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Rajesh Vivek Upadhyay (31 January 1949 – 14 January 2016) was an Indian actor. He is best known to Hindi film audiences for his role as the astrologer Guran in Lagaan (2001) and as the postmaster Nivaran in Swades (2004). He had also played role of Vyasa, author of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, in the popular Indian series Mahabharat. He made his mark as a villain in the beginning with films like Veerana (1988) and Joshilaay (1989), often playing the role of a henchman, and later took to portraying comedic and supporting characters. His other credits include Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, What's Your Raashee? and Bunty Aur Babli. Rajesh is also noted for his roles in the historic TV series Bharat Ek Khoj and in the TV Serial Aghori. He was roped in for an ad series of Cadbury 5 Star as the father of the two sons.

Rajesh Vivek
Self-portrait photograph
Rajesh Vivek Upadhyay

(1949-01-31)31 January 1949
Died14 January 2016(2016-01-14) (aged 66)
Years active1977–2016



Vivek was born on 31 January 1949 in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh.[1] He obtained his Master of arts degree in Ancient history & Archaeology from T. D. Degree College, Jaunpur, and trained at the National School of Drama in acting. Filmmaker Shyam Benegal first introduced him in films with his film Junoon (1978).[2]

Rajesh died on 14 January 2016 at the age of 66 due to a massive heart attack while shooting for a film at Hyderabad.[3][4][2]



  1. ^ Harris M. Lentz III. Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2016 (Illustrated ed.). McFarland, 2017. p. 409. ISBN 9781476629124. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Rajesh Vivek, Astrologer Guran From Lagaan, Dies of Heart Attack". NDTV. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Rajesh Vivek dies after suffering heart attack; Lagaan actor passes away at 66 years of age". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Guran of 'Lagaan', actor Rajesh Vivek dead". Retrieved 27 March 2019.

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