Veteran Bollywood actor and Padma Shri awardee Sridevi, who had an illustrious career spanning over four decades, passed away. She was 54.
The actor, wife of producer Boney Kapoor, died late in the night reportedly due to cardiac arrest in Dubai, where she had gone along with her family to attend her nephew Mohit Marwah's wedding. Confirming the news, a source close to the family said, "Yes it's true. She was in Dubai while some of the other family members came back to India. We hear it's cardiac arrest." While some of her family members returned from Dubai after the wedding, Sridevi, Boney and her younger daughter Khushi stayed back. Her elder daughter -- Janhvi -- had not travelled with the family because of the shooting schedule for her upcoming Bollywood film, her first in the industry.
Sridevi, known for her versatility as an actor, made her Bollywood debut in 1978 with "Solva Sawan". But it was only after five years with Jeetendra-starrer "Himmatwala" that she gained commercial success. Before her entry into Bollywood, the actor had been a known face in South Indian films. She made her debut as a child artist in in Tamil film "Thunaivan" in 1969. She also worked in Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada films.
Sridevi's beguiling eyes, scintillating screen presence and acting prowess soon made her one of the most sought-after actors in the Hindi film industry. While films like "Mawaali" (1983), "Tohfa" (1984), "Mr India" (1987) and "Chandni" (1989) kept her at the top in the box-office game, her outings like "Sadma" (1983), "ChaalBaaz" (1989), "Lamhe" (1991), and "Gumrah" (1993) earned her critical acclaim. She went on a hiatus for 15 years after starring in home production "Judaai", co-starring her brother-in-law Anil Kapoor and Urmila Matondkar.
It was director Gauri Shinde's "English Vinglish" in 2012 that marked Sridevi's comeback. Her nuanced performance as a middle-class woman, learning to speak English to feel accepted by her family, won accolades, and the film was also a commercial success. Last year, she was seen in revenge-drama, "Mom", opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna. She also shot for a special appearance in superstar Shah Rukh Khan's upcoming film, "Zero", which releases in December.
Sridevi was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour, in 2013. Minutes after the news of her death broke, many Bollywood actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Sushmita Sen, Sidharth Malhotra and Riteish Deshmukh took to Twitter to pay their condolences. The first one, however, was megastar Amitabh Bachchan who in a cryptic tweet wrote, "Don't know why, feeling a strange restlessness." "I have no words. Condolences to everyone who loved #Sridevi . A dark day. RIP," tweeted Priyanka, alongside a still of Sridevi from her superhit film "Mr India".
Comedian Johnny Lever, while expressing grief, sent prayers to the late actor's family, which includes husband Boney Kapoor and daughters Khushi and Janhvi. "Deeply saddened and shocked to hear about #Sridevi Ji. My prayers and condolences to the family," he tweeted. "Really Shocked and disturbed to hear that Sridevi Ma’am is no more. #RIP #Sridevi," wrote Sidharth.
Actor Shilpa Shetty's husband -- Raj Kundra -- posted, "Heartbroken by this news!! She was One of the finest kindest souls I ever knew. Speechless shocked. #RIP#Sridevi this is just not right at all! May god give all the family strength at this darkest hour." Riteish tweeted, “Terrible terrible news…. Am shocked beyond words. SRIDEVI ji No More … RIP,”, while Sushmita wrote that she has been inconsolable since the news broke. “I just heard Ma’am Sridevi passed away due to a massive cardiac arrest. I am in shock…cant stop crying…"
Actor Nimrat Kaur tweeted, “Absolutely devastated to hear about the passing of #Sridevi. What a dark black terrible moment in time. Gutted.” Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival, tweeted, "Shocked to hear of the passing of India’s legendary Sridevi. Honoured to have been in her presence in 2012 when she visited Toronto for English Vinglish. She made countless millions fall in love with her characters."