Sridevi dies after cardiac arrest in Dubai, body to be flown back to India today
Sridevi, one of India’s most iconic actors, described as the Hindi film industry’s ‘first woman superstar’, died in Dubai late on Saturday night after a massive cardiac arrest, leading to an outpouring of grief from her legions of fans, members of the film fraternity, public figures across sectors, and politicians across parties.
The actor, whose career spanned five decades, was in Dubai with her husband, producer Boney Kapoor, and younger daughter, Khushi, to attend nephew Mohit Marwah’s wedding. She was 54. “We are shocked. She had no history of heart disease,” her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor was quoted as saying. HT could not reach her family members till the time of going to press. Sridevi’s nephew Mohit paid his respects on Instagram. “You were more than a legend. Your vacuum will always be felt,” he wrote alongside her picture.
People familiar with the developments said that after the wedding, while a number of her family members, including brother-in-law Anil Kapoor and his daughter Sonam, returned to Mumbai, Sridevi stayed back along with Boney and Khushi. Her elder daughter, Jhanvi, who is expected to make her film debut in a Karan Johar production later this year, had not accompanied the family to Dubai because of her shooting schedule.
Senior airport officials said a 37-seater private aircraft flew from Mumbai to Dubai around 1.35pm on Sunday. The Embraer 135 landed at Dubai at around 4.40pm (IST). Officials said the flight would return to Mumbai only after all the procedures and after the post-mortem were performed in Dubai.
This could be around Monday afternoon, officials said.
Boney and Khushi will fly back with the actor’s body, the officials added.
A shocked nation, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took to social media to offer their condolences. “Saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi,” the prime minister tweeted. “She was a veteran of the film industry, whose long career included diverse roles and memorable performances. My thoughts are with her family and admirers in this hour of grief. May her soul rest in peace.”
Actor and co-star Rajinikanth tweeted, “I’m shocked and very disturbed. I’ve lost a dear friend and the industry has lost a true legend. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I feel the pain with them #RIPSridevi ... you will be missed.”
Madhuri Dixit-Nene, one of Sridevi’s compatriots and great rivals in the early 1990s, tweeted, “Just woke up to the terrible news of Sridevi passing. My heart goes out to her family. The world has lost a very talented person who left behind a huge legacy in film.”
Actor Vidya Balan, for whose recent release, Tumhari Sulu, Sridevi’s hit number ‘Hawa Hawaaii’ was recreated, wrote on social media, “My inspiration is no more...”
Known for her powerful and versatile acting, Sridevi made her Bollywood debut with Solva Sawan in 1978. But she became an overnight success five years later with Himmatwala, a movie co-starring Jeetendra.
Soon, thanks to films such as Mawaali (1983), Sadma (1983), Tohfa (1984), Nagina (1986), Mr India (1987), Chandni (1989), Chaalbaaz (1989), Lamhe (1991), and Gumrah (1993), she gained commercial success as well as critical acclaim. Her expressive eyes, powerful screen presence, dancing skills and acting prowess soon made her one of the most sought-after actresses in the Hindi film industry.
Following her marriage to Boney Kapoor and subsequent motherhood, she went on a hiatus for 15 years after starring in home production, Judaai (1997). In 2012, she made a comeback with director Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish.
Last year, she acted in Mom alongside Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna. A few days ago, she shot for a special appearance in Shah Rukh Khan’s next, Zero.
Sridevi made her Tamil film debut as a child artiste with Thunaivan (1969). She debuted in Tamil cinema as a heroine in the late 1970s. She also worked in Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada films.