Bangalore: You "hated" him but couldn`t ignore him. Henchman, goon, fighter, gambler, bandit, hitman, gangster: Australian-born Bob Christo, who died Sunday, played all this and more with elan in over 200 Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films.
Christo, who died of a heart attack, was admitted to Bangalore`s Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research Friday and breathed his last Sunday. He was 72.
A qualified civil engineer, Christo had come to India to meet actress Parveen Babi and ended up getting a break in Bollywood with actor-filmmaker Sanjay Khan`s film ‘Abdullah’ in 1980.
After that there was no looking back for the actor, who spoke broken Hindi. He also travelled across various countries on modelling assignments.
Some of his popular Hindi films included ‘Qurbani’ (1980), ‘Kaalia’(1981), ‘Nastik’ (1983), ‘Mard’(1985), ‘Mr India’ (1987), ‘Agneepath’ (1990) ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’ (1993) and ‘Gumraah’ (1993). He even played a British officer in some period films.
He carved a place for himself not only among older viewers but also among younsters. One of the scenes from "Mr India", where he gets beaten up by a Hanuman statue is even popular with today`s generation.
Christo bid adieu to films in 2000 and later on moved to Bangalore and started working in Sanjay Khan`s Golden Palms Spa as a yoga instructor. He worked their for three years but left them six years back, after which nothing much was known about him.
Actor Abhishek Bachchan remembered the time he spent with Christo as a child when he used to visit the sets of his father Amitabh Bachchan`s films and called him a gentleman.
"Just heard some really sad news that Bob Christo passed away. Shocked! He was a very sweet and gentle man," he wrote on microblogging site Twitter.
"Remember spending a lot of time with him as a child on my fathers sets. Great memories of him. R.I.P," he posted.
Christo had acted with Amitabh in films like ‘Jaadugar’ (1980), ‘Kaalia’(1981), ‘Namak Halal’ (1982), ‘Mard’ (1985) and ‘Agneepath’(1990).
The actor, who is survived by his wife Nargis and two sons, was planning to make a comeback in Bollywood with an Akshay Kumar film. He was also roped in for some South Indian films, including one with Malayalam superstar Mohanlal.