Mumbai | "Anupamaa" actor Nitesh Pandey was found dead in the room of an Igatpuri hotel in rural Nashik in the early hours of Wednesday, said a police official here. He was 52.
A familiar face in TV with shows "Saaya", "Astitva...Ek Prem Kahani", and films such as "Om Shanti Om" and "Khosla Ka Ghosla" to his credit, Pandey was in Igatpuri for a shoot.
According to the official, the body has been sent for a post-mortem examination and the police have registered the Accidental Death Report (ADR) at the Igatpuri police station.
Pandey was found unconscious in his bedroom and later declared dead before admission at the hospital. During the probe police found that Pandey was alone in the hotel room when the incident was took place, the official said.
Police said preliminary investigation revealed that Pandey had ordered some food. The hotel staff got suspicious when the actor didn't open the door after the hotel staff knocked several times, the official said.
Pandey was found unconscious after the staff opened the door with the master key, they added.
"His family members have been informed about the incident and his body has been sent for post mortem. We are awaiting a medical report to know the exact cause of death. We are further probing into the matter," the official added.
Earlier in the day, Pandey's brother-in-law and producer Siddharth Nagar confirmed the actor's death.
"He went to Igatpuri yesterday for a shoot and he died around 1.30 am. I am shocked, we spoke about two-three days ago. (I don't know) how this has happened suddenly," Nagar told PTI.
According to his "Anupamaa" co-star Rushad Rana, Pandey suffered a cardiac arrest. The last rites of the actor will be held in Mumbai.
Pandey is survived by his wife Arpita and a son.
Actor Ashwin Mushran mourned Pandey's death.
"Lost a friend and a genuinely lovely person today. I'm so sorry to hear of your passing #niteshpandey. We spoke a few days ago and you said 'Let's meet Ashwin...Nahin toh zindagi bhar phone par baat karenge' (otherwise we will keep talking over phone all our lives) I guess we won't now. Travel to the other side in peace my friend," the actor said.
Commenting on the deaths of Pandey, Vaibhavi Upadhyaya and Aditya Singh Rajput, filmmaker Hansal Mehta said the industry has lost three young actors within a span of three-four days.
"Rest In Peace dear colleagues. This is such an unkind time. Prayers with their grieving families," he said.
Kritika Kamra, who worked with Pandey in the show "Kuch Toh Log Kahenge" and the upcoming series "Gyaarah Gyaarah", described the late artiste as an "effortless actor and an affable person".
"Truly shocked by his passing. Been thinking about the time I spent with him on shoot. Will miss him," Kamra tweeted.
Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit remembered Pandey as a "brilliant actor and a fun loving person". "His demise is a great loss to the film and Tv industry. My heartfelt condolences to his entire family and near ones. Om shanti," he said.
Actor-director Deven Bhojani remembered Pandey as "a friend, colleague and talented actor".