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Kavi Kumar Azaad, breathed his last this morning at Mira Road Wockhardt Hospital, the show’s producer Asit Kumarr Modi, said in a statement. The shoot of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah at Film City has been cancelled after the team learnt of his sudden demise.

Asit Kumarr Modi, TMKOC’s maker, said, “We are very sad to inform loss of our senior actor Kavi Kumar Azaad. He was playing the character of Dr Hathi in TMKOC. We lost him to a massive cardiac arrest today morning. He was an amazing actor and a very positive person. He truly Loved the show and always came for the shoot even if he was not feeling well. He called today morning that he is not well and will not be able to come for shoot. And later we got the news that he passed away. We are all too numb to say anything,”

Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah has been entertaining the viewers for the past eight years through its slice of life stories. Set against the backdrop of Gokuldham society in suburban Mumbai, the SAB TV show chronicles the lives of the members living in the society and has a hilarious take on the situations faced by its lead protagonist Jethalal Gada (Dilip Joshi) and the people around him.

Azaad replaced actor Nirmal Soni as Dr Hathi, who played the role for a year since the show’s inception, in 2009. He will be truly missed! Our condolences to the family.