Ranjit Chowdhry, a Bollywood actor who appeared in seasons four and five of The Office in the United States, has died at 64.
According to the Times of India, the New York-based actor traveled to India earlier this year for dental care. He had intended to return to the United States on April 8 but could not do so owing to coronavirus lockdowns.
Chowdhry developed a perforated ulcer in his bowel on April 14 and underwent emergency surgery in Mumbai, according to Indian theatrical star Dolly Thakore. He died the next day at 4 a.m.
According to Thakore, a funeral was held this week, with close family members in attendance. Chowdhry’s life will be commemorated on May 5.
Raell Padamsee, Chowdhry’s half-sister, verified the news on her Instagram page.
Chowdhry began his acting career in Bollywood films in the late 1970s. Chowdhry obtained many acting opportunities in the United States after writing and starring in the 1991 Canadian film Sam & Me, about a young Indian immigrant who strikes an odd connection with an elderly Jewish man.
Among these was a role as telemarketing Vikram in Seasons 4 and 5 of NBC’s The Office and roles in US dramas such as Prison Break and Law & Order: SVU.
He also appeared in Queen Latifah’s 2006 romance comedy Last Holiday.
After learning of Chowdrhy’s death, Bollywood actor Rahul Khanna led tributes to him.
“It breaks my heart to learn of #RanjitChowdhry’s passing,” he added. “Despite his diminutive stature, he was a towering icon and master of Indian diaspora cinema. I’ve ever met by far one of the most endearingly weird and acerbically hilarious persons. A genuine original!”
Andy Buckley, who played David Wallace in The Office, died in India, according to his Twitter account. Ranjit Chowdhry is a writer from India. On The Office, he portrayed Vikram. He was great on the show and a nice guy. Ranjit [sic], rest in peace.”
According to actor Poorna Jagannathan, “This guy made magic out of nothing, filling paper-thin roles with such depth. When I was with him, I saw my father–the same sense of humor, tenacity, and genius. You have broken my heart, my friend. RIP.”