Character actor Junior Mehmood, known for his roles in Caravan, Haathi Mere Saathi and Mera Naam Joker, died on Friday following a battle with cancer, his son Hasnain said. The actor was 68.
“My father passed away at 2.00 am following his battle with stomach cancer. He was in a critical condition for the last 17 days. He had lost 35-40 kg in a month,” Hasnain Sayyed, Mehmood’s younger son, told PTI.
Junior Mehmood, whose real name was Naeem Sayyed, began as a child artist with Mohabbat Zindagi Hai (1966) and Naunihal (1967). He was given the name Junior Mehmood by the late comedy icon Mehmood after they starred together in the 1968 film Suhag Raat.
According to the actor’s close friend Salaam Kazi, Junior Mehmood suffered from stomach ache and was being treated by a local doctor. But when he started losing weight, his family decided to take him to Tata Memorial Hospital.
“They did a check-up and the doctors over there said he had cancer in his lung and liver, and a tumour in his stomach. He was also diagnosed with jaundice,” Kazi added.
Director Sanjay Gupta was one of the first film personalities to pay tribute to Junior Mehmood on social media. “You were an integral part of my childhood which was all about the movies. Rest In Peace Jr. Mehmood. Many thanks for the years of entertainment,” Gupta wrote on X.
Trade union Cine & TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA) also expressed its condolences on the death of the actor, who was its member since 1966.
Veteran actors Jeetendra and Sachin Pilgaonkar visited the actor at his residence on Tuesday after he expressed a desire to meet them. Jeetendra had shared screen space with the actor in several movies, including Suhaag Raat and Caravan.
In a career of over four decades, Junior Mehmood featured in over 260 films across seven languages. His other popular films include Brahmachari, Kati Patang, Hare Raama Hare Krishna, Geet Gaata Chal, Imaandaar, Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri, Aaj Ka Arjun, Gurudev, Chhote Sarkar and Judaai.
As a child actor, Junior Mehmood memorably recreated Mehmood’s iconic song “Hum Kaale Hain To Kya Hua” from 1965’s Gumnaam in the Shammi Kapoor-starrer Brahmachari in 1968. He not only danced to the track mimicking his idol’s mannerisms but also matched the blackface along with the striped T-shirt and lungi look.
The actor also appeared on TV shows such as Pyaar Ka Dard Hai Meetha Meetha Pyaara Pyaara and Ek Rishta Saajhedari ka.
His burial will take place later in the day at the Santa Cruz cemetery, Kazi said. “He will be buried in the same cemetery as his mother. Other noted personalities like Dilip Kumar sahab and Mohammed Rafi are also buried there,” Kazi added.
Junior Mehmood is survived by two sons and a wife.