Ranjit Chowdhry, an actor who appeared in classic sitcoms like The Office and Cosby, has reportedly died at the age of 64. According to the Times of India, Chowdry lived in New York City, but had traveled to India to have some dental work done. He passed away at a hospital in Mumbai, on Wednesday.
Theatre personality Dolly Thakore spoke to reporters about Chowdhry's death, and shared what exactly happened to him. "He got a ruptured ulcer in the intestine on April 14. A physician was called who said he needs to go to the hospital. They operated on him but he died at 4 am (on Wednesday). The funeral was held at 9.30 on Thursday with close family members in attendance," Thakore said. Chowdhry was a renowned Bollywood actor who was deeply beloved by his peers and fans. He began his film and television career in the late '70s, with IMDB listing his final project as being a guest appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2013.
This guy made magic out of nothing, filling paper thin roles with so much depth. I always saw my father when I was with him- the same humor, stubbornness and brilliance. Heartbroken, dear friend. RIP— Poorna Jagannathan (@PoornaJags) April 15, 2020
In The Office, Chowdhry played Vikram, a wise former surgeon who took a job the Lipephedrine Diet Pill Company after moving to Pennsylvania from India. Michael (Steve Carrell) meets him when he takes a part-time job at the same company to help with financial problems. He first appeared in Season 4 of the show, but was brought back in Season 5 as well. In his second and final appearance on the show, Vikram is recruited by Michael to join the Michael Scott Paper Company, but he opts not to stay, after discovering that Michael doesn't have a business plan.
In a message on Twitter, the All India Mahila Congress spoke about Chowdhry's death, writing, "We are saddened by the passing away of acclaimed actor Ranjit Chowdhry, who played key roles in films like Baton Baton Mein, Khatta Meetha, Khoobsurat and more recently in series such as The Office, Prison Break. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and admirers." Film journalist Shubhra Gupta added, "In the kind of 'family ensembles' that Basu Chatterjee and Hrishikesh Mukherjee assembled, Ranjit Chowdhry stood out. He was angular, wryly funny, self-deprecating, qualities mainstream Bollywood didn’t quite know what to do with."