Saeed Jaffrey, Indian-born British actor, Died at 86


Saeed Jaffrey was born on January 8, 1929, and died November 15, 2015.

He was an Indian-born British actor who appeared in numerous British and Indian movies.

His film credits include The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Shatranj Ke Khiladi (The Chess Players) (1977), Gandhi (1982), A Passage to India (1965 BBC version and 1984 film), The Far Pavilions (1984), and My Beautiful Laundrette (1985).

Saeed has also appeared in many Bollywood films in the 1980s and 1990s.

In television, Saeed starred in Gangsters (1975–1978), The Jewel in the Crown (1984), Tandoori Nights (1985–1987) and Little Napoleons (1994).

Saeed also appeared as Ravi Desai on Coronation Street and in Minder as Mr Mukerjee in Series 1 episode The Bengal Tiger.

Saeed Jaffrey was born in Malerkotla, Punjab, in the princely state of that name, to a Punjabi Muslim family.

Saeed attended Minto Circle, S.T High School, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh, before going on to Wynberg Allen School, St. George’s College, Mussoorie,and Allahabad University.

He began his career by setting up a theatre company called Unity Theatre, at New Delhi.

His early theatrical work included roles in productions of Tennessee Williams, Christopher Fry, Wilde, and Shakespeare.

Saeed studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and gained a Fulbright scholarship in the United States, leading to a second post-graduate degree in drama from The Catholic University of America.

He also worked with actors including Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Pierce Brosnan. He starred in popular cinema directed by Satyajit Ray, James Ivory and Richard Attenborough.

Saeed was the first Indian to take Shakespearean plays on a tour to the United States.

He was also the first Asian to receive British and Canadian Academy Awards nominations, and also the first Indian to receive the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contributions to drama.

Saeed also served as the Radio Director (1951–1956) for All India Radio and Director of Publicity and Advertising of the Government of India Tourist Office, U.S (1958–1960).

Saeed passed away at age 86 in November 2015.