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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Bollywood legend Kader Khan dies at age 81

The Indian-Canadian film actor, screenwriter, comedian and director featured in more than 300 films

MUMBAI, INDIA - OCTOBER 18: Veteran Bollywood actor Kader Khan poses for picture during an interview at his residence on October 18, 2013 in Mumbai, India. The actor has produced a film titled 'In Your Arms' which will star three generations of the Khan family which includes Kader Khan himself, his sons Sarfaraz and Shah Nawaz Ali along with his eight year old grandson Hamzaa (Sarfaraz's son). (Photo by Prodip Guha\Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
MUMBAI, INDIA - OCTOBER 18: Veteran Bollywood actor Kader Khan poses for picture during an interview at his residence on October 18, 2013 in Mumbai, India. The actor has produced a film titled 'In Your Arms' which will star three generations of the Khan family which includes Kader Khan himself, his sons Sarfaraz and Shah Nawaz Ali along with his eight year old grandson Hamzaa (Sarfaraz's son). (Photo by Prodip Guha\Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Kader Khan, the veteran actor and director, passed away on December 31 aged 81 due to a prolonged illness. His son Sarfaraz confirmed that Khan had been in hospital for the past 16 weeks and had slipped into a coma yesterday afternoon, passing away at 6pm Canada time (3am in the UAE). He was reportedly suffering from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a rare degenerative brain disorder.

Born in Afghanistan, Khan debuted on-screen in 1973 with Rajesh Khanna's Daag. He then went on to feature in more than 300 films.

Tributes to the star poured in on Twitter. World-famous actor Amitabh Bachchan said it's "sad depressing news ... my prayers and condolences ... a brilliant stage artist a most compassionate and accomplished talent on film ..." Khan was an accomplished writer as well having scripted more than 250 films. Much of Bachchan's memorable lines were penned by Khan in films such as Coolie, Desh Premee, Suhaag, Parvarish, Amar Akbar Anthony, Sharaabi, Lawaaris and Muqaddar Ka Sikandar.

Another well-known Indian actor and comedian, Ssumier Pasricha, also paid his condolences, saying it was "sad news to start this year with".

Smriti Irani, a television actress and now a union minister of textiles, also weighed in. She wrote: "If you were a late 80s-90s kid who watch Hindi films, chances are you encountered the magic of Kader Khan. Never had the privilege of meeting him but if I ever had I would say 'thank you for the laughter, thank you for your craft' #RIPKaderKhan".

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