In Memoriam: Famous People Who Said Their Last Goodbyes in 2017

Gone, but not forgotten! In our hearts and memories, they live on.

6 min read
Hindi Female

From politicians to cine stars and scientists to artists, 2017 saw the world mourn some very extraordinary lives. They are gone, but would not be forgotten anytime soon. Their work speaks volumes, their names etched in history — we may not see them around but in our hearts they will live on!

Here’s remembering notable people who left us in 2017:


1. Shashi Kapoor

Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor breathed his last at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai on 4 December. According to reports, he was administered several rounds of dialysis while at the hospital and passed away due to a kidney problem. He was 79.

Shashi Kapoor is survived by his sons Karan and Kunal, and daughter Sanjna. Kapoor got married to English actor Jennifer Kendal in 1958, who unfortunately died of cancer in 1984.


2. Reema Lagoo

Bollywood’s favourite new-age mom, Reema Lagoo, passed away on 18 May following a sudden cardiac arrest in Mumbai. The versatile actor who was a part of several theatre productions, TV shows and films was 59. She breathed her last at Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.

Reema Lagoo is remembered for her roles in Aashiqui, Saajan, Hum Aapke Hain Koun...!, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Vaastav, Hum Saath Saath Hain and Kal Ho Na Ho.


3. Vinod Khanna

Veteran actor Vinod Khanna passed away on 27 April 2017 in Mumbai. The actor, who was also an MP from Gurdaspur, had been reportedly suffering from cancer. He was 70.


4. Om Puri

Veteran actor and Padma Shri awardee Om Puri passed away at his Mumbai residence in the early hours of 6 January 2017, due to a cardiac attack. He was 67.

One of India’s finest actors, Puri was an alumnus of the prestigious National School of Drama, Film and Television Institute of India and was a part of several critically acclaimed films like Ardh Satya.


5. Kishori Amonkar

Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar, 84, passed away on 3 April 2017 in Mumbai after a brief illness.

Kishori Amonkar was recognised as one of the foremost singers in the Hindustani tradition, and as an innovative exponent of the Jaipur gharana. In recognition of her contribution to the arts, she received many awards, including the Padma Bhushan (1987) and Padma Vibhushan (2002), two of India’s top civilian honours.


6. PN Bhagwati

Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Prafulchandra Natwarlal Bhagwati passed away on 15 June 2017 at the age of 95. A Gujarati, Bhagwati served as the CJI from 12 July 1985 to 20 December 1986.

With an accomplished judicial career, Bhagwati is best known for introducing Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 1986.


7. UR Rao

Eminent space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away in Bengaluru on the morning of 24 July 2017 due to age related ailments. He was 85 years old.

UR Rao had launched India's first satellite Aryabhata in 1975.


8. Girija Devi

Iconic Indian classical singer Girija Devi passed away at the age of 88 in Kolkata on 24 October 2017. Considered the queen of Thumri and fondly called Appa ji, Girija Devi was suffering from cardiovascular ailments. She had received Padma Shri in 1972, Padma Bhushan in 1989 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016.


9. Inder Kumar

Bollywood actor Inder Kumar passed away on 28 July 2017 after a cardiac arrest. He was 44. He worked in more than 20 films, also starring in a few with Salman Khan like Wanted, Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge and others.


10. Arjan Singh

Arjan Singh, Marshal of the Indian Air Force, passed away on 16 September following a cardiac arrest. The legendary warrior was laid to rest with full state honours, including a flypast by fighter jets in Delhi. He was 98.

IAF Marshal Arjan Singh is famous for his role in the 1965 India-Pakistan war.


11. Shakila

Veteran actor Shakila, who is remembered for her performances in Aar Paar (1954) and CID (1956), passed away in Mumbai on 20 September 2017 after suffering a heart attack. She was 82. She had been ill with kidney problems and diabetes for some time.


12. Rishang Keishing

Former Manipur Chief Minister and a member of the first Lok Sabha, Rishang Keishing passed away on 23 August following a brief illness. Keishing passed away due to multiple organ failure. He was 96.

Rishang Keishing served as the Chief Minister of Manipur from 1980 to 1988 and from 1994 to 1997.


13. Shyama

Bollywood actor Shyama passed away on the morning of 14 November, at the age of 82. Shyama won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Sharada. She was a part of the industry for more than four decades and had acted in almost 175 movies including Aar Paar and Barsaat Ki Raat.


14. Kunwar Narayan

Hindi poet Kunwar Narayan passed away on 15 November 2017 at the age of 90. He is known for his immense contribution to Hindi literature in the last six decades. His first book Chakravyuh came out in 1956.

Kunwar Narayan was bestowed with a Jnanpith award, Padma Bhushan and a Sahitya Akademi award for his contribution to Hindi literature.


15. Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi

Senior Congress leader and West Bengal Congress’ former president and former Union Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi passed away on 20 November in a hospital in Delhi. He was critically ill for a few months before his demise. He was 72.


16. Tom Alter

Veteran theatre and film personality Tom Alter lost his battle against skin cancer on 29 September. He breathed his last at his residence in Mumbai. He was 67.

Alter is remembered for his work in television shows like Bharat Ek Khoj, Zabaan Sambhalke and Betaal Pachisi and several movies like Gandhi, Shatranj Ke Khilari, Kranti, Aashiqui and Parinda.

In 2008, he was recognised with the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour in India.


17. Sitaram Panchal

Actor Sitaram Panchal will be fondly remembered for his role in Paan Singh Tomar among several others such as Slumdog Millionnaire, Peepli Live, Bandit Queen. The actor succumbed to lung cancer after a three-year-long battle with the disease. He was suffering from kidney and lung cancer and also fought financial crisis towards the end of his life. He was 54.


18. Neeraj Vora

Phir Hera Pheri director and popular comic actor Neeraj Vora passed away in the wee hours of Thursday at Criticare Hospital in Andheri, Mumbai. He was 54.

He had slipped into coma after suffering from a near-fatal combination of a heart attack and a brain stroke in October 2016.

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Topics:  Om Puri   Vinod Khanna   Shyama 

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