Kavi Kumar Azad, who shot to fame after playing Dr Hansraj Haathi in Sab TV's show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, passed away on Monday, July 9, in Mumbai. He died after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.
He was unwell for the past few days, but he still came to the sets of the show to complete the shooting. On Monday, he called up his team to say he won't be able to come for shooting and a few hours after that he passed away.
"We are very sad to inform loss of our senior actor Kavi Kumar Azaad. He was playing the character of Dr Hathi in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah. We lost him to a massive cardiac arrest today morning. He was an amazing actor and a very positive person," show's producer Asit Kumarr Modi said in a statement, according to Hindustan Times.
"He truly Loved the show and always came for the shoot even if he was not feeling well. He called today morning that he is not well and will not be able to come for the shoot. And later we got the news that he passed away. We are all too numb to say anything," he added.
Who was Kavi Kumar Azad? A few lesser-known facts about him
Before working in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah he acted in films like Mela, starring Aamir Khan and Twinkle Khanna and later Funtoosh.
He weighed approximately 215 kg and had health issues. In 2010, he collapsed on the sets of the show after which he was taken to a hospital on a wheelchair. He was on the ventilator when taken to the hospital.
Azad underwent surgery and lost around 80 kg. "Since the day of my surgery, I've never looked back. All my complications of swelling have gone away. I am not breathless as much anymore and yes, most importantly, I don't use the BPAP machine to sleep in the night. I have a friend who now calls me a fast walking Haathi," he had said in 2015.
He has been a part of the show a year after the show began on July 28, 2008. He replaced actor Nirmal Soni to play the part of Dr Hansraj Hathi in the popular show. This year in June, the cast and crew celebrated the show completing 2,500 episodes.
According to reports, he was a poet and used to write poems. He hailed from Bhojpur, Bihar.
"I write whenever I get the right mood. As a person, I like to spend time with children and even today I play with toys. I feel good. I always have a guitar kept at my car. I don't know how to strum but one of my friends does know. Together we go to Marine Drive at night and sing songs. It's wonderful," he told Tellychakkar in 2012.