Screencap of Sridevi in 'English Vinglish', February 28, 2018 -
CAIRO – 28 February 2018: Sridevi, one of Bollywood's biggest and most beloved actresses, passed away on Saturday, February 24, at the age of 54. She is mourned by legions of fans across India and was buried on Wednesday, February 28.
Her death was ruled as "'accidental drowning'" after she lost consciousness in a bathtub while staying in Dubai with family to attend the wedding of her nephew.
Sridevi was Bollywood's first major breakthrough hit, paving the way for numerous other young actresses to make it through as well. Born on August 13, 1963, Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan or Sridevi as she would come to be known was acting as soon as she could, starting in 1967 when she starred in a Tamil movie called "'Kandhan Karuna'".
By 1976, she had debuted as the lead star in "'Moondru Mudichu'", and as the 80s rolled in her fame only grew further. Towards the end of the decade, Sridevi had managed to become the first Bollywood actress capable of holding a film on her own; prior to Sridevi, female characters in Bollywood were either love interests or side characters. Sridevi starred in hundreds of roles across her career, in the languages of Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.
She was the most successful Tamil Cinema actress during 1979-1983. It was "' Himmatwala'", her first successful Bollywood role in 1983 that helped propel her to cinematic fame; the film was a smash blockbuster success and transformed Sridevi almost overnight into one of India's biggest stars.
Sridevi joined together with her "Himmatwala" co-star Jeetendra for 15 other movies. Sridevi's popularity coincided with the growth of consumerism in India, and a new generation of young women looked up to the actress as their role model; she proved the virtues of independence and strength, a female actress who made it on her own without remaining in the shadow of a man.
One of her most successful roles came in the 1987 Indian superhero flick "Mr India", where she portrayed a sharp-witted investigative journalist.
By 1997, she temporarily retired from film acting to focus on her family.
Sridevi went on to join the Board of Directors at the Asian Academy of Film & Television.
In 2012, Sridevi returned to acting with the Bollywood comedy "'English Vinglish'", which turned out to be another smash-hit success. In all, her career spanned nearly 300 movies across the five Indian languages, and she was beloved in virtually every corner of the country.
Her death has thus come as a great national tragedy, bringing together the massive land of India to mourn the star.
While Sridevi's death was originally stated as cardiac arrest, the Dubai officials investigating have now stated it was caused by an accidental drowning due to loss of consciousness, and have ruled out any notion of foul play.
Sridevi leaves behind her husband Boney Kapoor, two daughters, Jhanvi and Khushi, and an entire nation of devoted fans.