97 year old veteran actor A K Hangal expired today at Asha Parekh hospital in Vile Parle following a brief illness which was aggravated by a fracture of his thigh bone.
Not a single big name from the film industry turned up for the cremation of the actor who was seen in over 225 films. Only character actors like Rakesh Bedi and Raza Murad and friends like Ila Arun were present for the last rites.
Hangal was one of the most endearing old men of the film industry with roles in Sholay, Namak Haram and Shaukeen. His one-liner from Sholay, 'Itna sannata kyon hain bhai', achieved cult status.
Sadly, Hangal had to depend on Bollywood for aid to fight illness. Recently, he had also taken up the cause for the elderly who could not fend for themselves and believed that the state needed to accept the responsibilities of senior citizens.
His son Vijay said, "My father was highly spirited and fought till the end. He survived even after life support was taken off." He added, "He even shot a small scene for the TV serial Madhubala despite his poor health. The moment the camera was switched on, his energy came back.''