Veteran Bollywood action director Veeru Devgan, father of actor Ajay Devgn, died here on Monday, family sources said. He was 85.
Veeru Devgan breathed his last at a hospital here due to age-related issues and cardiac arrest, according to informed sources.
A large number of Bollywood personalities attended the funeral at the Vile Parle Crematorium here in the evening.
A runaway lured by love for the world of glamour and films, Veeru came from Amritsar to Mumbai to become an actor but went on to become an acclaimed action choreographer with over 80 films under his belt.
Though his own dream of working as a mega-actor remained unfulfilled, his son Ajay made it big in Bollywood and is ranked among the most successful and versatile action-cum-emotion stars.
Veeru directed actions, fights and stunts for some of the top actors Dilip Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Anil Kapoor and others, said Tina Films Associate Director Ramya V. Iyer.
“He was in great demand from the top actors. During the shooting of ‘Himmatwala’, Veeru was not available for directing the action scenes and the director wanted to hire Tinu Anand. However, Jeetendra spoke with Veeru and convinced him to come and take up the film,” veteran Bollywood film-maker A. Krishnamurthi told IANS.
Iyer said he had the knack of bringing new techniques in action scenes and kept upbreast with ever-changing technological advances in the world of action.
He could make the most impossible and hair-raising action scenes appear simple and actors used to observe him closely at work.
One of Veeru’s memorable action scenes was filmed on his son Ajay’s debut film, “Phool Aur Kaante” (1991) in which the new actor was seen balancing himself on two motorcycles, which became popular among the youth.
Later, he turned director with the film “Hindustan Ki Kasam” (1999) starring Amitabh Bachchan and son Ajay and actress Manisha Koirala and Sushmita Sen.
His important action sequences were in films like “Inkaar” (1977), “Mr Natwarlal” (1979), “Kranti” (1981), “Himmatwala” (1983), “Mr. India” (1987), “Shahenshah” (1988), “Tridev” (1989), “Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri (1990), “Phool Aur Kaante” (1991), “Dilwale” (1994) and “Laal Badshah” (1999), in which Bachchan played a double role.
Earlier, leading members of the film fraternity including Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Sajid Khan, Mahesh Bhatt and Harry Baweja visted the Devgan residence to pay condolences.
Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta said he was really “saddened to hear about Veeru Devganji”.
“I had the honour and pleasure of working with him in my (early) days as an assistant director. He was a fabulous human being and a master technician who always had a smile on his face. May God bless his soul,” he tweeted.
Really saddened to hear about Veeru Devgan Ji.
I had the honour and pleasure of working with him in my days as an assistant director.
He was a fabulous human being and a master technician who always had a smile on his face.
May God bless his soul.
RIP Veeru Phaaji.
— Sanjay Gupta (@_SanjayGupta) May 27, 2019
Filmmaker Anees Bazmee, who worked with Veeru Devgan in the 1997 film “Sanam”, tweeted: “My heartfelt condolences to Ajay, Kajol and the family. There will be no better action director than you Veeruji. Will miss you.”
— Anees Bazmee (@BazmeeAnees) May 27, 2019
Veteran actor Anupam Kher wrote: “Deeply saddened to know about the passing away of Veeru Devganji. Worked with him in so many movies. He was a great action director. To him, the safety of actors and his fighters team was of utmost importance. A kind man with a great sense of humour.”
Deeply saddened to know about the passing away of #VeeruDevgan ji. Worked with him in so many movies. He was a great action director. To him him the safety of actors and his fighters team was of utmost importance. A kind man with a great sense of humour. Om Shanti.🙏 @ajaydevgn
— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) May 27, 2019
“Sad to know that veteran action director Veeru Devganji is no more. He was a genius in choreographing fights on the big screen when there were no facilities available. My heartfelt condolences to Ajay Devgn and the entire family,” filmmaker Ashoke Pandit tweeted.
Sad to know that veteran action director #VeeruDevgan ji is no more. He ws a genius in choreographing fights on the big screen, when there were no facilities available. My heart felt condolences to @ajaydevgn & the entire family. 🙏
Funeral at Vile Parle (W) at 6 pm today.
— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) May 27, 2019
“RIP Veeru Devganji. A legend of Hindi cinema. Left his mark at a time when ‘pure action’ without VFX was the order of the day. Heartfelt condolences to Ajay Devgn and Kajol. May his soul rest in peace,” Kunal Kohli wrote.
#RIP #VeeruDevgan ji. A legend of Hindi Cinema. Left his mark at a time when ‘pure action’, without vfx, was the order of the day.
Heartfelt condolences to @ajaydevgn & @KajolAtUN May his soul rest in peace. Prayers are with the family.
— kunal kohli (@kunalkohli) May 27, 2019
Arbaaz Khan also paid his tribute on his official Twitter account and wrote –
— Arbaaz Khan (@arbaazSkhan) May 27, 2019
Mahesh Bhatt shared memories with Veeru Devgan on the films in which he worked with Veeru Devgan. He wrote –
#VeeruDevgan & I began our career together in the 70’s. “Make Ajay a great actor.” I remember him telling me after Ajay’s debut film became a big hit. Ajay & me finally worked together in Zakhm which won him his 1st (best actor ) national award. 🙏Adieu Partner @ajaydevgn pic.twitter.com/vWwGjEM70C
— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) May 27, 2019
Madhuri Dixit and Akshay Kumar also expressed their condolences on Veeru Devgan demise –
— Madhuri Dixit Nene (@MadhuriDixit) May 27, 2019
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) May 27, 2019
Raj babbar who worked with Veeru in several films wrote –
Passing away of #VeeruDevgan ji is a personal loss. I remember today sequences from ‘Hum Panch’ & films like Amiri Ghribi, Itihas etc. in which I worked with the ace Action Director.
— Raj Babbar (@RajBabbarMP) May 27, 2019
Suniel Shetty: Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of a great man Veeru Devgan! You are in our thoughts and prayers. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to you Ajay, Kajol and your family.
— Suniel Shetty (@SunielVShetty) May 27, 2019
Varun Dhawan: RIP Veeru Devgan, heartfelt condolences to the Devgan family.
#RipVeeruDevgan heartfelt condolences to the devgan family
— Varun Dhawan (@Varun_dvn) May 27, 2019
Rahul Dev: Saddened to know about the passing away of Veeru Devganji, best described as a great action director and a kind man.
— Rahul Dev Official (@RahulDevRising) May 27, 2019
Abbas Mustan: Our heartfelt condolences to Ajay, Kajol and the entire family on the sad demise of Veeru Devganji. May his soul rest in peace.
— Abbas Mustan (@theabbasmustan) May 27, 2019