Alyque Padamsee

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Early life

Sharmila Ganesan Ram, November 18, 2018: The Times of India

Padamsee was born into a traditional wealthy Kutchi Khoja Muslim family in 1928 and made his stage debut in the play “Merchant of Venice” directed by his elder brother Bobby at the age of seven.


A career spanning 60 years

Sharmila Ganesan Ram, November 18, 2018: The Times of India

Veteran adman and theatre personality Alyque Padamsee was the brain behind several iconic advertisement campaigns. Padamsee was the former Chief Executive of advertising firm Lintas in India and helped it become one of the top creative agencies in the country. He later became the regional coordinator for Lintas in South Asia.

At the agency, he created iconic campaigns such as 'Lalitaji' for Surf, 'Hamara Bajaj' for the auto major, 'Cherry Charlie' for Cherry Blossom Shoe Polish, MRF's 'Muscle Man' and also the bold 'Liril' ad featuring a female model under a waterfall.

As an actor, he will be best remembered for playing Mohd Ali Jinnah in Richard Attenborough's award-winning film “Gandhi”.

In a career spanning over 60 years, he directed more than 70 plays and was known for his theatre productions like Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and Tuglaq.

Padamsee, who also championed several social issues, especially preserving the cosmopolitan character of the financial capital, was awarded the Padma Shri in 2000.

‘A genuine dude’

Sharmila Ganesan, ‘Alyque Padamsee was a genuine dude’, November 18, 2018: The Times of India

A generation felt a heady era spanning the mid-1970s to the ’mid-90s come to a close with the loss of the colourful, larger-than-life, curly-haired, jacket-clad Alyque Padamsee prone to pedalling away on his exercise bike during office meetings, conducting interviews in cars and orally punctuating his media sound bytes as he deftly straddled the twin worlds of advertising and theatre. Besides helming the agency he built for decades, Padamsee — who made his theatre debut at age seven in Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’ directed by his eldest brother Sultan Bobby Padamsee — went on to direct several drama productions including ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Evita’ and ‘Tughlaq’. Awarded the Padma Shri in 2000 for his contribution to arts and later Sangeet Natak Akademi award, he leaves a legacy that has prompted Twitter farewells from PM Narendra Modi who acknowledged him as a “wonderful communicator”, President Ram Nath Kovind to various actors.

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