Nirmal Pandey (10 August 1962 – 18 February 2010) was an Indian Bollywood actor who was known for his role of Vikram Mallah in Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen (1994), for portraying a transvestite in Daayraa (1996) for which he won a Best Actor Valenti award in France, Train To Pakistan (1998) and Godmother (1999).
He was supposed to watch his latest film Lahore on 22 February 2010 at a special screening with humorist R. K. Laxman and music maestro MM Kreem. It was scheduled to be released on 19 March 2010 and would prove to be Pandey’s last film.
Born in Nainital, Uttarakhand, Nirmal Pandey was educated at Almora and Nainital. He graduated from the National School of Drama, Delhi
After leaving the National School of Drama he moved to London, with a theater group, Tara, performing plays like Heer Ranjha and Antigone, and acting in around 125 plays.
After doing two small roles, he first got noticed in Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen (1996). He received positive reviews for films like Amol Palekar’s Daayra (Square Circle) (1996), Train To Pakistan (1998), Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin and Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain.He acted in movies like Laila, Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya, One 2 ka 4 and Shikari and in several television serials, including Hatim, and Princess Dollie Aur Uska Magic Bag (2005) (Star Plus).
In addition to being an actor, he was a singer who released an album called Jazba. In 2002, he directed Andhayug, a Hindi play written by noted playwright Dharamveer Bharati, which follows the 18 days following the Mahabharata war. It has a cast of 70 actors, all of whom belong to Sanvedna, a theatre group started by him in 1994.
He has an acting institute, “Fresh Talent Academy”, in Ghazaiabad and conducts theatre workshops.
He holds an extremely unique record for winning a Best Actress award, at the 1997 France’s Valenciennes Film Festival for his portrayal of a transvestite in Amol Palekar’s Daayra (1996). He shared the Best Actress award with the female lead, Sonali Kulkarni, at the Valenciennes Film Festival (France, 1997).
Nirmal Pandey died at the age of 47 on 18 February 2010, from a heart attack in Mumbai