Born as Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan, Sridevi (August 13, 1963 – February 24, 2018) was an Indian actor and producer, who stole the hearts of millions of people. She enthusiastically worked in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada films in a career spanning 5 decades. This lady with fame received various awards including the Nandi Award, National Film Award, the Tamil Nadu State Film Award, 3 Filmfare Awards, Kerala State Film Award, three Filmfare Awards South and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. Not only this, she worked in a wide range of genres from drama, action and comedy to epics. This actor undertook various challenging roles and successfully completed her part with remarkable acting skills. Interestingly, Sridevi was ranked as one of the highest paid women in the Indian entertainment industry.
Sridevi began her career from very early years of her life. At age of 4, she made her debut in Tamil film known as ‘Kandhan Karunai’. Later, as a child she proceeded with Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam films. At the age of 9. she worked in Bollywood Hindi film ‘Rani Mera Naam’ in 1972. She also starred as a teenage girl in soft romantic movie ‘Julie’. However, it was only in 1983 that she got wider recognition for the film ‘Himmatwala’. Her spectacular dances with Jeetendra, choreographed to the foot tapping music of Bappi Lahiri catapulted her to overnight stardom in Bollywood. Her other prominent films include ‘Mawaali’ (1983), ‘Naya Kadam’ (1984), ‘Tohfa’ (1984), ‘Karma’ (1986), ‘Mr. India’ (1987), ‘Nagina’ (1986) and ‘ChaalBaaz’ (1989). Her everlasting acting skills did not end here, as she further performed challenging roles in films like ‘Lamhe’, ‘Gumrah’, ‘Khuda Gawah’ and ‘Laadla’. Due to her sheer star power, she got a chance to act against many leading men of the industry, such as Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty, Rishi Kapoor, Sunny Deol, and Rajinikanth. Moreover, her portrayal of a mentally challenged girl opposite Kamal Haasan in ‘Sadma’ won her many accolades.
In 1997, Sridevi quietly married producer Boney Kapoor, the elder brother of actor Anil Kapoor. They have two daughters, Janhvi and Khushi, who are now stepping into Bollywood to make their mother’s dream come true. After a break from the film industry, and debut on Indian television, in 2012, she marked history by showcasing her excellent acting skills in successful comedy-drama such as ‘English Vinglish’. Not unsurprisingly, her 300th film, the thriller ‘Mom’, brought her the National Film Award for Best Actress in 2018.
Sadly, such a charming lady is no more in our midst. This kind, gentle and sweet soul, who was honoured with Padma Shri by Government of India in 2013, was found dead in her guest room at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 24, 2018. All that her fans can pray for is, wherever she is, may her soul rest in peace.