Updated: July 17, 2021 5:15:34 pm
National Award-winning actor Surekha Sikri has died in Mumbai of a cardiac arrest at the age of 75. The actor was ailing for a long time and had suffered two brain strokes in 2018 and 2020. Actor’s manager confirmed the news to indianexpress.com, “Three-time national award winning actress, Surekha Sikri has passed away following a cardiac arrest earlier this morning at the age of 75. She had been suffering from complications arising from a second brain stroke. She was surrounded by family and her caregivers. The family asks for privacy at this time. Om Sai Ram.”
Among those who mourned the loss were actors Manoj Bajpayee, Pooja Bhatt, Divyenndu and Divya Dutta. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also paid a tribute to her. “Heartfelt condolences on the demise of veteran actress Surekha Sikri ji. May God bless her soul,” he wrote on Twitter.
The veteran actor’s career spanned theatre, films and television. Surekha Sikri made her debut with 1978 political drama film Kissa Kursi Ka and played author-backed roles across films in various industries. She received the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress thrice, including Tamas (1988), Mammo (1995) and Badhaai Ho (2018).
Born in Uttar Pradesh, she graduated from National School of Drama (NSD) in 1971. She also won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989. The actor’s father was in the Air Force and her mother was a teacher. She married Hemant Rege and they have a son together, Rahul Sikri.
The actor found a lot of popularity with her role of a stern matriarch Kalyani Devi in TV soap Balika Vadhu. She was part of the show from its inception 2008 till its end in 2016. Her act as a matriarch in 2018’s Badhaai Ho was also much appreciated, for which she also received the Best Supporting Actress National Award. She was last seen in Netflix anthology Ghost Stories in the section helmed by Zoya Akhtar.
The actor had suffered two strokes and was ailing for many months. “I had a brain stroke ten months ago and I have been recovering since then. I fell down and hit my head in the bathroom while shooting in Mahabaleshwar. I have not been able to work due to my illness. The doctors say that I will be alright soon,” Surekha had said after her stroke in 2018.
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