Film and television actor Narendra Jha died on Wednesday morning following a heart attack at his farmhouse in Nanegaon in Nashik. He was 55. The actor is survived by his wife, former censor board CEO Pankaja Thakur.
According to an IANS report, Jha had complained of chest pain. “He had no health issues and last night (Tuesday) he was fine,” Jha’s driver, Lakshman Singh, told IANS. “He ate properly and spoke to us... Things were fine. Around 4am today, he felt a chest pain so we took him to a nearby hospital, but everything was over by then.”
Jha’s television credits include Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Ek Ghar Banaunga, Chhoona Hai Aasmaan and Begusarai. He also played important character roles in A-list films, including Raees (2017), Kaabil (2017) and Haider (2014).
Jha was born on September 2, 1962, in Bihar. After graduating in history from Jawaharlal Nehru University, he completed a diploma course in acting and then moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in show business. He made his debut in Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s Doordarshan show Mrityunjay (1997-1998). Jha played the role of Arjuna in the popular mythological show.
Jha made his film debut in Shyam Benegal’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2005), where he played nationalist leader Habibur Rahman. Jha’s next collaboration with Benegal was in the mini-series Samvidhaan: The Making of the Constitution of India, which was premiered on Rajya Sabha TV in 2014. Jha played Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
In Vishal Bhardwaj’s Hamlet adaptation Haider, Jha played Hilaal Meer, a Kashmiri doctor who is wrongly accused of harbouring terrorists. His other credits include Ghayal Once Again (2016), Kaalakandi (2017), Kaabil (2017) and Raaes (2017). Among his final films are the under-production Race 3 and Saaho.