Ace lensman Rajadhyaksha dies of massive heart attack

MUMBAI — Ace celebrity photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha, died of a massive heart attack on Tuesday morning at his Mumbai home. He was 62.


Nithin Belle

Published: Wed 14 Sep 2011, 9:24 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:43 AM

The photographer began life as an adman at Lintas India, writing copy and heading the photo services department. His cousin, author and socialite, Shobhaa De, encouraged him to pursue portrait photography, using images of Bollywood stars and upcoming actors in her magazine, Celebrity. His first subjects included Shabana Azmi and Tina Munim in the early 1980s.

After quitting his ad job in 1987, Gautam set up his own photography outfit, doing fashion portfolios and clicking Bollywood stars. Over the past quarter century, the photographer worked with almost all the leading Bollywood actors. His Bollywood images featured in India’s top film magazines.

Gautam brought out a coffee table book, Faces, featuring portraits of 45 Bollywood stars, including Aishwarya Rai. Earlier, in 1992, he wrote his first screenplay and launched Kajol’s career in Bekhudi. He also wrote the screenplay for a Madhuri Dixit film.

On Tuesday, there was an outburst of comments by celebrities and stars on social media, as they described their association with the photographer. “Gautam Rajadhyaksha the most gentlest of humans, and one of the finest photographers in the industry, a friend, family favourite,” Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan wrote on Twitter.

“RIP. Too shocked to learn of Gautam! Were talking about him just the other day. Many of his pictures adorn our house and our books.”

“Possibly one of the sweetest and most gentle people you would ever meet,” tweeted Bachchan’s son, Abhishek. “Rest in peace Gautam, you will be greatly missed.”

Shabana said that anything she wished to say would sound trite and wouldn’t match up. “Goodbye dearest friend...You were loved so.”

Renowned playback singer Lata Mangeshkar said Gautam had sound knowledge of classical ragas. “He talks to us on music and also explained photography to me,” she said, noting that the photographer also liked opera.

Filmmaker Karan Johar said Gautam was one of his “most favourite people in the fraternity...funny,sensitive and always positive..I love you Gautam and I miss u.” According to Karan, when he was ‘hugely overweight’, Gautam told him: “Darling...not that it makes a difference but try to give me your left may help!”

He described the photographer as “the one man who captured every movie star with his lens and his heart...RIP will remain forever!”

Said celebrity author Shobaa De about her cousin: “My darling Gautam Rajadhyaksha no more. Saddened beyond belief. Farewell confidante-cousin. Thank u 4 your generous love nd soft focus memories.”


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