‘Gulabo Sitabo’ actress Farrukh Jaffar passed away at 89

Farrukh Jaffar began her Bollywood career in 1981’s Umrao Jaan, in which she donned the role of Rekha’s mother

Farrukh Jaffar, the veteran actress died on Friday night in a hospital in Lucknow. Known for her performance in Gulabo Sitabo and Sultan, Farrukh was admitted to the hospital for breathlessness issues.

The 89-year-old actress began her celluloid journey with the 1981’s classic movie Umrao Jaan, in which she donned the role of Rekha’s mother. Yesterday, Shaaz Ahmad, her grandson had shared the news on Twitter. He wrote — My grandmother and wife of Freedom fighter, Ex MLC Mr S.M.Jaffar and Veteran Actress Mrs Farrukh Jaffar passed away today at 7 pm in Lucknow. Farrukh Jaffar’s last rites would be performed today.

Farrukh Jaffar’s filmography

Born in 1933, Farrukh Jaffar had begun her career in 1963 as one of the first radio announcers of Vividh Bharti Lucknow. Her Bolly-romance began with Umrao Jaan in 1981.

Following this, she did appear in some television shows but found fame in the 2004 hit movie Swades, starring Shah Rukh Khan. She played the character of Fatima Bi. Her other notable performance includes the role of Mrs Manikpuri in Aamir Khan-backed Peepli Live.  The cantankerous mother-in-law smoking bidi in the movie had stolen the scene. Jaffar also portrayed the uber-cool grandmother of superstar Salman Khan in Sultan.

But her most prominent character is Fatima Begum in Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo. The 95-year-old feisty Begum of 78-year-old Mirza, played by Amitabh Bachchan, was a treat for our eyes.  Mirza awaits his wife’s death to inherit the derelict mansion.  But in the end, the Begum manages to outcast Mirza in his own plan.

The tribute to the actor

Farrukh Jaffar might not have ruled the screen with prime characters, but she has crafted a niche for herself by essaying the role of eccentric oldies in various movies. In her last movie, Gulabo Sitabo, she won the Filmfare award for best-supporting actress. 

She has broken several stereotypes all through her life. Firstly, by becoming one of the first radio announcers and then pursuing a career in Bollywood. She had become an on-screen actress at the age of 48 years. Gulabo Sitabo screenwriter Juhi Chaturvedi also paid tribute to the late veteran actress.

On Instagram, she wrote, “Begum is gone Farrukh Ji, there was no one, and there will be no one like you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing us to connect with you. Please stay safe in the other world of Allah. RIP #FarrukhJaffar #Begum #FattoBi #FatimaBegum #GulaboSitabo.

Farrukh Jaffar is survived by her two daughters – Mehru and Shaheen.

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