Viju Khote, the 77-year-old veteran actor who gained popularity for his role of Kaalia in Sholay  and Dadaji in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, passed away this morning due to multiple organ failure. 

Tribune India

But his roles on the big screen and his work in theatre will carry on his legacy. I still remember his impeccable comic timing alongside Bhalla in Andaz Apna Apna where the two played Teja’s minions.

For me, his most unforgettable dialogue remains Galti Se Mistake Ho Gaya, a phrase which I still use on an everyday basis. From his birthday party which led to the sharbat confusion, Sir Aapne Bataya Nahi Aaj Mera Birthday Hai? to helping Bhalla find the Bichoo Ka Zeher that literally killed no one.

Viju’s roles have always been away from the limelight, never demanding attention yet remaining memorable purely because of his acting skills. He probably had no more than 30 minutes of screen time in Sholay, but have you ever thought of the film and not thought of Sardar, Maine Aapka Namak Khaya Hai Sardar? He introduced the audience to the concept of Gabbar even before the character made an appearance and later died for speaking up against him. Making an impact in such few dialogues is what set apart Viju’s screen’s presence.

Whether be his funnier than funny role as Vitthal Bapurao in Zabaan Sambhalke or his role of Shambu Kaka in Golmaal 3, he has always carved a niche for himself.


After a 55 year long career, his passing away is an end of an era. He will always remain a part of my childhood and alive in the hearts of Bollywood lovers around the world.