Veteran actor Sridevi passed away on February 24 after suffering from a cardiac arrest. She was 54 and is survived by her husband Boney Kapoor and daughters Khushi and Jahnvi Kapoor. She was in Dubai to attend a wedding.
A superstar, she was the recipient of a Padma Shri and five Filmfare awards. She also won the state award for best child artist for her performance in the Malayalam movie “Poombata”.
Her real name was Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan. Born in 1963, she started her career when she was just four years old. Sridevi made her debut as a child actor in “Thunaivan” in 1969. Her first movie as an adult in a leading role was “Moondru Mudichu” (1976), directed by K Balachandar. The movie had two of India’s legendary actors, Kamal Hassan and Rajinikanth.
She worked in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films before entering Bollywood.
After gaining immense popularity in the south, she made her Bollywood debut in 1978 with “Solva Sawan”. Although it took her some time to spread her magic in Hindi cinema, but she never looked back once she started off on a journey of success. Bollywood accepted her only after five years after she impressed everyone with Jeetendra-starrer “Himmatwala”.
In 1986, she went on to act in her super-hit movie “Nagina”. That was something unusual that she did after entering the Hindi cinema industry. She carried off that role very well and proved her metal to the filmmakers. She acted in various movies like “Chaalbaaz”, “Chandni”, “Lamhe”, “Khuda Gawah”, “Roop ki Rani Choron ka Raja” and many more.
She had an amazing chemistry with Anil Kapoor. After all who can forget her role as journalist in the very famous “Mr India”. The song “Hawa-Hawai” made her a household name. Moreover, the iconic song “Kaate nahi kat-te” is still a popular romantic song. She set a benchmark by her performance in that song that people still try to reach but fail to do so. Sridevi and Anil Kapoor starred in many films together but “Lamhe” (1991) is said to be their best performance together.
“Roop ki Rani Choron ka Raja” (1993), starring Sridevi and Anil Kapoor was produced by Boney Kapoor and is said to be the most expensive movie of that time. They both were last seen together in “Judaai” (1997) after which she took a 15 year long break. Sridevi’s most memorable onscreen pairing was with her real-life brother-in-law Anil Kapoor, while her most successful films were produced by her husband Boney Kapoor.
A lot of actors made their transition from south to north but the success and popularity she managed to gain is commendable. She was able to walk through the language barrier, breaking away from geographical boundaries and create her mark in the cinema industry.
She also proved that women centric movies can also hold the audience by making a come back in Gauri Shinde’s movie “English Vinglish” (2012). She is seen portraying the role of a middle-class woman who struggles to speak in English. She finally joins classes to learn English so that she gets accepted by her family.The movie was not just critically acclaimed, but got commercial success as well. Sridevi was last seen in Ravi Udyawar’s “Mom” (2017), which was a thriller movie.
Her sudden demise has shocked everyone and created a void in the industry. I believe the current generation of actors have a lot to learn from her. From acting to dancing, she was a complete entertainer.