Celebs pay tributes to Gufi Paintal, who passed away at the age of 78 : The Tribune India

Celebs pay tributes to Gufi Paintal, who passed away at the age of 78

Celebs pay tributes to Gufi Paintal, who passed away at the age of 78


Sarvjeet Singh Paintal, better known with his stage name Gufi Paintal, breathed his last on Monday morning. The actor, director, lyricist and casting director, Gufi reserved a special place in his fans’ hearts as Shakuni mama in BR Chopra’s iconic TV show Mahabharat.

Suffering from heart and kidney ailments, Gufi was admitted to a hospital for about a week. He passed away in sleep surrounded by his family. He was 78.

Born in undivided Punjab, Gufi pursued engineering. Fond of ‘fauj’ and ‘films’, he had a short stint in the Territorial Army as a gunner in the 60s before joining his brother, Kanwarjit Paintal in Mumbai.

Gufi Paintal and Charrul Malik

Gufi started with modelling, and worked as actor, assistant director, casting director and later director in about four decades of his career in the film industry.

Active till his last days, he was affable and alert on social media. Be it wishing his co-stars on their special days or lavishing praise on directors on their new work, he was there.

Gufi’s body of work includes films Dillagi, Suhaag and Mahabharat Aur Barbareek amongst others. His television stint included famous shows like Bahadur Shah Zafar, Mahabharat, Kanoon, Om Namah Shivay, CID, Ssshhhh...Koi Hai, Dwarkadheesh Bhagwaan Shree Krishn and Jay Kaniya Lal Ki.

The film fraternity mourned his passing away. Actress Kasturi Banerjjee said, “It’s shocking to know that veteran actor Gufi Paintal is no more. As Shakuni mama, he was an integral part of our childhood. He will remain in our memories forever.” Charrul Malik fondly recalled her interview with Gufi Paintal. “I had a great experience shooting with Gufi sir. I was an anchor for an entertainment show. I was nervous and in awe because his character, Shakuni mama, was the talk of the town. However, he made me feel comfortable despite my lack of skills at that time. He acted like a teacher. The show turned out to be super-hit, and I was incredibly happy to have had an opportunity to work with such a seasoned actor. Gufi sir was incredibly energetic and warm. He was the most lovable, cool, and positive person I have ever met in my life. Gufi sir was a gem of a person, and I will miss him dearly. He will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Rishina Kandhari calls Gufi Paintal a true icon of Indian television. “His talent on screen was unparalleled. He left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. His presence commanded attention, and his dedication to his craft was evident in every role he portrayed. He will truly be missed.”

Mukesh Khanna, who played Bhishma in the series, said he had a long association with his Mahabharat co-star. “He was the one who called me for Mahabharat auditions and that marked the beginning of our association. I had a long relationship with him since Mahabharat days and cast him in Shaktimaan later. In Mahabharat, we had long confrontational scenes,” Khanna said.

Others took to social media to share their thoughts. Actor Nimrat Kaur tweeted, “Forever the indelible Shakuni mama from our childhood days…such stellar contribution to the Indian cinematic landscape. Prayers and strength to the family. Rest in peace Gufi Paintal ji.”

“To wake up to another sad news. Gufi ji. You lived every moment of your life fully. Your knowledge, your creativity, zest, your laughter will always make me live life to fullest. Your guidance as always be there. Just now not a call away .. #gufipaintal Om Shanti,”posted Hansa Singh.

Thakur Anoop Singh, who played Dhritarashtra in the 2013 TV series Mahabharat, shared, “Sad to hear about Gufi Paintal ji passing away! I’ve had the privilege of working with Gufi saab. I have even taken notes on my preparation for #Dritarashtra since he not only played Shakuni, but was also the casting director of B R Chopra’s Mahabharat in 1986! Rest in Peace.”

Shekhar Suman called his passing away a big loss. “Actor Gufi Paintal will forever be remembered as Shakuni mama in the magnum opus Mahabhart and several other films and series which he did. A big loss for our film industry.”

Gufi Paintal is survived by his son, daughter-in-law and a grandchild.

—With inputs from agencies

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