Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 15:08 UK

Indian playwright Tanvir is dead

Habib Tanvir
Tanvir wrote many popular plays (Photo: Panini Anand)

Veteran Indian playwright and theatre director Habib Tanvir has died aged 85 after a brief illness, his family says.

Tanvir was admitted to hospital in the central city of Bhopal three weeks ago with breathing difficulties. His funeral will take place on Tuesday.

Tanvir wrote plays like Agra Bazar and Charandas Chor, winning several Indian and international awards for his work.

He also appeared in nine feature films, including Richard Attenborough's Gandhi in 1982.

Born on 1 September 1923 at Raipur (in Madhya Pradesh), Tanvir began his career as a journalist and went on to become a playwright.

In 1959, he founded a theatre company called the Naya Theatre.

He was nominated as a member of India's upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha, from 1972 to 1978.

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