Veteran stunt director Veeru Devgn, who made his directorial debut with 1999 film Hindustan Ki Kasam, starring his son Ajay Devgn and actors Amitabh Bachchan, Manisha Koirala and Sushmita Sen, passed away on Monday morning. Aged 77 years, he was a true ‘Singham’, or like Ajay called him.

Keeping unwell for long, Veeru was hospitalized earlier too resulting in Ajay’s cancellation of many of De De Pyaar De’s promotional events so as to be by his side. On Monday morning he was rushed to Surya hospital, Santa Cruz after he complained of breathlessness. Later, he succumbed to cardiac arrest.

With his last rites to be held in Mumbai’s Vile Parle West crematorium, Vicky Kaushal’s father and stunt director Sham Kaushal took to his Twitter handle to express grief at Veeru’s death. His tweet read, “RIP Veeru Devgan ji. Just came to know about this sad news. As an Action Director always ahead of his time and as human being par excellence. I became a stuntman with his blessings on 8th August, 1980 as he signed my application to become a stuntman and made me part of his team.” (sic)

For the uninitiated, Veeru had worked on 80 films such as Lal Baadshah and Ishq apart from directing Hindustan Ki Kasam. Apart from acting in films like Kranti, Saurabh and Singhasan, Veeru is also credited with Ajay’s grand entry into films with 1991’s Phool Aur Kaante where his icon entry, riding on two bikes, became his signature style and the scene and hit songs made Ajay one of the most promising newcomers in the film.

Lauded for his exceptional work in films like Himmatwala in 1983, Dilwale in 1994, Shahenshaah in 1988 and others, Veeru was awarded Best Action Director for Phool Aur Kaante and was felicitated with Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 by Zee Cine Awards.