Actor Nirmal Pandey dies

Star of 'Bandit Queen' and 'Daayraa' was 48

MUMBAI -- Actor Nirmal Pandey, who acted in films like "Bandit Queen" and "Daayraa" has died of a heart attack, the director of his last film said on Thursday.

Pandey, 48, complained of uneasiness and was rushed to a hospital in suburban Bandra but passed away before he could get there, Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan said.

The actor is survived by his wife Archana.

Pandey first shot into the limelight with Shekhar Kapur's much acclaimed "Bandit Queen" (1996), in his performance as Vikram Mallah, a gang member who wins the affections of Phoolan Devi, India's notorious woman gang leader.

"A terrific actor and human being who had yet to achieve his full potential," Kapur wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday.

Pandey also played the role of a transvestite in Amol Palekar's "Daayraa" but was later reduced to doing bit roles in Bollywood films.

He had just finished shooting for Chauhan's film "Lahore."

"I spoke to him a couple of days ago, and he seemed perfectly fine. This is a huge shock," Chauhan said.