Pandhari Nath Chavhan, an employee at a crematorium were Shammi was taken, confirmed her death to the New York Times on Thursday. He said she died after a "long illness."
Shammi's career began in 1949. The actress, whose real name was Nargis Rabadi, was introduced to actor and producer Sheikh Mukhtar by a friend who worked in the Indian film industry. They discussed a role in a film called Ustad Pedro, and he wanted to know how well her Hindi was. She told him she was speaking to him in Hindi, so he could already tell. Although she thought it was "stupid" to speak to him that way, she got the job.
From then on, she never stopped working, with a career that stretched more than 60 years. She became known for impeccable comedic timing, and one of her most beloved roles was as the grandmother in the sitcom, Dekh Bhai Dekh.
“For everybody in the industry, she is Shammi Aunty,” Farah Khan, a producer and friend, told the New York Times. “She was so full of life. I don’t know of a single person who met her and didn’t love her.”
In a 2012 interview with the Times of India, Shammi said she could not see a life without acting.
"It's God's work," Shammi said of her career. "He has been very kind to me. Otherwise why would I still be getting work? It is unimaginable for me to be not working. Boman [Irani] asked me how many films I had done. I had no clue! Recently someone Googled on me and found out I had done nearly 200 films. I was amazed. When did I do all these films?! Time just flew by!"
Shammi is survived by her son, Iqbal Rizvi.0comments
The Bollywood film community, including Aamir Khan of the Academy Award nominated Lagaan, took to Twitter to pay tribute to Shammi's long career.
T 2735 - Prayers and fond remembrances for Shammi Aunty .. so dear to us as family .. lost to us today ..🙏— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) March 6, 2018
some early pictures as a young entrant to films .. and one with Nargis ji at an event ; Shammi Aunty's real name was also Nargis ! pic.twitter.com/pfgzd1Tff3
I will really miss you Shammi aunty… You always gave the warmest hugs and never failed to make everyone smile. So many memories, so much happiness, gone but not forgotten. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/0BxQSNQRIL— Abhishek Bachchan (@juniorbachchan) March 6, 2018
Our beloved ShammiAunty is no more.. most wonderful, loving n funny.. working since my dads films n i was lucky to work beside her in ShirinFarhadKiTohNikalPadi.. god bless her— Farah Khan (@TheFarahKhan) March 6, 2018
R I P. Shammi Aunty bids good bye. pic.twitter.com/g1bagsyaSk— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) March 6, 2018
Shammi aunty’s passing away is a sad loss to the film industry and to her fans. My heart felt condolences to her family and close friends. I have always been a fan of her work and will miss her exuberant presence.— Aamir Khan (@aamir_khan) March 6, 2018
Bid farewell to everyone’s favourite aunty, #Shammi aunty...Played her grandson a few years ago. She was the most fun person on set. Loved her very much. Will miss her. May her soul rest in peace.— Boman Irani (@bomanirani) March 6, 2018
(1963) Shammi and Johny Walker in ‘Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya’.— Jaaved Jaaferi (@jaavedjaaferi) March 6, 2018
(1957) Shammi, Nargis & IS Johar in ‘Miss India’
(1955) Shammi & Pran in ‘Azaad’ pic.twitter.com/pzABqS0aVz
May your soul rest in peace Shammi Aunty. Youve always made us all smile and laugh. My heartfelt condolences to her near and dear ones. She will always be missed and loved. 🙏— Vivek Anand Oberoi (@vivekoberoi) March 6, 2018
Shammi, aunty to me and a great actor of yesteryears passed away today. She was my mother's dear friend and someone we all loved very much. May her soul rest in peace and her laughter and contagious smile rock the heavens. Be In peace with your friends pic.twitter.com/jFfpmUfVoP— Priya Dutt (@PriyaDutt_INC) March 6, 2018
Photo credit: Twitter/ Abhishek Bachchan