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Remembering Satish Kaushik

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Actor-cum-writer and director Satish Kaushik passed away due to a heart attack in Gurugram early Thursday morning. Here’s a look at his versatile career.

It’s rare to see an actor getting into the shoes of a director and writer. Satish Kaushik set a benchmark in this category. Born on 13 April 1956 in Mahendragarh, Haryana, Kaushik’s journey in acting started soon after he joined the Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. He participated in several plays at the college’s theatre society ‘Players’. It was here he realised his love for acting. So after completing his graduation, he joined the National School of Drama and the Film and Television Institute of India, where he pursued a course in acting.

Satish Kaushik in his early years.

Mumbai calling

In 1980, Kaushik moved to Mumbai. He got his first break as an actor in 1981 in Chakra that starred Naseeruddin Siddiqui and Smita Patil. Though he was recognised as an actor since his release, he didn’t shy away to try his hand as a writer. In 1983, he wrote the dialogues of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. The film later became a cult classic. The same year, he acted in some of the best films like Woh Saat Din, Masoom, Mandi and Saagar, among others.

The actor's role as 'Calendar' in Mr India was one of his best performances.

Big break

In 1987, Kaushik joined the cast of Mr India. His role as ‘Calendar’ in Shekhar Kapur’s film garnered him fame like never before. The film won him love from all walks of life and the actor was soon recognised as ‘Calendar’ in Bollywood.

Kaagaz was Kaushik's last film as a director.

Debut as a director

In 1993, Kaushik was up for another experiment - donning a director’ hat. He turned director for Sridevi and Anil Kapoor in Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja. He also gave several actors their big break in Bollywood. Among them were Tabu in Prem (1999), Tusshar Kapoor in Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai (2001) and Bhumika Chawla in Tere Naam (2003). He continued his journey as a director till 2021. His last film as a director was Pankaj Tripathi, Vijay Kumar and Mita Vashisht-starrer Kaagaz (2021).

A still from Mr. & Mrs. Khiladi, in which Kaushik portrayed Akshay Kumar's mama.

Turned David Dhawan’s muse

Kaushik was a prominent face in David Dhawan’s films. His comic timing was at par with other comedians of the Hindi cinema. This is what made him the perfect ingredient in Dhawan’s rib-tickling comedies. Kaushik lived up to his name and proved his mettle. His role in Saajan Chale Sasural (Mutthu Swamy), Deewana Mastana (Pappu Pager), Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (Sharafat Ali), Mr. & Mrs. Khiladi (Chanda Mama) and Haseena Maan Jaayegi (Kunj Bihari) was nothing short of remarkable.

A still from Scam 1992, in which the actor played negative role.

Being Bollywood’s baddie

Kaushik’s versatility wasn’t limited to his skills, but also in terms of the characters that he played on the screen. During the 90s and 2000s, most of the films explored his softer and comic timing, but audiences saw a different side of Kaushik in negative roles. Be it his screen role as Tayaji in Udta Punjab or Manu Mundra in Scam 1992, an ever-so-smiling Kaushik proved his versatility as an actor.

Kaushik was set to play Jagjivan Ram in Emergency.

Unreleased works

Kaushik’s death has been an untimely one. The actor was shooting several films. Among them is Kangana Ranaut-directed Emergency, where he was set to play Jagjivan Ram, the late defence minister. He was also working on a big budget period drama about legendary singer Tansen. Besides this, he was also working to promote Haryana's film industry.

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