- 10 Nov - 16 Nov, 2018
Sridevi 1963–2018 The Roop Ki Rani is no more
- 03 Mar - 09 Mar, 2018
- Cover Story
Name: Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan
DOB: August 13, 1963
Birthplace: Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, India
DOD: February 24, 2018
Cause of death: Accidental drowning
Occupation: Actress and producer
Family: Sridevi’s father was a lawyer. She had a sister and two step brothers. She married Boney Kapoor, a film producer and the elder brother of actors Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Kapoor, in 1996. She had two daughters, Janhavi and Khushi.
Often cited as Bollywood’s first female superstar, Sridevi, became the latest celebrity to leave her fans shocked and saddened with her final act at the young age of 54 years. She accidentally drowned in a bathtub at a hotel in Dubai where she was attending her nephew’s wedding.
The Hawa Hawai girl made a successful comeback last year with Mom that also proved to be the 300th film of her illustrious career.
Sridevi has the honour of working with nearly all the leading men of her era – be it the legendary Amitabh Bachchan or Rajesh Khanna, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, or Rishi Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Anil Kapoor and Dharmendra (or his son Sunny Deol) as well as leading men of the 90s Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan. In her last film, she was paired with Pakistani actor Adnan Siddiqui who was there in Dubai with Boney Kapoor in her final moments as well.
For those who have grown up in the 80s, Sridevi is as much part of their lives as their family members are. Although she made her debut in the 60s when she was a child, it was in the 70s that she gained stardom in regional cinema. She gained prominence in Bollywood in the early 80s when she was paired with Kamal Haasan and later with other stars of the era. However, after Naagin, Mr. India, and Chaalbaaz, she became Bollywood’s top-rated and most successful actress and even considered as a threat to the male stars.
What made Sridevi stand out in the era of Padmini, Rekha, Juhi Chawla and Madhuri Dixit, was her ability to play any kind of character with ease. She was comfortable in the avatar of a mentally disturbed in Sadma, imitated Charlie Chaplin better than many male actors, could dance her heart out without looking uncomfortable and above all, looked equal to her male counterpart even if that means going the extra mile. Her films with Jeetendra, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor and Anil Kapoor are still considered the best of the era because they are not just films with the leading men but also have a leading lady who doesn’t take things lying down.
The actress was at ease with serious, comedy and even action scenes and inspired a whole generation of actors who would go onto emulate her style and her skills. Before there were item numbers, Sridevi was both the heroine and the girl who could dance to the situation. You can’t just expect someone else to be Hawa Hawai or play the twin in Chalbaaz who was mischievous and well-intentioned at the same time.
After marrying Boney Kapoor in 1996, Sridevi took a sabbatical from the field and returned after 15 years with English Vinglish where she proved that once a star, always a star. In Mom, she got to play mother to Sajal Aly and wife to Adnan Siddiqui – both from Pakistan – and left a mark as the mother of a rape victim in search of justice. Her charisma, talent and ability to play any kind of role made her one of the best actresses of Bollywood. Her sudden death has left her fans shattered especially those who believed that she still had a lot to offer. Bye Bye, Miss Hawa Hawaii. You left too soon!
Sridevi was prepping for ‘surprise’ dinner date before untimely death?
According to reports doing the rounds, Sridevi was allegedly readying herself for a surprise dinner date with Boney Kapoor, before she suffered a cardiac arrest in the bathroom of a hotel room.
The report claims that Boney, who had returned from Mumbai, went to her room at around 5:30 pm to surprise her with dinner. It was reportedly while getting ready for the dinner date that the actress suffered a cardiac arrest and was discovered 15 minutes later lying motionless in the bathtub by her husband, who tried to revive her. On not being able to do so, Boney allegedly called a friend and later informed the police.
The actress was declared dead following the arrival of the police and paramedics on the site.
VIRAL POST BLAMES PLASTIC SURGERIES AND DESIRE TO LOOK YOUNG FOR HER DEATH
A viral post on Sridevi says the actress never trusted her own beauty and so underwent multiple surgeries, which could have led to her death.
The text of the post about Sridevi’s plastic surgeries and constant endeavor to look younger is being attributed to a woman named Piyali Ganguly, who apparently is close to some Bollywood celebs.
The post, which has gone viral on Facebook and WhatsApp, says Piyali met Sridevi five years ago and found her very beautiful but unhappy.
