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Veteran Bollywood actor Naaem Sayyed, known as Junior Mehmood, dies of stomach cancer at 68

Veteran character actor Junior Mehmood, known for his roles in iconic Bollywood films such as Caravan, Haathi Mere Saathi, and Mera Naam Joker, passed away today on December 8 after battling stomach cancer, his son Hasnain Sayyed confirmed to PTI.

Junior Mehmood, whose real name was Naeem Sayyed, was 68. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

“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 kgs in a month,” Hasnain, Junior Mehmood’s younger son, told PTI.

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Sayyed’s burial ceremony is scheduled at the Santacruz cemetery later today, where close friend Salaam Kazi told PTI that he would be laid to rest beside his mother. The cemetery also houses the remains of Mohammed Rafi and Dilip Kumar.

Deteriorating Health

Close friend Salaam Kazi told PTI that the deceased actor initially sought treatment for stomach pain from a local physician. However, due to drastic weight loss, his family shifted his case to Tata Memorial Hospital, where diagnoses revealed cancer in his lung and liver, along with a stomach tumour and jaundice.

Earlier this week on December 5, fellow veteran actors such as Jeetendra, Johhny Lever, and Sachin Pilgaonkar visited Junior Mehmood. Jeetendra, who shared screen space with him in multiple movies such as Suhaag Raat and Caravan, expressed his respect.

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Pilgaonkar had in an Instagram post also urged fans to pray for Sayyed’s health, writing: “I request you all to pray for my childhood friend Jr Mehmood who’s suffering with a fatal illness. I had a video conversation with him a couple of days ago and went to see him today but he was sleeping as he was under medication. I am in touch with his son and Johnny Lever regarding his health. May god bless him.”

An Illustrious Career

Starting as a child artiste in movies such as Mohabbat Zindagi Hai (1966) and Naunihal (1967), Junior Mehmood earned his alias, bestowed by the late comedy legend Mehmood, after they collaborated in the 1968 film Suhag Raat.

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In a career spanning more than four decades, Junior Mehmood featured in over 260 films in seven languages. These included hits such as Brahmachari, Kati Patang, Hare Raama Hare Krishna, Geet Gaata Chal, Imaandaar, Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri, Aaj Ka Arjun, Gurudev, Chhote Sarkar, and Judaai.

He also featured on television shows such as Pyaar Ka Dard Hai Meetha Meetha Pyaara Pyaara and Ek Rishta Saajhedari Ka.

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Published: 08 Dec 2023, 09:46 AM IST

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