- Praveen Kumar Sobti, who is originally from Punjab, rose to fame after portraying ‘Bheem’ in ‘Mahabharata.’
- Apart from acting, he was a talented athlete who excelled at hammer and disc throwing.
- He won medals at both the Asian and Commonwealth Games, and he even competed in the Olympics.
Praveen Kumar Sobti, an actor best known for his portrayal of Bheem in BR Chopra’s mythological series ‘Mahabharata,’ died on Monday night. He was 74 years old.
The actor apparently had a heart attack. He died at his Ashok Vihar home in Delhi.
“He had a chronic chest infection. At night, when he started feeling uneasy, we called the doctor at home. He passed away between 10-10.30 PM following a cardiac arrest,” Praveen’s relative informed the news agency PTI.
He is survived by his wife, a daughter, two younger brothers, and a sister.
Praveen was known for his huge physique and appeared in various Bollywood films as a goon, henchman, and bodyguard. The actor and sportsman, who was born in Punjab, stood 6’6″ tall.
Praveen used to be a hammer and discus thrower before becoming an actor. He had four Asian Games gold medals to his name (2 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze). He also won a silver medal in Hammer Throw at the 1966 Commonwealth Games. He also represented India in two Olympic Games (1968 Mexico Games and 1972 Munich Games).
He was also a recipient of the Arjuna Award for his outstanding contribution in sports.
Praveen’s athletic credentials aided him in getting the position of Deputy Commandant in the Border Security Force (BSF).
The tweet said, “Director General & All Ranks of BSF condole the untimely passing of Praveen Kumar Sobti, former Deputy Commandant, Arjuna Awardee, two-time Olympian (1968 Mexico Games and 1972 Munich Games) & four-time Asian Games medallist (2 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze).”
Praveen’s track and field career ended in the late 1970s, and he transitioned to a career in show business.
Praveen Kumar mentioned signing his first Bollywood film in Kashmir while competing in a tournament in an interview with The Times of India. Ravikant Nagaich directed the film, in which he had no dialogue.
He also starred in ‘Raksha’ in 1981, and he had several other roles after that, but his most remembered role in Bollywood was as Mukhtaar Singh in Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Shahenshah.’
Praveen has appeared in films such as Zabardast, Khudgarz, Karishma Kudrat Kaa, Singhasan, Mohabbat Ke Dushman, Yudh, Loha, and Ilaaka. However, his portrayal of Bheem in BR Chopra’s ‘Mahabharata’ made him a household name. Praveen, like the other cast members, became synonymous with the role he played in the hit television show.
Praveen tried a political career in 2013, running for the Delhi Assembly Elections on an Aam Aadmi Party ticket. However, he was defeated by Mahender Nagpal of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In the aftermath of his defeat, he joined the BJP in 2014.
In 2021, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the Punjab government for not providing him with a pension.