Sulochana Latkar, Renowned Screen Mother Passes Away at 94, PM Modi condoles

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Mumbai, Jun 04, 2023, IANS

Sulochana Latkar, a veteran actress renowned for her portrayals of onscreen mothers to numerous stars, has passed away at the age of 94 in Mumbai on Sunday (June 4).

With a career spanning over six decades, Sulochana appeared in more than 250 Hindi and 50 Marathi films, leaving an indelible mark on Indian cinema. 

Her demise has been mourned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who expressed his condolences and acknowledged her significant contributions to the cultural heritage of the nation.

"The passing of Sulochana Ji leaves a big void in the world of Indian cinema. Her unforgettable performances have enriched our culture and have endeared her to people across generations. Her cinematic legacy will live on through her works. Condolences to her family. Om Shanti," Modi tweeted.

Sulochana, often compared to her contemporary Nirupa Roy as one of the most recognizable onscreen mothers, played the maternal figure to several leading actors, including Dev Anand and Jackie Shroff.

Her versatility allowed her to seamlessly transition from lead roles to supporting characters and motherly roles, captivating audiences throughout her career.

Born on July 30, 1928, in the village of Khadaklat in Belagavi (now in Karnataka), Sulochana made her debut in the film industry in 1946.

She garnered acclaim for her early performances in Marathi films such as "Sasurvas," "Vahinichya Bangdya," "Meeth Bhakar," "Sangtye Aika," and "Dhakti Jau," among others.

Among her notable Hindi films was her role in the Bimal Roy classic, "Bandini" (1963), which remains a memorable piece of cinema.

Sulochana's filmography includes a wide array of movies, including "Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai," "Duniya," "Amir Garib," "Baharon Ke Sapne," "Kati Patang," "Mere Jeevan Saathi," "Pyar Mohabbat," "Johny Mera Naam," "Warrant," "Joshila," "Doli," "Prem Nagar," "Aakraman," "Bhola Bhala," "Tyaag," "Aashiq Hoon Baharaon Ka," "Adhikar," "Nai Roshni," "Aaye Din Bahar Ke," "Aaye Milan Ki Bela," "Ab Dilli Dur Nahin," "Majboor," "Gora Aur Kala," "Devar," "Kahani Kismat Ki," "Talaash," and "Azaad."

Throughout her illustrious career, Sulochana portrayed the onscreen mother to numerous stars, including Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Rajendra Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Nutan, Asha Parekh, Waheeda Rehman, Zeenat Aman, and Tanuja, among others.

Recognizing her contributions to Indian cinema, Sulochana received several accolades. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 1999, the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, and the esteemed "Maharashtra Bhushan Award" by the Maharashtra government, the highest honor of the state.

Sulochana, a familiar face in Prabhadevi, was admitted to Sushrusha Hospital for age-related ailments, where she peacefully passed away on Sunday evening.

Her demise has been mourned by prominent leaders, including Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ajit Pawar, NCP President Sharad Pawar, Congress State President Nana Patole, and Shiv Sena-UBT leaders.

The film industry, both Bollywood and Marathi, also paid tribute to Sulochana, recognizing her immense contributions and expressing their grief on social media platforms.

Her funeral, scheduled for Monday, will be held with full state honors, paying homage to her remarkable career and her lasting impact on Indian cinema. (Edited)