Here is the full text of the post:
"While we are all mourning the untimely demise of Sridevi, it is important to remember why this may have happened to her. Society demanded that she stay slimmer/look younger than a 40 year old and hence, the continuous surgeries. When i met her about 5 years ago, she was beautiful but a sad version of that self that we loved so much in a movie like Chandni. What a lot of pressure to keep her weight down, to make sure that her face had no wrinkle lines... continuous clinic visits in Southern California.
"As a friend of mine wrote this morning... do we need a #metoo movement in fashion,#notsize0? Milan has already implemented this but these patriarchical implants were in her head. The husband, who claimed to love her so much should have intervened. Did he love the way she looked as his arm candy more than he loved her? She herself did not trust herself in her own beauty – she was a clothes horse for whoever would care to dress her.
"What i conclude is such a lack of love for oneself that one's own lips don't suffice, one's own face is not good enough, one's flesh and blood have to be sucked out of her so that she can wear the best of couture. That is the sadness of a life that could have been lived so much better not just for her but for her daughters. What a terrible legacy".
SRIDEVI AND MITHUN – A SOUR AFFAIR
It wasn’t just acting that kept the late Sridevi in news, for her personal life, or more so her marital bond with two heavyweights of the Indian film industry, actor Mithun Chakraborty and producer Boney Kapoor, kept rumour mills abuzz in the past.
Back in the days, gossips spread about Sridevi, who supposedly stood between Mithun and his wife Yogeeta Bali and secretly got hitched to the actor in 1985 but the marriage eventually annulled after just three years. Even though the story did not have strong proofs as confirmation, there were several reports and sources that claimed otherwise. Their torrid love affair and break-up became hot cake for media outlets in India, and entertainment journalists left no stone unturned when reporting about their alleged relationship and marriage.
Rumour has it that Sridevi once tied rakhi on Boney’s hand to prove her love for Mithun. However, Mithun sensed Boney’s interest in Sridevi, which caused a rift between the two men. All the while, the actress was a serious threat to Mithun’s marriage with Yogeeta.
She asked Mithun to choose between her and his wife. But the latter allegedly attempted suicide after knowing about her husband’s secret marriage to the actress, which is why Mithun chose his wife over Sridevi who was left with a broken heart.
However, during an interview in June 1984, Sridevi denied her relationship with Mithun saying, "There's nothing between us. Mithun and I worked together in Jaag Utha Insaan and we shared a professional relationship. It was great working with him.”
SRIDEVI AND BONEY KAPOOR’S UNDYING LOVE
The blissful married life of Sridevi and Boney Kapoor is no secret. The two had faced numerous challenges together but their love had always emerged victorious. Their devotion for each other was still going strong until the Bollywood actress had to relent to her untimely death. The timeless beauty that was, Boney Kapoor can’t be blamed for falling head over heels for her while she herself took time getting acquainted with the idea. The producer was in love the moment he set his eyes on her in a Tamil movie back in 1970s and so, he approached her for a role in his next venture, Mr India. Despite being married to Mona Kapoor with children, Boney did all to stay close to his new-found love ‘Sri’ until she gradually realised her love for him. Later, revealed that it was ‘traumatic’ for her to embrace her feelings for the man of her dreams. She confided, “It was difficult, but I wish I had realised and accepted his love for me sooner.”
SHE CAME, SHE CONQUERED
• The actress has worked in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada films. She made her Bollywood debut as a child artiste in Julie (1975) and played her first adult role at the age of 13 in a Tamil film. The following year where she played step mom to Rajnikanth. Subsequently, she established herself as one of the leading actresses of Tamil and Telugu cinema.
• In Bollywood, she made her debut as a lead actress in Solva Sawan (1978) and gained wide public attention with the movie Himmatwala (1983). She appeared in a string of commercially successful movies thereafter and also received critical acclaim for movies such as Sadma (1983), Nagina (1986), Chaalbaaz (1989), Lamhe (1991), Khuda Gawah (1992), Gumrah (1993), Laadla (1994) and Judaai (1997).
• Sridevi ’s Himmatwala (1983) opposite Jeetendra became one of the biggest blockbusters of the year. The following year Tohfa released and turned out to be the biggest hit of 1984. The films established Sridevi as one of the leading actresses of Bollywood.
• In 1986, came the snake fantasy Nagina which saw Sridevi playing a shape-shifting woman. The film turned out to be the second biggest blockbuster of the year. Her climax dance number Main Teri Dushman also remains one of the best snake dances in Bollywood.
• Sridevi followed the success by playing a goofy crime journalist in the 1987 film Mr. India which became one of the highest grossing hits of the year. The dance number Hawa Hawai in the film also became a popular nickname for the actress.
