Satish Kaul, who featured in 300 Punjabi and Hindi films and worked with some of the best actors of Bollywood, including Shah Rukh Khan, passed away due to coronavirus-related complications on Saturday in Ludhiana. The 74-year-old was admitted at the Shri Rama Charitable Hospital, his sister Satya Devi told the Indian Express.

The past year might’ve familiarised a majority of the indian population with some faces of BR Chopra-led mythological drama ‘Mahabharata’. One of the iconic characters of Lord Indra in Mahabharata was played by the late Satish Kaul. 

Born in Kashmir, Kaul learnt his filmography at the Film and Television Institute of India’s (FTII) in 1969. He was a part of the batch that also included veterans like Jaya Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha, Zarina Wahab, Danny Denzongpa, Asha Sachdeva and Om Puri. 

Often referred as the Amitabh Bachchan of Punjabi cinema, he also received the “lifetime achievement” award for his contribution to Punjabi cinema at PTC Punjabi Film Awards in 2011.

While talking to the Indian Express, Satya Devi said, “He had fever for the last five-six days and wasn’t keeping well. So, on Thursday, we admitted him to Shri Rama Charitable Hospital here and then we learnt he had tested positive for coronavirus.”

According to the report, the actor’s funeral will take place on Sunday.

After living his days of glory for more than three decades, Kaul had in 2020 spoken to PTI about his financial woes, which he had mentioned had only gotten worse due to coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown. “I’m struggling for medicines,” he had said. 

His acting school – started in 2011 – also proved to be a failed venture. “It came to a halt and whatever work I was doing later was affected after I fractured my hip bone in 2015. For two and a half years, I was bed-ridden in the hospital. Then I had to check in to an old age home where I stayed for two years,” Kaul told PTI. 

Punjab’s Chief Minister in 2019, Captain Amarinder Singh had helped the actor with Rs 5 lakh. “Wish iconic Punjabi actor Satish Kaul ji good health and recovery. Have released Rs 5 lakh for his medical treatment through DC Ludhiana. We stand committed to helping all those who have contributed to our state & it’s culture” Singh tweeted.

He will be remembered for several Bollywood hits including Karma, Prem Parbat, Warrant, Gunaho Ka Faisla, Bhakti Me Shakti, Dance Dance, Ram Lakhan and Pyar To Hona Hi Tha.

Kaul’s Punjabi cinema career was much more illustrious. Maula Jatt, Sassi Punnu, Ishq Nimana, Suhag Chooda and Patola were some of his best in Punjabi. Along with Mahabharata, he also featured in the popular Hindi television series – Vikram and Betaal.