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Sridevi dead: Tributes pour in for Bollywood’s first female superstar

‘We all grew up watching her, and suddenly to hear that she is no longer with us is hard to digest’

Clarisse Loughrey
Sunday 25 February 2018 10:57
Bollywood star Sridevi dies at the age of 54

Tributes are being paid to Sridevi after Bollywood’s first female superstar died aged 54.

The actor died late on Saturday in Dubai after a cardiac arrest while travelling to the city to attend a family wedding.

Her death prompted an outpouring of affection from prominent figures across India, many of whom said they had grown up watching films featuring the performer – who began her career at the age of four.

Actor Priyanka Chopra wrote on Twitter: “I have no words. Condolences to everyone who loved Sridevi. A dark day. RIP.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote: “She was a veteran of the film industry, whose long career included diverse roles and memorable performances.”

Cricket star Sachin Tendulkar said: “We all grew up watching her, and suddenly to hear that she is no longer with us is hard to digest.”

Actor Aamir Khan tweeted: “I am deeply disturbed and saddened by the untimely and tragic passing away of Sridevi.

“I have always been a huge fan of her work. Equally I have always been an admirer of the grace and dignity with which she conducted herself.

“My heartfelt condolences to everyone in the family. I join all the millions of her fans in mourning her demise. Ma’am, we will always remember you with love and respect.”

“Have witnessed Sridevi’s life from an adolescent teenager to the magnificent lady she became. Her stardom was well deserved. Many happy moments with her flash through my mind including the last time I met her. Sadma’s lullaby haunts me now. We’ll miss her,” actor Kamal Haasan wrote.

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Born Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Sridevi started acting at the age of four, appearing in several Tamil-language films in the 1960s and 1970s, eventually dropping out of school to pursue acting full time.

In a career spanning five decades, she appeared in 300 films and was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in 2013.

Acting in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films, she made her Bollywood debut in 1975’s Julie, while landing her first starring role in the 1979 drama Solva Sawan; she went on to star in a string of commercial successes, including Himmatwala (1983), which cemented her place as one of Bollywood’s top stars, Mawaali (1983), Maqsad (1984) and Waqt Ki Awaz (1988).

During the 1980s and 1990s, she starred in multiple female-focused films, such as Chandni (1989) and Lamhe (1991), while landing critically lauded roles in the comedies Chaalbaaz (1989) and Shekhar Kapur’s Mr. India (1987), which saw her play characters much livelier than the traditional coy Bollywood heroine.

Taking a break from acting following her marriage to producer Boney Kapoor in 1996, she made a return with Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish in 2012, playing a housewife taking English lessons. Last year’s Mom, in which she played a mother avenging her daughter’s sexual assault, marked her final appearance and 300th film.

She is survived by her husband and two daughters, Jhanvi and Khushi.

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