While death of any human being is inevitable, untimely demises of film stars who are close to the hearts of fans upset many. The end of Sridevi is one such unforgettable moment in the recent times.
The actress, who ruled the roost in Kollywood, Tollywood and Bollywood, and was hailed as the first lady superstar of India, died in Dubai Saturday last, when she went there to attend the wedding of a relative.
Her last rites were performed with state honours in Mumbai on Wednesday, with thousands paying tributes. This week, Mykollywood.com takes a look at untimely deaths of some actresses in Tamil cinema.
Twenty two years have passed since she passed away. But still, the gap left by Silk Smitha remains empty. She entered the industry as a junior artiste and first got noticed for her role as ‘Silk’ in the 1979 Tamil film ‘Vandichakkaram’.
She became a major sex symbol and the most sought-after erotic actress in the 1980s. In a career spanning 17 years, she appeared in over 450 films in Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi languages. On 23 September 1996, she was found dead in her apartment in Chennai, apparently having committed suicide.
Shoba started her career as a child artiste in the Tamil film ‘Thattungal Thirakkappadum’. Her first film as a heroine was ‘Utrada Raatri’.
Shoba’s real name was Mahalakshmi. She won the National Film Award for Best Actress for her role in the Tamil film ‘Pasi’ at the age of 17.
She committed suicide at the age of 18. She was reportedly married to Balu Mahendra. In an interview to Anu Haasan in Koffee with Anu, Balu Mahendra had said that the tragedy of how Shoba was suddenly snatched away from his life by destiny, as quickly as she came, formed the plot for his next movie ‘Moondram Pirai’. The 1983 Malayalam film ‘Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback directed by K. G. George is loosely based on her life and death.
Divya Bharti starred in a number of commercially successful Hindi and Telugu motion pictures in the early 1990s.
She aspired a career in films at a young age, and started to get offers at 14, while she was doing modelling assignments. She made her debut with a lead role in the successful Telugu drama ‘Bobbili Raja’ (1990), aged 16.
After featuring in a number of high-grossing Telugu films, she progressed to Bollywood films in 1992 with the action thriller ‘Vishwatma’. Bharti further went on to have commercial success alongside acclaimed actors such as Govinda and Rishi Kapoor in films such as ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’ and ‘Deewana’, respectively; the latter of which garnered her a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.
She acted in over 14 Hindi films between 1992 and 1993, which is to date an unbroken record in Hindi cinema.
Bharti died on 5 April 1993, aged 19, from head injuries sustained after falling off the balcony of her fifth-floor apartment at Tulsi Buildings in Versova, Mumbai.
Soundarya predominantly worked in Telugu cinema besides Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam and Bollywood films in lead roles.
In 2002, she received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film as producer for the Kannada film ‘Dweepa’. She received two Karnataka State Film Awards for Best Actress, several Filmfare Awards South and the Nandi Awards for her performances in films such as ‘Ammoru’ (1994), ‘Anthapuram’ (1998), ‘Raja’ (1999), ‘Dweepa’ (2002) and ‘Aaptamitra’ (2004).
At the peak of her career, Soundarya died in an aircraft crash near Bangalore on 17 April 2004, when she was on her way to Andhra Pradesh to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Monal appeared in Tamil language films. She was the younger sister of actress Simran and appeared in notable productions including ‘Badri’ alongside Vijay. She committed suicide in 2002.
Prathyusha, who shot to fame with films such as ‘Super Kudumbam’, ‘Manuneedhi’ and ‘Kadal Pookal’, died on 23 February 2002 after committing suicide in a suicide pact with her boyfriend Siddhartha Reddy, reportedly after their family members rejected their marriage proposal.
Prathyusha died while undergoing treatment at Care Hospital, while Siddartha recovered after treatment. After her death, her mother started a charity in her name.
Aarti Agarwal married Tasval Kumar, a US-based Indian software engineer; the couple divorced in 2009. On June 6, 2015, Agarwal was pronounced dead on arrival at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Agarwal, who had reportedly undergone a liposuction surgery six weeks prior, had severe breathing problems before her death, it is said. Her manager stated the cause of her death was cardiac arrest.