New Delhi: Popular comedian and actor Raju Srivastava, who was on ventilator support for over a month, has passed away. The news was confirmed by his brother Dipoo Srivastava on Wednesday morning.
According to his family, Raju was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), after suffering a heart attack while working out at the gym. Though he underwent an angioplasty, he did not regain consciousness, though he had shown signs of improvement.
Srivastava, who has been in the entertainment industry since the 1980s, shot to fame after participating in the first season of the reality stand-up comedy show 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge' in 2005. His role as Gajodhar Bhaiya in the comedy show soon went on to become a fan favourite. He was also a participant in Big Boss Season 3.
Raju had a huge passion to be a comedy artist from his childhood and would participate in several stage programmes. Born on December 25, 1963, Satya Prakash Srivastava, who later became famous as Raju Srivastava, came from a middle-class family in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
A gifted mimic, the comedy star had his share on initial struggles before attracting notice by mimicking megastar Amitabh Bachchan's iconic baritone voice. That got him invited to stage shows both within and outside India. He has also appeared in supporting roles in Hindi films such as 'Maine Pyar Kiya', 'Baazigar', the remake of 'Bombay to Goa' and 'Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya'.
He was also the chairman of the Film Development Council Uttar Pradesh. The actor has also had a stint as a politician. After entering politics through the Samajwadi Party, he then went on to join the BJP.