Bollywood icon and India’s first female superstar, Sridevi, died on Saturday, February 24, in Dubai. Initial media reports had claimed that she had died of cardiac arrest but according to the Dubai Police, she is said to have died of accidental drowning in her hotel apartment’s bathtub following loss of consciousness. She was 54.
The Padma Shri Award winning actress started her film career in 1967 in the Tamil film Kandhan Karunai at the age of 4 and went on to act in numerous films in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada, playing lead roles in many of them. She played her first adult role at the age of 13 in the Tamil film Moondru Mudichu in 1976, soon establishing herself as the leading actress in the South.
Sridevi made her Bollywood debut as a child artiste in the 1972 film Rani Mera Naam and landed her first starring role in the 1979 film Solva Sawan, but it was the 1983 film Himmatwala in which she starred opposite Jeetendra that got her wide acclaim and recognition in Bollywood. She followed it up with numerous blockbuster films including, Tohfa, Sadma for her critically acclaimed performance, Mr India, Chaalbaz, Chandni, Lahme, Judaai to name just a few. After her marriage to Bollywood producer Bonnie Kapoor in 1996 and a long hiatus Sridevi made a successful comeback in 2012 with the acclaimed film, English Vinglish. In 2015 she starred in the Tamil film, Puli and her last film was the 2017 thriller Mom, which marked her 300th film.
She has won numerous awards, including 5 Filmfare Awards for Best Actress, other film awards besides national, international and state awards, including the 2013 - President of India 'Medallion of Honour' for contribution to 100 Years of Indian Cinema. The actress is considered to be the first female Superstar of Bollywood films and in the 2013 CNN-IBN national poll on the occasion of the Centenary Year of Indian Cinema Sridevi was voted “India’s Greatest Actress in 100 Years”.
According to latest reports, the Dubai Public Prosecution has concluded the probe into the actress’s death and closed the case. The authorities have released Sridevi’s body and it is expected to be on the way to Mumbai shortly.
She is survived by her husband and daughters Janhvi and Khushi.
May her soul rest in eternal peace
Located in a former mill, the Mumbai outpost of the US chain of resto-bars has a mixed reputation among the city's musicians. In the first couple of years after opening, in 2006, indie rock acts were often asked to include a stipulated number of cover songs in their set lists. These days, Hard Rock Café, which hosts gigs every Tuesday and Thursday night, sticks mostly to cover bands, with a couple of dates a month spared for indie groups. Skip these gigs, and come here only for the ticketed events, when one of the seating areas is cleared to make room for a larger stage, for performances by Indian indie icons (folk-fusion veterans Indian Ocean, electro-rock superstars Pentagram), international chart toppers (Wyclef Jean, Jay Sean) or club-packing DJs (Bob Sinclair, Paul van Dyk). Be warned, though: the waiters break into a synchronised jig every time the Village People's "YMCA" comes on.
Bombay Dyeing Mill Compound, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Worli, + 91 22 2438 2888, Hardrockindiablog.com. Open daily noon-1.30am. Performance times and entrance fees vary