Saeed Jaffrey, a British actor, who hailed from India, acted in various British, American and Indian movies. He is known for Shatranj Ke Khilari, which was released in 1977, The Man Who Would Be King in 1975, A Passage to India in 1984, Gandhi in 1982 and My Beautiful Launderette in 1985. He was born in Malerkotla, Punjab, India on the 8th of January 1929. He went to the University of Allahabad where he completed his post-graduate degree in history. He also attended St. George's College, then Mussoorie, then Aligarh Muslim University and began his career by starting a theatre company named Unity Theatre, in New Delhi. He played a major part in the productions of Christopher Fry, Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, and Wilde. He completed his studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and then he went to the United States on scholarship and from there he got a degree in drama from The Catholic University of America. He also starred in many Bollywood films in during the 90s. For television he worked in Tandoori Nights (1985-1987), Gangsters (1975-1978), The Jewel in the Crown (1984), and Little Napoleons (1994).
His co-partners were legendary Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Michael Caine. He worked in many popular cinemas directed by highly acclaimed Richard Attenborough, James Ivory and Satyajit Ray. He was the first Indian responsible for displaying Shakespearean plays on a tour of the United States. He is also known as the first Asian to receive a British and Canadian Academy Awards nominations. He is also the first Indian to receive the Order of the British Empire for his lifetime contributions to drama. He also served All India Radio as the Radio Director and The Director of Publicity and Advertising at Government of India Tourist Office in U.S (1958-1960). In 1998, his autobiography Saeed: An actor's journey, was published.
He died in a hospital in London on 14th November 2015, after collapsing from a brain hemorrhage at his home. He was posthumously conferred with Padma Shri award in January 2016.