Sarabjeet Paintal, better known as Gufi Paintal, is an Indian actor, director, and casting director. He is best known for playing the role of ‘Shakuni’ in the Indian epic television series “Mahabharat.”
Gufi Paintal was born on Wednesday, 4 October 1944 (age 76 years; as in 2019) in Delhi. His zodiac sign is Libra. His family has its roots in Lahore, Pakistan. He did his schooling from Delhi’s DPS International School. Being born to a cameraman father, Paintal and his brother Kanwarjit, used to enact small shadow plays in their childhood. The world of entertainment always fascinated him. However, his father wanted him to become an engineer. So, after he finished his schooling, Gufi pursued engineering. After graduating, he joined Tata Engineering & Locomotive firm in Jamshedpur, Bihar. During defence emergency due to China war, Gufi served with the army in Bihar for a few years. Later, he was transferred to Tata Engineering & Locomotive branch in Bombay (now, Mumbai). By that time, his brother, Kanwarjit, had already got his first break. Following his brothers footsteps, Gufi, decided to step into the entertainment industry. He first joined as an assistant director.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Hair Colour: Grey
Eye Colour: Brown
Family & Caste
Gufi Paintal belongs to a Sikh Family. His father, Gurucharan Paintal was a veteran cameraman in Lahore. Not much is known about his mother. He has a younger brother, Kanwarjit Paintal, who is an actor and comedian.
He was married to Rekha, who passed away in 1993 due to heart attack. Together, they had a son, Harry Paintal, who is also an actor.
His nephew Hiten Paintal is also an actor.
Gufi Paintal started his career as an assistant director when he was 24 years old. Slowly, he began getting character roles. He made his film debut in 1978 by playing the role of ‘Ganesh’ in the romantic-comedy “Dillagi.” Next, he appeared in the Bollywood film “Des Pardes.” He, then, joined as a technical head in B. R. Films. He used to look after the ads division. It was then that he landed the role of ‘Shakuni’ in the Indian epic TV series “Mahabharat.” Gufi gained immense popularity by playing the role of ‘Shakuni.’ Subsequently, he appeared in the crime series “Kanoon” as ‘Justice Raghunath.’
He has featured in many Bollywood films like “Suhaag,” “Maidan-E-Jung,” “The Revenge: Geeta Mera Naam,” “Kaalo,” “Mahabharat Aur Barbareek,” and “Samrat & Co.” Paintal has also featured in TV shows like “Akbar Birbal,” “Ssshhhh..Koi Hai,” and “Karn Sangini.”
- His hobbies include reading and travelling.
- Initially, Gufi joined the TV series “Mahabharat” as an assistant director. However, later he was offered the role of ‘Shakuni’ in the serial.
- Paintal used to earn Rs. 3000 per episode for playing the role of ‘Shakuni’ in “Mahabharat.”
- While serving in the Indian army, Gufi and his fellows used to enact Ramleela on the border for their entertainment. During that time, he used to play the role of Sita.
- During an interview, Gufi revealed that the first salary that he ever received was Rs. 7000 per month, which he earned while working as an engineer in the Tata firm.
- In 2010, Paintail was appointed the head of facility at the Abbhinnay Acting Academy in Mumbai.