India's veteran actor Kader Khan dies at 81

Kader Khan died after a prolonged illness at a hospital in Toronto.
Kader Khan died after a prolonged illness at a hospital in Toronto.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/BOLLYWOODIRECT

NEW DELHI (XINHUA) - India's veteran and versatile actor Kader Khan died in Canada, his family members said on Tuesday (Jan 1).

The actor died at the age of 81 after a prolonged illness at a hospital in Toronto.

His son Sarfaraz told India's semi-official news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) that Khan died on Monday at 6pm Canadian local time.

"He slipped into coma in the afternoon. He was in the hospital for 16 to 17 weeks," Sarfaraz was quoted as saying.

Khan's funeral will be be performed in Canada.

Born in 1937 in Afghanistan's Kabul, Khan made his debut in 1973 in Bollywood Hindi film Daag.

He acted in more than 300 films, mainly in mainstream Bollywood films. He also wrote dialogues for over 250 movies. The actor's performance has been widely acknowledged.

"Kader Khan passes away .. sad depressing news .. my prayers and condolences .. a brilliant stage artist a most compassionate and accomplished talent on film .. a writer of eminence; in most of my very successful films .. a delightful company .. and a mathematician!!" India's superstar and veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan wrote a condolence message on Twitter.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sadness and recalled Khan's long career in theater and films.

"Kader Khan Ji brightened the screen with his stupendous acting skills and lightened it, thanks to his unique sense of humor. He was also a prolific screenwriter, associated with many memorable films. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers," Modi said in a statement.