Farrukh Jaffer, who most recently appeared in Gulabo Sitabo as Amitabh Bachchan’s wife Fatima Begum, died on Friday in Lucknow. She was 88 years old at the time.
Shaaz Ahmad, Jaffer’s grandson, shared the news on Twitter. He tweeted, “My grandmother and wife of Freedom fighter, Ex MLC Mr S.M.Jaffar and Veteran Actress Mrs Farrukh Jaffar passed away today at 7 pm in lucknow.”
Farrukh Jaffer was born in a zamindar family in Jaunpur in 1933. She came to Lucknow at the age of 16 after marrying Syed Muhammad Jaffer, a journalist and freedom fighter who encouraged her to study and work in theatre and movies.
Jaffer earned a position at All India Radio after graduating from Lucknow University. She went on to become one of AIR Lucknow’s first female broadcasters. But, in 1966, she left her employment to assist her widowed mother in caring for their agricultural holdings in Jaunpur. After her husband’s posting to Delhi, she went to Delhi and joined AIR’s Urdu service, as well as attending Ebrahim Alkazi’s acting courses.
Farrukh Jaffer made her screen debut in Muzaffar Ali’s classic Umrao Jaan (1981), as Rekha’s mother. After 23 years, she was seen in her second film Swades (2004), which was followed by Peepli Live, Chakravyuh, Sultan, and Tanu Weds Manu. She also starred in Narayan Chauhan’s Ammaa ki Boli as the lead.
In fact, in the previous 20 years, Jaffer has appeared in over a dozen films, including Gulabo Sitabo. She became the oldest winner in the acting category when she received the Best Supporting Actress Filmfare Award at the age of 88 for the Shoojit Sircar directed film.
Mehrunisa, Raks, Kundan Nandy’s next project, and a few short films starring the actress are still in the works.