Veteran actor and theatre artist Ramesh Bhatkar passes away; Vijay Gutte, Supriya Pilgaonkar fondly remember him


Veteran actor Ramesh Bhatkar, best known for his role in investigative series Commander, passed away on February 4 after battling lung cancer. He was 69. Apart from doing theatre, Bhatkar was also associated with the Hindi and Marathi entertainment industry.

Bhatkar featured in DD Metro's Hello Inspector, Marathi TV show Damini and several other television series. Reports suggest that Bhatkar was battling cancer for more than one and a half year and undergoing treatment in a Mumbai hospital.

"He fought bravely as much as he could. But in the last one month, he was in tremendous pain and we all were worried. He was in ICU for the last fifteen days," actor Jaywant Wadkar told PTI.

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[caption id="attachment_208019" align="aligncenter" width="759"] File photo of Ramesh Bhatkar[/caption]

After Vikramaditya Motwane’s Bhavesh Joshi Superhero in 2018, Bhatkar was last seen in Vijay Gutte’s The Accidental Prime Minister, in which he was cast as former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. The news of Bhatkar's death has upset his friends and colleagues including Vijay Gutte, Supriya Pilgaonkar and Neena Kulkarni, who fondly remembered him after speaking to a leading daily.

“We shot his scenes last June in Delhi in single takes. We had cast him because we needed a Marathi actor who resembled Prithviraj Chavan and he fit the part. He was always smiling on the set,” Vijay told the daily.

Supriya Pilgaonkar didn’t work with Bhatkar but has been friends with him for a pretty long time. “He was a social person and treated everyone like family. He and his wife (Mridula) would attend my plays and give me feedback. He helped me understand my husband (Sachin Pilgaonkar) better,” Supriya told the daily.

Bhatkar was Neena Kulkarni’s husband Dilip Kulkarni’s friend. “Ramesh also had an ear for music. He was good friends with my husband, Dilip Kulkarni, who passed away 15 years ago. When Dilip was in the ICU, Ramesh would be there all the time, waiting. He was a good soul and a handsome man. I worked with him in Sawat Majhi Ladki (1993), besides other films. My condolences to Mridula, who is a renowned judge and looked after him wonderfully,” Neena told the daily.

Ramesh Bhatkar is survived by his wife Mridula and son Harshavardhan.