G.P. Sippy, producer of Bollywood blockbuster “Sholay” (Flames), died Dec. 25 in Mumbai. He was 93.
Born in Hyderabad, Sind, before the partition of India by the Brits, Gopaldas Parmanand Sippy started out as a director with 1955’s “Marine Drive” and followed it up later in the year with “Adil-e-Jahangir” with an all-star cast including Pradeep Kumar, Meena Kumari and Durga Khote.
As a producer, he made such hits as 1968’s “Brahmachari,” starring Shammi Kapoor; 1971’s “Andaz,” with Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Simi Garewal and Hema Malini; 1972’s “Seeta aur Geeta,” starring Hema Malini in a dual role with Dharmendraand Sanjeev Kumar.
But 1975’s “Sholay,” starring Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Bhaduri, Hema Malini and Amjad Khan, and directed by his son Ramesh, was the pinnacle of his career.
Loosely based on spaghetti Westerns like “The Magnificent Seven,” the film ran for years, earning $60 million in box office and breaking all previous Bollywood pic records.
Other credits include “Saagar” (1985), “Raju ban gaya Gentleman” (1992), “Aatish” (1992), “Zamaana Deewana” (1995).
His last film was 1997’s “Hamesha,” starring Saif Ali Khan and Kajol.
He was also a four-time head of the Film and TV Producers Guild.
Survivors include his son, director Ramesh Sippy.