17 Nov 2018 18:22 IST

Ad guru Alyque Padamsee passes away

The brain behind several iconic advertisement campaigns, including Liril and Hamara Bajaj, dies at 90

Veteran adman and theatre personality Alyque Padamsee, who was the brain behind several iconic advertisement campaigns, died following an illness here on Saturday, his family said. He was 90.

“He passed away at HN Reliance Hospital early morning due to an illness. I’m deeply saddened by the loss,” Dolly Thakore, Padamsee’s second wife, told PTI.

Sources in the industry said Padamsee died peacefully early morning. According to them, the funeral will take place at 12 noon on Sunday in Worli in Mumbai.

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.

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. 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.

Condolences started pouring in soon after his death. President Ram Nath Kovind said he was a “creative guru” and a “doyen” of the ad industry, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered him as a “wonderful communicator“.

“Sorry to hear of the passing of Alyque Padamsee, creative guru, theatre personality and doyen of our ad industry. My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues,” Kovind said in his tweet.

Modi said, “Saddened by the demise of Shri Alyque Padamsee. A wonderful communicator, his extensive work in world of advertising will always be remembered. His contribution to theatre was also noteworthy. My thoughts are with his family and friends in this sad hour.”

Congress leader Milind Deora said Padamsee was a “renowned actor and activist who shared my love for Mumbai”. “We worked together on several initiatives & despite his age & ill health, I always found him energetic & uncompromising in pursuit of his ideals,” Deora tweeted.

Photographer-turned-movie producer Atul Kasbekar credited Padamsee for giving him a break. “Alyque Padamsee was a giant of Indian advertising and I had the privilege of working with him. My career had taken off thanks to the work given in Lintas those days. I am eternally grateful for that. I admire his ability to multi-task and be extremely proficient in different things,” Kasbekar told PTI.

Calling Padamsee a maverick, unique and uncompromising, actor Boman Irani too credited him for giving him a break in theatre.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O’Brien tweeted, “Goodbye, Alyque Padamsee. #RIP For our generation, you were the #advertising Creative Director we could only aspire to be. Your Big Ideas (like this commercial) will live forever.” He tagged an Liril soap advertisement.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Preeti Sharma Menon said Padamsee was a mentor to her outfit and added, “The world knows him for his creative abilities, but I know him for his values, for his ability to stand up for causes, his ability to inspire people to fight for justice.”