Veteran Goan actress Ashalata Wabgaonkar, who had worked in a number of Marathi, Hindi and Konkani films, died on early Tuesday morning at a private hospital here after battling COVID-19, hospital authorities said.
She was 79.
Wabgaonkar was also a noted Marathi theatre personality and had featured in several plays.
The actress had tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to the private hospital on September 17 where she was diagnosed with bilateral pneumonia, a senior doctor from the medical facility said.
“Her condition worsened on Monday evening and she was put on ventilator support. She breathed her last today (Tuesday) morning,”
The actress was in Satara in western Maharashtra for shooting of a Marathi TV serial.
Marathi actress Alka Kubal, who was with her during the shoot, said the shooting had been going on for the last one month.
“Till yesterday, she was talking to us and suddenly she slipped into a coma. She was then put on ventilator support, but died early Tuesday morning…,” Kubal said.
Condolences poured in on the death of the veteran actress, who had a decades-long career in films.
Expressing grief over Wabgaonkar’s death, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray paid rich tributes to the actress and described her as a versatile artist.
“We have lost a versatile actress who left her mark in Marathi theatre, films and the Hindi film industry with her performances,” Thackeray said.
Prominent personalities from Hindi and Marathi cinema offered their heartfelt condolences over the death of Wabgaonkar.
Legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar said she shared a warm relationship with Wabgaonkar and is deeply saddened by her demise.
“I am very sad to hear the news of the very famous actress Ashalata Wabgaonkar ji’s death. We honoured her with the Dinanath Pratishthan award. We had a very good relationship. May God grant her soul peace,” Mangeshkar wrote on Twitter.
Shabana Azmi, who has worked with the late actor in 1980 film ‘Apne Paraye’, also mourned her death.
“Deeply saddened. I had the pleasure of working with #Ashalataji in Basu Chatterjee’s #Apne Paraye and she was a delight to work with. Condolences to the family. RIP,” Azmi said.
Actor Renuka Shahane said, “Today has been a frustrating day. COVID took a very beautiful life. Ashalata Tai merged into infinity. Extremely kind, loving, sensitive, great artist. She would always bless me and call me baby. May the soul rest of Ashalata Tai rest in peace. A heartfelt tribute,” Shahane tweeted in Marathi.