Actor Kavi Kumar Azad, who played Dr Hathi in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, died on Monday after a "massive cardiac arrest", says the show's creator Asit Kumar Modi. He was 46.
"He was brought dead by his brother and a few more people to our hospital at 12.10 p.m. (Monday). He was 46 years old. Going by his history, he had respiratory problems," Ravi Hirwani, centre head, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road, told media.
Modi said the shooting of the show for Monday was cancelled after the news of the actor's demise.
"We as a team are yet to discuss about the upcoming episodes and his replacement. We weren't expecting this," said Modi.
In a statement to media, he said: "We are very sad to inform the loss of our senior actor Kavi Kumar Azad. He was playing the character of Dr Hathi in 'Taarak Mehta...'. We lost him to a massive cardiac arrest today."
"He was an amazing actor and a very positive person. He truly loved the show and always came for the shoot even if he was not feeling well. He called today morning saying that he is not well and will not be able to come for shoot. And later we got the news that he passed away. We are all too numb to say anything," added the creator.
Actor Samay Shah, who plays Gogi in the sitcom, described Kavi as a "sweet and kind" person.
"He always motivated me to work hard. He also has an eating joint called Kusum Rolls. He used to ask me to get him Jain food and I used to tell him to include Jain food in Kusum Rolls' menu," Samay told media.
"His death news came as a shock to all of us. It happened suddenly. He used to feel unwell on the set sometimes. He used to be down with fever or have weakness. But he never let the show's shooting get affected. He used to shoot his part first," he added.