'Lagaan', 'Jodhaa Akbar' art director Nitin Desai dies by suicide at his studiotext_fields
Raigad: Popular art director Nitin Desai was found hanging in a case of suspected suicide at his ND Studio in Khalapur, near Karjat, early on Wednesday, official sources said.
The news of his sudden death, which comes days before his 58th birthday on August 9, has shocked his industry colleagues.
The Karjat Police rushed to his studio and an investigation is underway. The reason for the suicide is yet to be known.
Desai, who was born in Dapoli (Ratnagiri), won four National Awards for Best Art Direction. He was known for his grand and lavish sets in several blockbuster films such as 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam', 'Devdas', 'Jodha Akbar', and 'Lagaan', among others.
During his career spanning 20 years, Desai has worked with directors like Ashutosh Gowarikar, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. In 2002, he turned film producer with Chandrakant Productions' Desh Devi, a devotional film on the Devi Mata of Kutch.
In 2005, he opened his ND Studios spread over 52 acres at Karjat, near Mumbai, which has since hosted movies like Jodha Akbar, Traffic Signal and also Color's popular reality show Bigg Boss.
Netizens expressed shock after the news was shared on social media. Top Bollywood personalities also mourned his sudden demise.
"I can't believe this news. Nitin Desai was the best at what he did. We worked on a few films together. Always smiling, always making life easier on set. This news is devastating. Rest In Peace my friend. You will always be missed", tweeted filmmaker Sanjay Gupta.