Ranjit Chowdhry, an actor best known for his brief work on The Office, based been branded as a "true original" by fans, friends and peers. Chowdhry, who also notably appeared on the '90s sitcom Cosby, died in a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday. He was 64. The actor had a career spanning from roles in Bollywood films during the late 1970s all the way to the 2000s. He was the son of actress Pearl Padamsee and stepson to actor Alyque Padamsee and was known as a versatile actor in Bollywood.
Chowdhry, who was born in Mumbai, was living in New York with his wife and 16-year-old son ahead of his passing. However, he had returned to India for dental treatments a few months back. His plan was to return to the U.S. on April 8, but could not due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, reports the Times of India. While still in India, he suffered a ruptured ulcer, theater personality Dolly Thakore told news agency PTI.
Thakore relayed: "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."
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, Prisonbreak.
Our thoughts are with his family, friends and admirers.April 16, 2020
In the early 1990s, he began working in Hollywood, finding roles in the films Mississippi Masala (1991), It Could Happen to You (1994) and Girl 6 (1996). He also appeared in episodes of NYPD Blue, Cosby, Law & Order: Trial By Jury, Prison Break, Girls and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
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
Chowdhry's best-known role was Vikram in two episodes of The Office. He played an employee at the call center Steve Carell's Michael Scott worked at to earn some extra cash in the 2007 episode "Money." When Michael was fired by Dunder Mifflin and he founded the short-lived Michael Scott Paper Company, Michael hired Vikram in the 2009 episode "Dream Team."
I know Iqbal...never got his due here.— Poorna Jagannathan (@PoornaJags) April 15, 2020
y'all RIP to Ranjit Chowdhry who was Vikram in The Office 😭 so freaking sad 😪 pic.twitter.com/z4OeEkQWuB— a 1993 dodge neon (@Hilcatherinee) April 16, 2020
"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," film journalist Shubra Gupta tweeted. "He combined sharpness with self-awareness, whether he was doing something as mundane as practising karate kids or playing the violin, or as objectionable as taking advantage of a sick old lady. Each role, pretty much, was memorable. #KhattaMeetha #Khubsoorat, #BaatonBaatonMein #SamAndMe #Fire #Kaante. And that delivery, it was unique. If you heard him, you knew it was /#RanjitChowdhry. Rest well, actor, good human."
Ranjit was such a great actor. He was one of the first Indian actors I noticed because of his great work after I became an actor. Rest In Peace #RanjitChowdhri— iqbal theba (@iqbaltheba) April 15, 2020
"RIP my friend Ranjit Chaudhury. Had the pleasure of working with you in KAANTE," filmmaker Sanjay Gupta tweeted. "Thank you for the joy you gave us through your performances. KHATTA MEETHA is my favourite. Keep smiling wherever you are.
Gutted to learn of #RanjitChowdhry's passing. Despite his diminutive frame, he was a towering icon of Indian diaspora cinema and a master of his craft. By far, one of the most endearingly quirky and acerbically witty people I've had the pleasure of knowing. A true original!— Rahul Khanna (@R_Khanna) April 16, 2020
"You will be missed. Americans (Hollywood) loved you just like Bollywood. Rest In Peace," one fan wrote on Facebook. Meanwhile, The Office actor Andy Buckley tweeted, "This lovely actor passed away yesterday in India. Ranjit Chowdhry. He played a Vikram on The Office. He was terrific on the show and a lovely fella. Rest In Peace Ranjit."
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"Goodbye #RanjitChowdhry There hasn't been a single moment in the last 30 years since I saw #BaatonBaatonMein when the mere mention of Ranjit Chowdhry's name failed to bring a smile. Thanks for the memories and the great songs!" film historian Gautam Chintamani tweeted.