Maharashtra on Friday afternoon bid a tearful adieu to veteran actor Shreeram Lagoo, who was cremated with full state honours here.
Lagoo, 92, passed away late on Tuesday (December 17) following prolonged illness and age-related problems, shocking the film industry and stage which he served for over five decades. He is survived by his wife and a son.
Revered as the ‘Emperor of Theatre’, his body was kept for people to pay their last respects at the Balgandharva Rangmandir for a few hours before the last rites.
Draped in the National Tricolour, Lagoo’s mortal remains encased in a glass casket were later brought to the open ground outside the Balgandharva Rangmandir where the Maharashtra Police accorded a 21-gun salute to the acting legend.
Later, at the sounding of three bells – symbolizing the start of a theatre performance – the huge funeral procession wend its way to the Vaikunth Crematorium, around 3 kms away.
Among the prominent personalities who paid floral tributes to the renowned actor included Maharashtra Minister Subhash Desai, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray, Baba Adhav, Hindi and Marathi film and stage personalities like Amol Palekar, Nana Patekar, Urmila Matondkar, Ramdas Futane, Sudhir Gadgil, Nandu Madhav and many others.
Present were several representatives of rationalist organisations like Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, leftist and forward groups, a large number of fans, admirers and citizenry, many seen breaking down or weeping.
Among his memorable performances in theatre and films were Natsamrat, Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, Souten, Singhasan, Saamna, Gharaonda, Pukar, Inkaar, etc.