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“I’m shocked to have lost my dear friend Rituraj Singh, a classic co-actor and a happy-go-lucky man,” shares Amit Behl

A little-known fact that Rituraj has acted in a lead role with co-stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Arundhati Roy, and Divya Seth in this Indian-English (TV) movie ‘In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones’ (1989) directed by Pradip Krishen.     



Amit Behl and Rituraj Singh

By Chaitanya Padukone

The telly-biz fraternity as also movie-industry folks were shocked with disbelief to hear the tragic news that popular TV star and Hindi movie actor Rituraj Singh – Chandrawat Sisodia died of cardiac arrest at 59 in the early hours of February 20.

Actor Amit Behl, also a good friend of Rituraj Singh, had earlier confirmed the news to Cine Blitz and shared that Rituraj faced a cardiac arrest at 12:30 am on February 20. The CINTAA General Secretary also informed that “Rituraj was hospitalised some time ago for treatment of pancreas and after returning home had some cardiac complications and passed away,” disclosed Behl.

Work-wise, Rituraj Singh was recently seen in the role of Yashpal in the Rupali Ganguly – starrer popular TV series ‘Anupamaa’. The ‘late’ versatile actor has had an illustrious career in both TV shows and in a variety of film roles. Singh has worked in several landmark TV series including ‘Banegi Apni Baat’. Incidentally, he co-starred in it with R Madhavan, and late actor Irrfan Khan among many others.


Young Rituraj Singh

As a senior entertainment journalist, I have known the affable, jovial “Ritz” (Rituraj) ever since he hosted the game show ‘Tol Mol Ke Bol’ (1993) and when he was featured in the iconic TV show ‘Banegi Apni Baat’ (1993) We met off and on at various TV or filmy events or I even met him a couple of times in his residential area where he would be taking his doggie for a brisk evening walk.

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Some eight months ago, Rituraj attended the premiere at a Juhu theatre of this Yogesh Verma-directed thriller movie ‘A Winter Tale at Shimla (2023) where he played an interesting role of the hero’s supportive mature-middle aged buddy. In this movie, his close family friend actress Gauri Pradhan-Tejwani made her movie debut. Unassuming, self-effacing, and by nature Rituraj never craved to get himself written about in the news media. And he preferred a low-key profile although he had an impressive body of work to his credit. “I prefer that I let my versatile talent and roles speak for itself, instead of just my celeb-presence at events,” Ritz said to me at the movie premiere where I met him last. With his witty sense of humour he also told me (in May 2023) that he “had no hang-ups about playing middle-aged dignified characters with grey hair although in real life I am still 52 weeks away from turning a senior citizen”. This year on May 23, 2024, Rituraj would have completed 60 years, had he been still with us. Incidentally, way back in the past, Rituraj was a batch-mate of Shah Rukh Khan under celebrity acting coach Barry John and also they were both part of a Delhi-based theatre group called ‘TAG”.


Rituraj, Shah Rukh , Divya and Deepika in the English movie

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Jogging into flashback, celeb-actor Amit Behl was emotionally charged, as he recalled how he shared a close bond with Rituraj for the past 30 years.  While I was shooting for this famous TV series ‘Shanti’ (1994) I remember that popular TV star Rituraj, Tigmanshu Dhulia and two others—we used to meet every night and at ‘late’ Ravi Baswani’s house and we had such a great time.  As co-stars, Ritz and I must have acted in over eight TV shows and we even travelled together.  Until now, it was a little-known fact that Rituraj has acted in a lead role with co-stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Arundhati Roy, Divya Seth, Deepika Amin in this Indian-English (TV) movie ‘In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones’ (1989) directed by Pradip Krishen.   A staunch regular supporter of CINTAA, Rituraj was proud of his new salt-n-pepper hair and beard and he would say ‘My second innings’ in acting have begun with my grey-haired mature yet smart look. While showbiz has lost a classic senior actor, I will be missing my close friend, a happy-go-lucky, chilled-out caring gentleman,” lamented Amit Behl.