VETERAN ACTOR Sridevi, who acted in over 300 films during a career spanning five decades, died of a cardiac arrest in Dubai in the early hours of Sunday. The 54-year-old, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2013, was in Dubai for the wedding of Mohit Marwah, a nephew of her husband and film producer Boney Kapoor. Sridevi is survived by Kapoor and their two daughters Janhvi and Khushi. A statement issued on Sunday evening by Sridevi’s family said: “Boney Kapoor, Janhvi, Khushi and the entire Kapoor, Ayyappan and Marwah family is deeply bereaved and shocked by the untimely loss of Sridevi Kapoor.”
According to reports, Sridevi was staying at the Jumeirah Emirates Tower hotel, where she suffered a stroke and lost consciousness in the bathroom late on Saturday night. She was rushed to Rashid Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. Her body was handed to forensic experts.
According to officials at the Indian Consulate in Dubai, Sridevi’s autopsy was conducted Sunday at the Al Qusais Hospital. Her body is expected to be flown to Mumbai on a chartered aircraft Monday morning, and arrangements for her final rites were being finalised late on Sunday night.
Boney Kapoor’s brother Sanjay Kapoor, who reached Dubai early Sunday morning, told a local news portal that the family is in shock at Sridevi’s death. “She had no history of a heart ailment,” he said. Sanjay Kapoor, who was also at the wedding, flew back to Mumbai with other members of the extended Kapoor clan while Sridevi chose to stay back.
The Kapoor family was in Dubai since last week for Marwah’s wedding, which was also attended by Boney Kapoor’s son from his first marriage, actor Arjun Kapoor. Photographs from the wedding on social media show Sridevi posing with filmmaker Karan Johar and fashion designer Manish Malhotra. A few videos of Sridevi at the wedding are also available on social media.
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PTI reported from Dubai that while some of Sridevi’s family members returned from the city after the wedding, Sridevi, Boney and their younger daughter Khushi stayed back. Her elder daughter, Janhvi, had not travelled with the family because of the shooting schedule for her upcoming Bollywood film, which marks her debut in the industry.
Sridevi made her Bollywood debut in 1978 with “Solva Sawan”. But it was only after five years that she gained commercial success with Jeetendra-starrer “Himmatwala”.
Before her Bollywood entry, Sridevi had been a popular face in South Indian films. She made her debut as a child artist in the Tamil film “Thunaivan” in 1969. She also worked in Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada films.