Posted Mon, December 24, 2012 1:03pm IST

The two popular Marathi actors passed away in a road accident while on their way to Mumbai

Renowned Marathi film, TV and stage actor Anand Abhyankar and his young colleague Akshay Pendse died in a road accident on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway early Monday. The actors were returning from the shoot of Zee Marathi’s popular TV show Mala Sasu Havi in which they played father and son. Pendse’s toddler Pratyush also passed away. His wife Deepti was injured but has been discharged from hospital.

Abhyankar, 48, had acted in Hindi films and television including Mahesh Manjrekar‘s Vaastav and Jis Desh Me Ganga Rehta Hain, Saurabh Shukla’s Pappu Can’t Dance Saala and TV show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah. His recent Marathi film was the much acclaimed Balgandharva. Abhyankar had also acted in TV commercials and hit plays such as Kuryat Sada Tingalam.

Pendse, 35, had acted in theatre and a few films including Kai Dyayche Bola.

The two actors were travelling in a Wagon R when they were hit by an out-of-control Tempo that had rammed in to a road divider before smashing the car near the Urse Toll checkpost. Some reports say Abhyankar and Pendse were declared dead at the Lokmanya hospital while Pendse’s son breathed his last during treatment. But according to  investigating officer SP Mane of Wadgaon Police Station, the injured were rushed to a hospital in Nigdi, a suburb of Pune, where the actors and Pratyush succumbed to their injuries. The bodies have been kept in YCM Hospital in Pune.

Actor Swwapnil Joshi expressed his grief on Twitter, saying, “I still cannot digest it….Anand Abhyankar-Akshay Pendse no more. RIP…”. Leading Marathi director Amol Shetge said, “The entire Marathi film industry is shocked by the sudden death of the two popular actors… We shall miss them.”

Kuch Toh Log Kahenge actor Sharad Kelkar, who is also a Marathi star, tweeted, “RIP Anand abhyankar and akshay pendse ….. it’s a deep shock for all of us.”

Abhyankar was a familiar face in Borivali suburb of Mumbai where he lived.

Abhyankar and Pendse’s funerals shall be held in Pune on Monday afternoon, said a Marathi films’ spokesman Deepak Choudhary.

May their souls rest in peace.

Photos: Anand Abhyankar Facebook and Akshay Pendse Facebook

With inputs from IANS