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Indian comedy king Mehmood dead

IANS [Saturday, July 24, 2004]

Versatile Bollywood comedian Mehmood Ali died in his sleep Friday at Pennsylvania in the US, family sources said here.

He was 72. His wife and children survive him.

The body of Mehmood Ali, better known to millions of fans as Mehmood, will be brought here for the last rites, the veteran actor's brother Usman Ali said.

"He (Mehmood) died in his sleep. He was suffering from breathlessness and had a history of high blood pressure," Usman said.

In a career spanning over four decades, Mehmood acted in over 300 films, including classic hits like "Padosan" (1968), "Bombay to Goa" (1972) and "Kunwaara Baap" (1974).

Born in 1932 to actor-dancer Mumtaz Ali, Mehmood began his career as a child artist in films in the late 1930s, but fame eluded him. He then drove cars and ran errands for others to earn a living.

His major break in the film industry came with "Parvarish" in 1958. His last film "Barsaat Ki Raat" was made in 1998, though his last directorial venture was "Dushman Duniya Ka" in 1996.

Mehmood's directorial ventures often derived scripts from his personal life.

"Kunwara Baap" was based on the life of one of his sons Macky Ali, who was crippled by polio since birth. Macky died in 2002.

Director Madhur Bhandarkar gets bail till Tuesday

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