Prayag Raj Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More

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Hometown: Prayagraj
Death Cause: Age Related Illness
Age: 88 Years

Prayag Raj

Full namePrayag Raj Sharma [1]The Times of India
Other NamePrayag Raaj Sharma [2]Latestly
Profession(s)• Writer
• Director
• Actor
DebutDialogue Writer: Phool Bane Angaare (1963)
Poster of the film 'Phool Bane Angaare' (1963)
Director: Kundan (1972)
Poster of the film 'Kundan' (1972)
Actor (as a child artist): Aag (1948)
Poster of the film 'Aag' (1948)
Last FilmDeewana Mastana (1997) as an additional screenplay writer
Poster of the film Deewana Mastana
Personal Life
Date of BirthYear, 1935
BirthplaceAllahabad, United Provinces, British India (now Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India)
Date of Death23 September 2023
Place of DeathBandra, Mumbai
Age (at the time of death) 88 Years
Death CauseAge-related illness [3]The Economic Times
Nationality• British Indian (1935-1947)
• Indian (1947-2023)
HometownAllahabad (now Prayagraj)
SchoolHe completed his schooling in Mumbai.
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Widower
Wife/SpousePushpa Raaj (writer; deceased in 2008)

Note: Pushpa's real name was Rabiya Khatoon. [4]The Times of India
ChildrenSon(s)- 2
• Aditya Raaj (assistant director)
• Rahul Raaj (dubbing artist)
ParentsFather- Ram Das Azad (poet)

Some Lesser Known Facts About Prayag Raj

  • Prayag Raj (1935-2003) was an Indian writer, director, and actor who is known for working in films like Ponga Pandit (1975), Coolie (1983), and Gair Kaanooni (1989). He died on 23 September 2023 at his residence in Bandra due to age-related illness.
  • He was born in Allahabad but shifted to Mumbai after his father’s death.
  • Prayag started working at the age of nine to support the family’s financial situation. He used to work as a child actor with Prithvi Theatres in their stage productions.
  • During his sixteen-year-long journey with Prithvi Theatre, he used to write and direct plays. He also completed his formal education while working there.
  • At the theatre, he made a good bond with actor Shashi Kapoor who was the same age as Prayag.
  • Prayag used to play different types of roles on stage and off stage as well. For a long time, he was an understudy to actors Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor. He also used to practice under filmmakers M.Sadiq and Lekh Tandon in the evening.
  • He made his debut as an actor in the film Aag in 1948 and then appeared in the film Awara in 1951.
  • He made cameos in many films including Professor (1962), The Guru (1969), Sachaa Jhutha (1970), My Love (1970), Bombay Talkie (1970), and Prateeksha (1993). Poster of the film 'Professor' (1962)
  • He was more inclined towards writing and filmmaking. Lekh Tandon and Shammi Kapoor gave Prayag an opportunity to work on a project as a writer, but it never got released.
  • Thereafter, he started receiving offers as a writer, and his first project was Phool Bane Angaare in 1963 in which he wrote some dialogues.
  • He got associated with the producer duo Ismail Merchant and James Ivory after working in the film The Householder in 1963. In the film, he wrote the dialogue for the Hindi version of the film.
  • He was an assistant director for the film Jab Jab Phool Khile in 1965. In 1968, he wrote additional dialogues for the film Jhuk Gaya Aasman. In 1968, he worked on the film Juaari as a dialogue writer.
  • He worked with them on the film Shakespeare Wallah in 1965. While working on the film, he composed and wrote a song, ‘Dil Dhadke’ that was included in the film. He was also given special credit for the song. He worked with them for many years on films including In Custody (1994) and Cotton Mary (1999). In the film Cotton Mary, he also worked as a second-unit director. Poster of the film 'Cotton Mary' (1999)
  • As a writer, he wrote more than 100 films. Some of them include Raampur Ka Lakshman (1972), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Geraftaar (1985), Gangaa Jamunaa Saraswathi (1988), and Hero Hindustani (1998).
  • His directorial debut film Kundan (1972) was not a success, but according to Parayag, the film earned thrice the investment.
  • He received recognition after he directed the film Coolie in 1983.

    Prayag Raj (centre) with Amitabh Bachchan during the shoot of the film 'Coolie'

    Prayag Raj (centre) with Amitabh Bachchan during the shoot of the film ‘Coolie’

  • He directed other hit films including Paap Aur Punya (1974), Ponga Pandit (1975), Chor Sipahee (1977), Hifazat (1987), Gair Kaanooni (1989), and Oonch Neech Beech (1989).
  • He lent his voice to songs including Yahoo! for the film Junglee (1961), Affu Khuda for the song Affo Khudaa Hum Ko Tum Pe Pyar Aya for the film Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), Accident Ho Gaya (Alla Rakha) for the film Coolie (1983). He has created a CD in which he recorded the tunes used in 1940s Prithvi theatre plays. He made some changes in the notations and interludes of the tunes. The CD was titled Memorable Songs From The Plays Of Prithvi Theatre.

  • In an interview, while talking about singing, he said that he wanted to continue, but when he realized that there was a lot of struggle in the field, he quit it.
  • He passed away on 23 September 2023 at his residence in Bandra. According to his son Aditya, he was suffering from many ailments including heart disease and age-related issues. His last rites were performed at Shivaji Park crematorium in Dadar.
  • After his demise, actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor and Shabana Azmi took to social media to pay tribute. Anil Kapoor shared a photograph with him from the sets of the film Hifazat and wrote,

    I’m truly saddened by the loss of the late Prayag Raj. Working with him on ‘Hifazat’ was a privilege. May his soul rest in peace.”