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 Indian Cinema Icon, Sridevi, dies at 54

 

Indian Cinema Icon, Sridevi, dies at 54

Last Updated on : 25 Feb,2018 | Source : Universal News Timeline


Mumbai:
The sudden death of actress Sridevi of a cardiac arrest at the young age of 54 has left not just her colleagues in the film industry, but also her millions of fans, in shock. On social media, they paid tributes to her and recalled not only her landmark films but also noted that she had begun a comeback at an age when most mature actresses are consigned to boring and clichéd ‘mother’ roles. With English Vinglish, released in 2012 when she was 48, Sridevi had shown that she could play a central role and still hold attention as she did, successfully, in the countless films of the 1980s. That decade was not known for great cinema, but in that firmament, Sridevi was the brightest star.

In fact, the 1980s could be said to be the decade of Sridevi. More than most, she churned out one Hindi hit after the other starting with the potboiler Himmatwala, Tohfa and Nagina. Mr India and Chandnifollowed, and Sridevi became a bankable star who everyone wanted in their films.

Even the relatively less successful films like Chaalbaaz, Lamhe and Khuda Gawah, the last with Amitabh Bachchan, showcased her talent and enormous screen presence. She could do intense, emotional roles and comedy with equal aplomb, something that many other actresses would find very difficult.

She was one of the two actresses – the other being Jaya Prada – who made a successful transition from acting in the South to Hindi films. It must however be noted that she was already a big star in Tamil and Telugu films and had also proven her considerable acting skills in Moondram Pirai (1982), as a young girl who regresses to childhood after suffering a head injury. The following year, the film was made in Hindi as Sadma, and was equally successful at the box office, launching her career in Bombay and thus to a wider, all India audience. Before that, she had acted in Julie, at the age of 12.
Throughout her Hindi film days, she continued acting in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam films where she had been a child actor. It was in a Tamil film Thanaivanwhere she had made her debut at the age of four. She got her first lead role in Moondru Modichu at the age of 13. Some of her other landmark Tamil films include Varumayin Niram Sivappu (1980), directed by K. Balachander, and 16 Vayadhinile with Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth.

Whether as the revenge seeking snake woman in Nagina, or the feisty reporter who falls in love with an invisible man in Mr India or even in her last big hit, English Vinglish, in which she was a housewife seeking her own identity by learning English, a certain innocence remained part of her on-screen personality.
For all those who grew up in the 1980s, Sridevi’s most iconic role was in Mr India where she was alternatively sultry in the song ‘kaate nahi kathti din ya raat’ and then displayed a great sense of comic timing in ‘hawa hawaii’.
Off-screen, she married producer Boney Kapoor after he divorced from his first wife Mona. She went into hibernation raising two daughters, one of whom, Jhanvi, is to make her screen debut in the forthcoming film, the Hindi version of the Marathi hit Sairat.



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