Sameer Khakhar, well remembered for his role as the charming alcoholic Khopdi in the iconic 1980s television series “Nukkad,” passed away at a local hospital early on Wednesday morning due to multiple organ failure. The 71-year-old actor was most recently seen in the Prime Video series ‘Farzi’ and relocated to the United States for a brief year in the 1990s to work as a software engineer.
Sameer Khakhar was hospitalized to the MM Hospital in Borivali, a suburb of Mumbai, on Tuesday morning for respiratory problems, according to his younger brother Ganesh Khakhar’s report to PTI.
“Since yesterday, he has had breathing issues, and he subsequently went unconscious. We phoned the doctor at home and were instructed to admit him to the hospital. “He was admitted to MM Hospital’s intensive care unit,” he stated. “He eventually suffered from various organ failure. He became unconscious before collapsing. He died at 4:30 this morning,” Ganesh Khakhar stated. In the presence of his family and a few acquaintances from Sameer Khakhar’s days in Gujarati theater, his funeral rites were performed at a cremation in Borivali.
His widow survives him. Sameer Khakhar’s significant works include the television series “Circus” and “Shrimaan Shrimati,” as well as the films “Parinda,” “Jai Ho,” “Hasee Toh Phasee,” “Serious Men,” and “Sunflower”, directed by Vikas Bahl.
Hansal Mehta praised Sameer Khakhar for his recollections of Khopdi.
“For unknown reasons, my college nickname was Khopdi, after his legendary character in Nukkad. My closest friends from that period still refer to me as Khopdi. So I suppose it’s time to bid farewell to the original. Farewell Sameer Khakhar. Thank you for the memories,” Mehta posted a collection of images of the late actor on Twitter.
On the microblogging site, director Nila Madhab Panda stated, “Khopdi has left this Circus and gone to the Nukkad in the sky.”
“Thank you for all the beautiful experiences, Sameer Khakhar; your characters will always be remembered. Om Shanti was added by him.
Sameer Khakhar made waves in early 2021 when a tweet from a film writer notifying the industry that the actor was searching for employment drew the attention of Satish Shah and Gulshan Devaiah, among others.
“Everyone is seeking employment, and so am I. And by job search I mean contacting and seeking for employment. Every film or television show is a daily activity for performers. Nevertheless, I am a terrible salesperson,” the actor told PTI in January 2021.
“I am optimistic that those who know me would offer me employment. I wish to work till my final breath. I want to amuse people my entire life, and I am not yet exhausted,” he continued. His claim to fame may have been his performance as the intoxicated Khopdi in Kundan Shah and Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s ‘Nukkad,’ but he disliked being typecast.
“I turned down several film roles because I didn’t want to repeat myself… Change is a constant; thus, adaptation is required. You can’t be dogmatic and say I will just do films or television or only this type of character,” he said on his choice to relocate to the United States in the 1990s, when he enrolled in a computer software school and worked as a Java developer until the 2008 recession.
Sameer Khakhar explained in the same interview how he landed the part of Khopdi through a fortuitous encounter with Shah and Mirza.
“They believed this character might be utilized in the series, and the number of episodes continued to rise. The fact that he was a sensible alcoholic intrigued me about this character.
“We worked together to create this job. Saeed sahab informed me that Khopdi is an innocent wanderer in the city. This line evoked several responses in me. “I didn’t sleep for several days while attempting to comprehend the character’s thoughts,” he stated.