Beloved Bollywood actress Sridevi dead at 54
Veteran Bollywood actress Sridevi has died suddenly in Dubai at the age of 54.
Citing family sources, the Press Trust of India reported Sridevi died late Saturday night after suffering a cardiac arrest in the United Arab Emirates city, where she was attending a family wedding.
Born August 13, 1963, Sridevi made her Bollywood debut in 1979 with the Hindi film “Solva Sawan,” but broke through to the list of Bollywood’s most highly sought-after actresses with the film “Himmatwala,” four years later.
Sridevi’s credits include some of the most watched films of the ’80s and ’90s, including “Mawaali” (1983), “Tohfa” (1984), “Mr. India” (1987), “Chandni” (1989), “Lamhe” (1991) and “Gumrah” (1993).
Sridevi took a break from the limelight to raise two children with her husband, producer Boney Kapoor, before returning to star in the 1997 film “Judaai.” In the film, she plays an ambitious housewife who inadvertently marries a man who can’t afford the lavish life she aspires to lead.
The film was a box office hit, but it was Sridevi’s performance in Gauri Shinde’s 2012 hit, “English Vinglish,” that really confirmed her comeback as one of Bollywood’s most treasured and enduring talents.
Sridevi took the starring role of Shashi, an Indian housewife who only speaks Hindi but is thrust onto the streets of New York to help arrange her niece’s wedding. After a series of humiliations, Shashi decides she needs to learn English and enrolls in a four-week crash course.
“The way the character has been crafted by Shinde, and interpreted by Sridevi, is gloriously feminine, and uniquely Indian,” a review in the Hollywood Reporter said at the time.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent condolences to Sridevi’s family on Sunday, saying he was saddened by her “untimely demise.”
Some of the country’s most prominent stars also expressed their shock. Singer Adnan Sami said he was lost for words at the loss of “India’s sweetheart.”
“I am at a loss for words & jolted as if struck by lightening at this late hour of the night to learn about the shocking & tragic news & untimely demise of #Sridevi ji. Heartbroken. She was India’s sweetheart, an incredible artiste & a beautiful human being. Gone too soon,” Sami tweeted.
Actress Kareena Kapoor called Sridevi’s passing “heartbreaking.”
As India woke to the news Sunday, social media lit up with tributes to the woman described as a “rare superstar.”
Sridevi’s impact was felt far beyond India, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan also paying tribute to the actress, whom he met last December.
“Really enjoyed meeting Bollywood icon Sri Devi on my recent trip to India. So sad to hear the news of the death of such a terrifically talented actress, performer and producer,” he said on Twitter.
Sridevi is survived by her husband, Boney, and daughters Jhanvi and Khushi Kapoor.