• Sridevi played the title role in Chandni that emerged as one of the biggest blockbusters. The film also reaffirmed Sridevi’s position as the top female star of the 1980s and her dominance over her contemporaries, Jaya Prada and Meenakshi Sheshadri.
• Sridevi and Anil Kapoor were considered as the most successful pair in 80s and 90s. Both the actors starred in 13 films, including hits like Mr India, Lamhe, Laadla, and Judaai. She also did 16 films with Jeetendra as a co-star.
• Sridevi had landed a role in Hollywood director Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park in 1990. However, since her career in Bollywood was at an all-time high, she refused the role, saying the character didn't have anything much to offer to the audience.
• When Sridevi started with Hindi films, she wasn't very fluent in Hindi. For many of her initial films, Naaz and Rekha dubbed for her films.
• As an actress, Sridevi was really choosy while selecting films. From the 1992 film Beta to refusing Juhi Chawla’s role in Darr, Sridevi had made some unapologetic choices in her career and never looked back. She turned down several roles saying that they weren't experimental.
• Sridevi was very professional. She lost her father during the shooting of Lamhe (1991) in London. After completing her last rituals, she returned to work and even shot a comedy sequence with co-star Anupam Kher.
• Sridevi was famous for being the only actress who at the peak of her career, refused films opposite Amitabh Bachchan since she was more keen to do heroine oriented roles.
• The last major film Sridevi starred in before she took a break from the industry was Judaai which won her eighth Filmfare nomination for Best Actress.
• In 2012, Sridevi returned to films after a 15-year-long hiatus with English Vinglish and became the only actress in the history of Hindi and Tamil cinema to make a highly successful comeback.
THE HIGH ACHIEVER
• Sridevi is regarded as the first female superstar of Hindi cinema.
• During her career, she won five Filmfare Awards among numerous other awards and accolades.
• In the 90s, she was one of the highest earning actresses of Bollywood and even earned more than her male co-actors.
• In 2013, the Government of India awarded her with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour.
• The actress was also voted 'India's Greatest Actress in 100 Years' in a CNN-IBN national poll conducted in 2013 on the occasion of the Centenary of Indian Cinema.
• Her last film Mom (2017) was her 300th film as an actor.
• It was the song, Naino Mein Sapna, in 1983 film Himmatwala that launched Sridevi as one of Indian films' most stylish icons.
• Over-jewelled with gold accessories, strong pink eyeshadow and dark fuchsia lipstick, only she could make such ensembles seem elegant and graceful, thanks to her poise. It is a moment that has often been referred to in many other films.
• The Amarpali style costume was something Sridevi returned to in Chalbaaz, and this time, she became known for her curvy figure.
• In Mr. India, she gave us one of sari's most seductive moments when she wore a blue, one in the iconic rain song Kaate Nahin Katte. It was a look she repeated in Chandni, and her yellow sari became a must-have for every college girl and was referred to as 'The Chandni Look'.
• Her go-to designer was Manish Malhotra, who refers to her as his inspiration, and she recently wore one of his outfits while walking the ramp for a jewellery brand in Bangalore.
• Sridevi also wore outfits by Pakistani designer Faraz Manan, and Indian designer couple Shane and Falguni Peacock at a recent wedding. She was even a muse to international shoe designer Christian Louboutin, who called Sridevi his 'childhood idol' and shot with the actress for an article in New York Times' Magazine titled 'My Bollywood Affair in Marrakech'.
Sridevi was an extremely unhappy woman, says Ram Gopal Varma
Varma’s shocking revelations come at a time when the entertainment world is already in a state of shock over the sudden demise of the starlet. Read on to find more…
What was Sridevi’s life like? Director Ram Gopal Varma, who worked with her in two films and knew her well, said, “Sridevi was pretty much an extremely unhappy woman. The uncertainty of the future, the ugly turns and twists in her private life left deep scars in the superstar's sensitive mind and thereafter, she was never at peace.”
“From my personal experience with her, the only time I ever saw her in peace was in front of the camera. That’s because she could cut off the harsh reality and escape into her own fantasy world,” RGV explained on a blog post on his Facebook page.
“For many, Sridevi's life was perfect. Beautiful face, great talent, a seemingly stable family with two beautiful daughters. From outside, everything looked so enviable and desirable... But was Sridevi a very happy person and did she lead a very happy life? I know her life from the time I met her. I saw with my own eyes how her life was like a bird in the sky till her father’s death and then became like a bird in a cage due to her overprotective mother,” he wrote.
