Kader Khan, Bollywood Movie Actor-Writer, Dies at 81

The Indo-Canadian performer, best known for his comedic roles, died in a Toronto hospital on New Year's Eve.

Veteran Bollywood actor and writer Kader Khan died on New Year's Eve in a Toronto hospital after a long illness. He was 81 years old.

"My dad has left us. He passed away on Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. as per Canadian time due to prolonged illness. He slipped into a coma in the afternoon. He was in the hospital for 16-17 weeks," his son, Sarfaraz Khan, told the Press Trust of India on New Year's Day. Canadian press reports pointed to Khan, who in recent years lived in Toronto with Canadian citizenship, having died due to complications from progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare brain disease.

Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Dec. 11, 1937, Khan went on to appear in around 300 Hindi- and Urdu-language movies. His movie credits included the Taqdeerwala comedy in 1995, the action romancer Naseeb in 1981, which he co-wrote, and the 1990 action comedy Bapp Numbri Beta Dus Numbri.

Khan's writing credits ran to around 110 movies. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi was among those paying tribute to Khan on news of his death.

“Kader Khan Ji brightened the screen with his stupendous acting skills and lightened it thanks to his unique sense of humour,” Modi wrote on his Twitter account.

Fellow Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, who performed alongside Khan, expressed his own sadness. "... a fine actor and an even better comedian. My thoughts and prayers with his family," Kumar said on his own Twitter account.

"Kadar Khan passes away .. sad depressing news .. my prayers and condolences .. a brilliant stage artist a most compassionate and accomplished talent on film .. a writer of eminence ; in most of my very successful films .. a delightful company .. and a mathematician !!" veteran Bollywood film actor and producer Amitabh Bachchan also wrote on Twitter.