INDIA. Mumbai: Renowned veteran actress Padma Shri Sulochana Latkar, known for her remarkable contributions to Marathi and Hindi cinema, has passed away after a prolonged illness and age-related complications at Shushrusha Hospital in Central Mumbai on Sunday evening.
Fondly known by her screen name Sulochana, she was 94 years old and is survived by her daughter, Kanchan Ghanekar. The public will have an opportunity to pay their respects at her residence in Prabhadevi, Central Mumbai, on Monday morning.
The final rites, conducted with state honors, will take place at Shivaji Park crematorium on Monday, June 5, at 5.30 pm, as confirmed by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
Sulochana was admitted to the hospital on May 09 due to breathing difficulties. Her condition deteriorated on Saturday night, and she was placed on a ventilator. She peacefully passed away at around 6 pm on Sunday, June 4.
Born on July 30, 1928, in the former Bombay Presidency of British India (now Belgaum in Karnataka), Sulochana starred in around 50 Marathi and nearly 250 Hindi films. She became synonymous with portraying motherly roles in various Hindi films.
In an earlier interview, she expressed her fondness for playing the mother to renowned actors such as Sunil Dutt, Dev Anand, and Rajesh Khanna.
Sulochana made her film debut in 1946 and received a humble honorarium of Rs 30 for her first film. She established herself as the leading actress in Marathi cinema from 1946 to 1961, with notable films like “Sasurvas” (1946), “Vahinichya Bangdya” (1953), “Meeth Bhakar,” “Sangtye Aika” (1959), “Laxmi Ali Ghara,” “Jivacha Sakha,” “Pativrata,” “Sukhache Sobti,” “Bhaubeej,” “Akashganga,” and “Dhakti Jau.”
Her performances in Hindi films, including “Nai Roshni” (1967), “Aaye Din Bahar Ke,” “Aaye Milan Ki Bela,” “Ab Dilli Dur Nahin,” “Majboor,” “Gora Aur Kala,” “Devar,” “Bandini,” “Kahani Kismat Ki,” “Talaash” (1969), “Azaad” (1978), “Kati Patang,” “Natak,” “Sambandh,” and “Chirag,” were highly acclaimed.
She often appeared opposite actors such as Nazir Hussain, Trilok Kapoor, and Ashok Kumar in Hindi films. Sulochana portrayed the roles of a mother or close relative alongside Sunil Dutt in films like “Heera,” “Jhoola,” “Ek Phool Char Kante,” “Sujata,” “Mehrbaan” (1967), “Chirag,” “Bhai Bahen” (1969), “Reshma Aur Shera,” “Umar Qaid,” “Muqabla,” “Jaani Dushman,” and “Badle Ki Aag.”
From 1969 onward, she frequently portrayed on-screen relatives to characters played by Rajesh Khanna. Their collaborations included notable films like “Dil Daulat,” “Bahraon Ke Sapne,” “Doli,” “Kati Patang,” “Mere Jeevan Saathi,” “Prem Nagar,” “Aakraman,” “Bhola Bhala,” “Tyaag”, “Aashiq Hoon Baharaon Ka,” and “Adhikar” (1986).
Sulochana also shared the screen with Manoj Kumar, Dev Anand, Amitabh Bachchan, and Mehmood. She was a regular collaborator with Dev Anand, often portraying his mother or a relative. Some of their notable films together were “Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai,” “Pyar Mohabbat,” “Duniya” (1968), “Johny Mera Naam,” “Amir Garib,” “Warrant,” and “Joshila.”
Sulochana received several prestigious awards for her contributions to the film industry. She was honored with the civilian award Padma Shri in 1999. In 2003, she was bestowed with the Chitrabhushan Award by the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal, in commemoration of the birth anniversary of Baburao Painter, one of the founders of modern Marathi Cinema.
Additionally, she was presented with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 and the Maharashtra Bhushan Award by the Maharashtra Government in 2009.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences via Twitter, stating, “The passing of Sulochana Ji leaves a big void in the world of Indian cinema. Her unforgettable performances have enriched our culture and endeared her to people across generations. Her cinematic legacy will live on through her works. Condolences to her family. Om Shanti.”
NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, and others have also expressed their condolences upon her demise.
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