The Office Actor Ranjit Chowdhry Dies at 65, Remembered as 'a True Original'

Ranjit Chowdhry, an actor who appeared in The Office, has died. He was 65.

The actor died in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, The Economic Times and The India Tribune reported Thursday.

Chowdhry appeared in two episodes of The Office in season 5 of the NBC sitcom, where he played a telemarketer named Vikram opposite Steve Carell‘s Michael Scott.

In his two-episode arc, Michael recruits him to work at the Michael Scott Paper Company along with Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) and Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak).

The actor had reportedly planned to be back in New York with his family this month but was unable to travel due to the coronavirus epidemic. While in India he fell ill and died during emergency surgery, The India Tribune reported.

Chowdhry’s half-sister, Raell Padamsee, shared the news of his death on Instagram Wednesday, announcing that a celebration of life gathering will be held for the actor on May 5.

Director Sanjay Gupta, who worked with Chowdhry on the 2002 movie Kaante, shared a tribute to his late friend on Twitter Wednesday.

“RIP my friend Ranjit Chaudhury. Had the pleasure of working with you in KAANTE,” Gupta wrote. “Thank you for the joy you gave us through your performances. KHATTA MEETHA is my favourite. Keep smiling wherever you are.”

Director Rahul Dholakia also remembered Chowdhry on Twitter, saying he was a “big fan” of the actor’s work.

“Great comic timing & Good actor,” Dholakia wrote.

Actor Rahul Khanna said that he was “gutted” to hear of Chowdhry’s death.

“Despite his diminutive frame, he was a towering icon of Indian diaspora cinema and a master of his craft,” Khanna shared. “By far, one of the most endearingly quirky and acerbically witty people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. A true original!”

“This guy made magic out of nothing, filling paper thin roles with so much depth,” actress Poorna Jagannathan wrote on Twitter. “I always saw my father when I was with him- the same humor, stubbornness and brilliance. Heartbroken, dear friend. RIP.”

In addition to The Office, Chowdrhry appeared in other TV shows and movies including Bollywood/Hollywood, Cosby, Prison Break, Girls, and Law & Order: SVU.

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