The director explained that back in time when actors used to be paid in mostly black money, due to fear of tax raids, her father used to trust friends and relatives but everyone of them betrayed her the moment her father died. He said then her ignorant mother made many wrong investments in litigated properties. “All those mistakes combined made her almost pennyless by the time Boney came into her life. He himself was in huge debts and all he could afford was to give her a shoulder to cry on,” RGV elaborated.
Ram Gopal Varma recalled how she got into issues with her younger sister Srilatha over property matters. “So in effect, the woman desired by millions in the world was all alone and almost pennyless,” he said.
The director said Sridevi knew she was a beautiful woman and for years got cosmetic surgeries done, the effects of which could be seen. He mentioned that the nightmare of every actress was age and Sridevi was no exception. “She always came across as a little uptight but that’s because she built a psychological wall around her as she was scared of anybody to really see what's going on within her. She was panicky about anybody knowing what her insecurities were,” he said.
Ram Gopal Varma described Sridevi as a child trapped in a woman’s body. “She was naive as a person, but suspicious because of her bitter experiences which is not a very good combination,” he concluded in his post.
WHEN THE LEGEND SPOKE
On choosing films over studies
"I was a good student. For a while my parents did make me cope with school and films simultaneously. When we'd go on outdoor shoots, a teacher would accompany us. But after a point, this wasn't practical. I had to choose between studies and films. I chose films."
On rumoured rivalries with other actresses
"Where are the rivals? There can be rivalry only between two equals. My only rival at the moment is Sridevi. I'm constantly trying to upstage her... I'm doing it to the point of obsession." – August 1990
"I could shop around if I disguised myself. But then I would miss the high of being recognised as a star. Ah well. I guess one can't have everything." – October 1996
‘Ek ajeeb si ghabrahat ho rahi hai’
Big B’s intuitive tweet before Sridevi’s sudden demise
In the early hours of Sunday, the world was greeted with the terrible news of legendary actress. But a tweet posted late Saturday night by superstar Amitabh Bachchan is sending shivers up social media's spine. A little after midnight, he wrote about feeling a sense of unease, tweeting in Hindi: "Na jaane kyun, ek ajeeb si ghabrahat ho rahi hai."
Boney Never Divorced MonaBharathi S. Pradhan - Editor, The Film Street Journal
What has been annoying is the way almost the entire media has been referring to Mona Kapoor as Boney Kapoor’s ex wife. However, the truth is that Mona was always the official, legal wife of Boney Kapoor because they were never divorced. Estranged, yes. Divorced, no. It was proved when Boney performed all the last rites, stood like a pillar by Arjun and Anshula, his two children from Mona and the prayer meeting notice in all the papers clearly stated, ‘Mona Kapoor, wife of Boney Kapoor’.
Everything about Mona’s death was poignant. She got her first major jolt when her husband moved out of their bungalow and started a family with Sridevi. She watched the world (close family and friends included) accept Sri and Boney as a couple, in the process making her, his legal wife, seem like the other woman!
Hit songs picturised on Sridevi
Nainon Mein Sapna – Himmatwala (1983)
Taki O Taki – Himmatwala 1983
Mama Mia – Justice Chaudhury (1983)
Neele Neele Amber Per – Kalakar (1983)
Ek Aankh Marun To – Tohfa (1984)
Main Teri Dushman – Nagina (1986)
Gori Ka Saajan – Aakhree Raasta (1986)
Har Kisi Ko Nahi Milta – Janbaaz (1986)
Hawa Hawaii – Mr. India 1987
Karte Hain Hum Pyaar – Mr. India (1987)
I Love You – Mr. India (1987)
Mere Haathon Mein – Chandni (1989)
Chandni – Chandni (1989)
Tere Mere Honton – Chandni (1989)
Na Jaane Kahan Se – Chaalbaaz (1989)
Naam Mera Premkali – Chaalbaaz (1989)
Kabhi Main Kahoon – Lamhe (1991)
Morni – Lamhe (1991)
Megha Re Megha – Lamhe (1991)
Tu Mujhe Kabool – Khuda Gawah (1992)
Tu Na Ja Mere Baadshah – Khuda Gawah (1992)
Aana Re Aana Re – Gurudev (1993)
Main Hoon Roop Ki Rani – Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1993)
Tere Pyar Ko Salam – Gumraah (1993)
Aa Paas Aa To Zara – Chandra Mukhi (1993)
I Am Very Very Sorry – Chaand Ka Tukra (1994)
Main To Hoon Pagal Munda – Army (1996)
Lage Mujhe Sundar Har Ladki – Mr. Bechara (1996)
Judaii Judaii – Judaii (1997)
Navrai Majhi – English Vinglish (2012)
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