Sri Devi: The Empress of Indian Cinema

The untimely death of Sri Devi shocks admirers across the globe

Born on 13 August 1963 as Sree Amma Yanger Ayyapan in Sivaski Tamil Nandu she grew up to be Sridevi the indisputable empress of the Indian Cinema. At the tender age of four Sridevi began her acting career by working as a child artist in a Tamil film. Her work speaks volumes as her acting career spans over four decades. During her long acting career she experienced success after success and received many awards for her endearing performances. However Sridevi won Kerala State Film Award for best child artist at the age of eight. At the age of 12 she made her Bollywood debuted as a child artist in film Julie. Sridevi at the age of 13 played her first adult role in a Tamil film Moondru Mudichu. Due to her extraordinary acting abilities she was always noticed by filmmakers and directors. At the age of 15 she played her first role as a leading lady in film Solva Sawan and there was no looking back. Sridevi was one of a kind her unique acting skills made her win the prestigious Film Fare Award when she was only 19. Sridevi owing to her extraordinary success was given the title of Indian cinema’s first female superstar. 1980’s marked the zenith of Sridevi’s success and no wonder she rose to a cult status in India and across the globe.  Sridevi was successful in attracting large crowds of people to cinema for films Mr. India, Himmatwala, Nagina, Chandni and Lamhe.  Sridevi left the industry after marrying film maker Boney Kapoor in 1996 for a good number of years. They both have two daughters Jhanvi and Khusi after a gap of 15 years Sridevi returned to the silver screen in film English Vinglish. The film was critically acclaimed and once again Sridevi impressed both the audience and the critics by her marvelous acting skills. During her career she was nominated 11 times for Filmfare awards but won the trophy 3 times. Sridevi has been an inspiration for generations of film actresses.  Her last appearance on silver screen was in film Mom by Boney Kapoor which also included Pakistani actors Adnan Siddiqui and Sajal Ali.

Following are some less known interesting facts regarding Sridevi.

  • Sridevi and Anil Kapoor are considered to be one of the greatest on screen pairs of the Indian cinema. However Mr. Kapoor became of the biggest super stars of Bollywood owing to the film Mr. India which became a massive hit because of Sridevi.
  • Sridevi before sharing screen with the Veteran actor Rajni Kanth in the film Chaal Baaz had played the role of his on screen mother in a Tamil film when she was only thirteen.
  • It is rumored that during the making of film Maqsaaad actors Rajesh Khanna and Jeetendra locked both Sridevi and Jaya Prada hoping to end their cat fight. However both the actress were found sitting silently in two corners of the room when the door was finally opened.

  • Initially Sridevi could not dub her films in Hindi as her first language was Tamil therefore film star Rekha dubbed for her in the film Akhari Rasta. The first time that Sridevi dubbed for herself was in the critically acclaimed film Chandani.
  • Sridevi and Jeetendra were considered to one of the most successful onscreen pairs in Bollywood during the eighties. They both worked together in sixteen films out which eleven films became huge successes at the box office.
  • During her long successful career as an actress she also did occasional play back singing in films Sadama and Chandni.

Sridevi in one of her recent interview revealed that how difficult it was for her to acclimatize to Bollywood’s style of working. Initially waiting for her co actors to arrive on sets and dealing with the scrutiny of Bollywood paparazzi was a big challenge for her.  On 24th February 2018 the news of her sudden death by cardiac arrest devastated millions of people across the globe. Large crowds of mourners began gathering outside her house in Lokhan wala. Speculations made by Indian media on her death imply that her death is shrouded in mystery. Her mortal remains were flown to India in a jet owned by Reliance Company after Dubai Police deemed her death as a case of accidental drowning. However Sridevi’s death has raised two camps in India. The first camp demands that media must refrain on raising speculations regarding the actress’s death. However the second camp asserts that unanswered questions such as hotel’s CCTV footage and Sridevi’s last phone calls should be answered.  The latter camp claims that India demands a complete investigation into the matter as Indians want to know what really happened to their film star.

She was cremated with state honors as ten thousands of mourners took to the streets to pay her their last respect by catching her one last glimpse.  She shall always be remembered as one of the finest actors and a true gem of the international society.

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