The wife of legendary Bollywood actor Raaj Kumar, Gayatri Pandit died on November 28 at age 69 in Mumbai.
Pandit’s children with Kumar, Puru Raajkumar, Panini Raajkumar and Vastavikta Pandit, had been taking care of her for some time, as she had been in ailing health.
Kumar had died 27 years earlier in 1996 from throat cancer, also at age 69, and Pandit moved the family to Mumbai after his death.
Pandit was Anglo-Indian at birth and her original name was Jennifer Pandit.
She met Kumar in the 1960s as a flight attendant on a flight he was on. They fell in love despite a 27-year age difference, and at their marriage, she changed her name to Gayatri to align with Hindu customs.
Two of Pandit and Kumar’s children tried acting, but neither was anywhere near as successful as their famous father.
Vastavikta Pandit was in one movie, Eight: The Power of Shani, but she only got attention for stalking another actor, Shahid Kapoor, and claiming she was his wife. Eventually, Kapoor filed a complaint against her to stop her from continuing the behavior.
Puru Raajkumar appeared as a lead in several movies, but none were successful. His sole memorable role is as a terrorist in Mission Kashmir, which was a hit.
Kumar’s acting career started after he spent time in law enforcement as an IAS Sub-inspector for Mumbai police.
When he was visiting Metro cinema, veteran filmmaker Sohrab Modi liked his look and offered him a role in a film.
Initially, Kumar declined the offer, but he changed his mind and appeared in his first movie Rangeeli in 1952.
He appeared in more than 70 films over his career and was a very popular and beloved screen presence, even though he did not get his start as a young man.
Kumar appeared in the 1957 Oscar-nominated movie Mother India. He also won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a cancer patient in Dil Ek Mandir.
Even though he has been dead for 27 years, his work in Hindi films is still celebrated and cherished by his people. He is one of the most famous Bollywood actors of all time.