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In Memoriam: 2018 will go down as the year when Sridevi bid us goodbye

2018 saw some of most iconic stars like Sridevi pass away tragically and others like Narendra Jha and Rita Bhaduri died before their time. It also saw some veterans like Shammi move on. Take a look.

bollywood Updated: Dec 25, 2018 09:52 IST
Nivedita Mishra
Nivedita Mishra
Hindustan Times
Sridevi died in Dubai in late February 2018.
Sridevi died in Dubai in late February 2018.(Instagram)

In late February 2018, India woke up to the sad news of popular actor Sridevi’s death in Dubai. The 54-year old actor was in Dubai for a family function and had stayed back when the accident happened. 2018 also saw a number of other stars leave us. These include character actors Narendra Jha and Sujata Kumar, famous for their roles in Haider and English Vinglish respectively. As the year draws to a close, here’s a look at actors who left us.


Sridevi was the undisputed queen of the mid and late 1980s in Bollywood. Her acting skills, her star power, her dancing skills and her comic timing had an entire nation rooting for her. Then, sometime in 1997, Sridevi quit it all to enter into matrimony with Bollywood producer Boney Kapoor and disappeared from public life. Then, sometime around mid 2000s, she again began making appearances, mostly walking the ramp for her favourite fashion designers such as Manish Malhotra. Later, in 2012, when English Vinglish happened, she was back with a bang. Suddenly Sridevi was everywhere. She was feted as the diva she has always been. Her Instagram profile was a hit with her fans as she posted pictures with her daughters and husband and their happy times together. There was no stopping her but she was taking life easy even in the so-called fast lane.

People gather in large number to pay their respect during the funeral procession of actor Sridevi, in Mumbai, February 28, 2018.
People gather in large number to pay their respect during the funeral procession of actor Sridevi, in Mumbai, February 28, 2018. ( PTI )

In February this year, the entire Kapoor clan landed in Dubai for the wedding of Boney Kapoor’s sister’s son, Mohit Marwah (himself an actor). Pictures and videos of them dancing and enjoying in the Arab Emirates flooded the social media. Once done, while the rest of the clan was back in Mumbai, Sridevi stayed on for some shopping. On the day of her untimely death, her husband Boney returned to Dubai to surprise her and together that evening they were to go out for dinner. With that in mind, Sridevi went in for a bath in a Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel room where she was staying and get dressed as he waited in the room. After 15 minutes when she didn’t return, Boney entered the bathroom only to find his wife completely immersed in the bath tub. Later, an official autopsy report confirmed that Sridevi had died by drowning.

Sujata Kumar

Sujata Kumar played Sridevi’s elder sister in English Vinglish.
Sujata Kumar played Sridevi’s elder sister in English Vinglish.

In August this year, another actor, Sujata Kumar, a popular face in the Indian advertising world and best remembered for her role as Sridevi’s older sister in English Vinglish, lost her fight against cancer and died. According to reports, the actor had fourth stage cancer, which had metastised. Her end came at Mumbai’s Lilavati hospital. It was reported that she had multiple organ failure.

Not many would know but Sujata was the elder sister of singer-actor Suchitra Krishnamoorthi. Before English Vinglish, she had done a few TV serials like Hotel Kingston (Star One) and Bombay Talking (Zee Cafe). She also appeared in Anil Kapoor’s 24 as Meghna Singhania. She starred in Karan Johar’s Gori Tere Pyar Mein and Aanand L Rai’s Raanjhanaa, both in 2013.

Narendra Jha

Narendra Jha played Dri Hilal Meer in Haider.
Narendra Jha played Dri Hilal Meer in Haider.

Narendra Jha, a popular face in TV serials who had also worked with Shyam Benegal in films like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero and Samvidhaan, died at his farmhouse in Nashik in April this year. He suffered a massive heart attack. While the actor had been active for many years, it was his role as Dr Hilal Meer in Haider 2014 that suddenly brought him into limelight. He followed it up with credible performances in Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil and Mohenjodaro and Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees.

Nargis Rabadi aka Shammi

Nargis Rabadi: Bollywood’s favourite Shammi aunty.
Nargis Rabadi: Bollywood’s favourite Shammi aunty.

Bollywood’s favourite ‘Shammi aunty’, Nargis Rabadi died, aged 88, this March. Born into a Parsi family (her father was a priest at a fire temple) she made her Bollywood debut in 1949 in a film named Ustad Pedro. She played character roles in 1950s and featured in a number of films till 1970s. She worked with lead stars like Dilip Kumar, Nargis and Meena Kumari in her hey days. She married a person named Sultan Ahmed.

Rita Bhaduri

Rita Bhaduri was an FTII pass out.
Rita Bhaduri was an FTII pass out.

Another actor to die early was actor Rita Bhaduri, who passed away in July this year. Aged 62, she had been suffering from kidney-related ailments. An integral face of television, the actor was a popular choice for character roles through 70, 80 and 90s. Not many would know that she was FTII-trained actor.

Srivallabh Vyas

Srivallabh Vyas in Lagaan.
Srivallabh Vyas in Lagaan.

The actor who appeared in character roles in a number of hit films like Sarfarosh, Shool, Lagaan, Chandni Bar, Abhay and Aan: Men at Work, died in January and reportedly was suffering for a while. He is best remembered for playing actor Gracy Singh’s character Gauri’s father, Ishwar in Lagaan.

Raj Kishore

Raj Kishore in Sholay with Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan.
Raj Kishore in Sholay with Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan.

Actor Raj Kishore, who is best known for his small role as the jail inmate with feminine mannerisms in Bollywood’s iconic film Sholay, died in April aged 85. He is also remembered for his role in Padosan. He played one of the buddies of Sunil Dutt, the lead man of the film. He also worked in films like Deewar, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Bombay to Goa among many others.

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First Published: Dec 25, 2018 09:48 IST

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