Actress Lilette Dubey, who never got an opportunity to work with the actor, makes an interesting observation about his career.
The supremely talented Shriram Lagoo, who passed away on December 17, was a late bloomer. He was 42 when he finally quit his successful career as an ENT doctor and pursued his passion of theatre, where he did memorable plays like Nata Samrat, Kaachecha Chandra and Gidhade.
Back then, for an actor in his 40s to enter Bollywood was unheard of, but he got lucky with V Shantaram’s Marathi film Pinjra. Lagoo was cast as an ageing schoolteacher in a conservative village who creates a scandal by falling in love with a prostitute. Though the film was a big hit, Dr Lagoo confessed that the great Shantaram’s genius was on the decline by the time he made Pinjra. He also admitted that re-making Pinjra into Hindi was a big mistake. Such brutal frankness is unknown in Hindi cinema.
Actress Lilette Dubey, who never got an opportunity to work with the actor, makes an interesting observation about his career. She shares: “Like Amrish Puri, Boman Irani, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, Dr Lagoo got into acting late in his life. His acting career followed a similar trajectory to theirs. For me, Dr Lagoo exemplified how intelligence can be brought to the fore in every field, even one of acting. He was a trueblood theatre actor: Magnificent on stage, who transitioned brilliantly on to screen with his natural and real, yet intense style of acting. One will always remember his wonderfully expressive eyes. Another great passes on. Unfortunately, I never got to work with him but remember that I started my mid-life accidental film career barely 19-20 years ago, by when he had retired almost from films.”
Actor-filmmaker Rakesh Roshan, who worked in several films with Dr Lagoo in the 1990s, remembers him as an erudite, gentle, and sophisticated actor. “Apart from being extremely talented, Dr Lagoo was a humble and well-read person. He was always polite and smiling. He will be remembered for his work. Always,” he smiles in conclusion.