Actor-athlete Praveen Kumar Sobti died in New Delhi on Monday evening, as reported by the news agency PTI.

He was best known for his role as Bheem in the B.R. Chopra-directed TV show Mahabharat.  Sobti, who was 74, died of a heart attack at his residence in  New Delhi.

“He had a chronic chest infection. We called the doctor at home late at night when he began to feel uneasy. His daughter Nikunika told that “Parveen passed away yesterday between 10-10:30 PM after suffering a cardiac arrest”.

Praveen used to be a hammer and discus throw athlete before becoming an actor.

He won four Asian Games medals and also competed for India in the 1968 Mexico and 1972 Munich Olympics.

He also received the Arjuna Award. In addition, he served as the Deputy Commandant of the Border Security Force (BSF).

At the age of 20, Praveen Kumar Sobti joined the BSF. After Parveen Sobti’s death, the official BSF Twitter account posted the following condolence message:

In 2013, the actor contested for the Delhi Assembly elections on the Aam Aadmi Party’s ticket.

Praveen Kumar Sobti made his debut in the 1981 movie Raksha as a James Bond-style henchman. His most well-known role was playing Bheem in Mahabharat, which he portrayed as Praveen Kumar in the TV series. 

He has also played the role of Saboo in the television adaptation of Chacha Chaudhary. His extensive film credits also include Amitabh Bachchan’s Shahenshah, and it was to his character that the iconic dialogue, “Rishtey mein to hum tumhare baap lagte hain, naam hai Shahenshah”- was said.

Several others films featured him, including Ajooba, Aaj Ka Arjun, and Ghayal.