noted poet Kaifi Azmi, was Roopa’s classmate at St Xavier’s. He was active in theatre in his early days, doing plays with IPTA and working with well-known directors like Sagar Sarhadi. His first major role in a film was in Garam Hawa in 1973. The actor went on to appear in several notable films such as Satyajit Ray‘s Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977), Noorie (1979), Chashme Buddoor (1981) and Kissi Se Na Kehna (1983).

His core work in Hindi films was from 1973 to 1993, and his TV work was from 1988 to 2002. In 2008, he started acting in films again and continued until his death on 28 December 2013. Most of his contributions were to Parallel Cinema or the New Indian Cinema. He worked with directors like Satyajit Ray, Sai Paranjpye, Muzaffar Ali, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, and Ketan Mehta.

He appeared in a bunch of TV series in the 80s and 90s. The TV series Kahkashan (1988) starred him in the title role as poet and freedom fighter Hasrat Mohani. He also starred in the Doordarshan TV series Shrikant from 1987 to 1991. He appeared in Life OK’s Do Dil Ek Jaan, where he played the father of the leading lady.

Sheikh and Azmi appeared together for the first time in 1992 in the play Tumhari Amrita, directed by Feroz Abbas Khan.

He acted in fewer movies in the 1990s and made his last few appearances in Lahore (2010) and Saas Bahu Aur Sensex (2008).

He hosted the very popular TV show “Jeena Issi ka Naam hai” where he interviewed Bollywood stars. He died on 28 December 2013, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Awards and Legacy

He was known for his natural acting style and his ability to portray complex characters with ease. Throughout his career, Farooq Sheikh received several awards and honors for his contributions to Indian cinema and theatre. Some of the notable awards he received include the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film “Lahore” (2010), the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film “Chashme Buddoor” (1982), and the Maharashtra State Film Award for Best Actor for his role in the film “Umrao Jaan” (1981).

In addition to his acting career, Farooq Sheikh was also an accomplished theatre actor and director. He was a founding member of the theatre group Motley Productions and worked on several plays throughout his career. He also served as the host of the popular television show “Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai,” which featured interviews with prominent personalities from the Indian film industry.

Farooq Sheikh’s legacy is one of artistic excellence and social relevance. He was known for his commitment to socially conscious cinema and for his ability to bring depth and nuance to his roles. He was also a strong advocate for the arts and played an important role in promoting Indian theatre and cinema. His contributions to Indian culture and his impact on Indian cinema continue to be celebrated today, and he remains a beloved and respected figure in the Indian film industry.

On 25 March 2018, Google celebrated Farooq Sheikh’s 70th Birthday with a doodle.


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