Bollywood Superstar Sridevi Dies Suddenly At 54 Of Cardiac Arrest

Sridevi Drowned In A Hotel Bathtub After Losing Consciousness, Officials Say (Getty Images)

Sridevi, Bollywood’s leading lady of the 1980s and ’90s who
redefined stardom for actresses in India, has died at age 54.

The actress was described as the first female superstar in
India’s male-dominated film industry. She used one name onscreen, like many
leading ladies of her generation, and was known for her comic timing and her
dancing skills, a great asset in the song-and-dance melodramas that are a
staple of mainstream Indian cinema.

Sridevi died Saturday in Dubai due to
cardiac arrest, her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor confirmed to Indian Express
online. She had been in Dubai to attend a wedding in her extended family.

Indian political leaders and entertainers
posted condolences and recollections of her work, with many colleagues and fans
expressing shock at the sudden news.

Sridevi Attends People Bagazine Bash With Her Daughters
Indian Bollywood actress Sridevi (L) poses with daughters Khushi (C) and Jhanvi Kapoor (R) as they attend an event for the Indian edition of People magazine in Mumbai on December 17, 2012. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

“Woken up to this tragic news. Absolute shock. Sad,”
tweeted Rishi Kapoor, her co-star in the 1989 film “Chandni,” or
“Moonlight,” in which Shrdevi played a woman choosing between two

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered
condolences too. “Saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi.
She was a veteran of the film industry, whose long career included diverse
roles and memorable performances,” he tweeted.

Sridevi began acting as a child in regional
cinema in India’s south and made her debut in Hindi-language Bollywood films in
the late ’70s.

Other famous roles included “Mr.
India,” in which she played a reporter, and “Lamhe,” or
“Moments,” a 1991 film in which she played dual roles of mother and
teenage daughter.

Her impeccable comic timing and her dancing
skills were front and center in “Chaalbaaz,” or “Game
Player,” in 1989, where she played twins separated at birth.

1985, Portrait Of Indian film actress Sridevi. (Photo by Dinodia Photos/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

She shared the screen with some of Indian cinema’s most iconic
leading men, from Amitabh Bachchan to Shahrukh Khan. Another co-star was Anil
Kapoor, her brother-in-law who was known in the West for his role in
“Slumdog Millionaire.”

She stopped acting for several years after
her marriage to film producer Boney Kapoor but made a well-received comeback in
2012 with “English Vinglish,” a nuanced performance about a
middle-aged woman learning English to fit in better with her family.

Her last performance was the 2017 film
“Mom,” where she played a woman seeking vengeance after her
stepdaughter is raped.

She is survived by her husband and two

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