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05 December 2023

Bollywood superstar Sridevi 'drowned' in bathtub, say Dubai police


Indian actress Sridevi drowned in her hotel bathtub after losing consciousness, the Dubai police said in a statement Monday, though two police officials said she was also under the influence of alcohol at the time.

The 54-year-old movie icon - and one of the highest-paid female stars in an industry notorious for its gender pay gap - died late Saturday while in Dubai for a wedding.

Her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor had told an Indian newspaper that she died of a cardiac arrest.

In a tweet, the Dubai police said that her death was "due to drowning in her hotel apartment's bathtub following loss of consciousness."

They added that the case had been handed to the public prosecutor's office, "which will carry out regular legal procedures."

Two Dubai police officials added, though, that she was under the influence of alcohol. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to reporters.

Comedy and dancing queen

Born Shree Amma Yanger Ayappan in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Sridevi, like many South Indian stars, was known only by one name. An award-winning actress who was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award, for services to the movie industry, she acted in more than 300 films in more than five languages.
Beginning her career as a child star in the Tamil film industry, she went on to star in films made in the leading South Indian languages: Telugu and Malayalam. But it was in the Hindi language Bollywood industry that Sridevi endeared herself to millions of fans across the country with her impeccable comic timing, luminously expressive eyes and her dance skills, the latter a major financial asset for film producers.

Sridevi was at her peak in the 1980s and '90s, when she starred in a string of blockbuster films including "Chandni", "Mr India", "Mawali" ("Scoundrel") and "Tohfa" ("Gift").

Sridevi famously took a 15-year-break from the silver screen after marrying film producer Boney Kapoor but returned in the 2012 hit comedy-drama "English Vinglish". Her most recent film was last year's "Mom".

Shock, grief among Bollywood fans across the world

Her death was met with shock among Bollywood fans across the world with crowds gathering at her Mumbai home, expecting to catch a glimpse of the body upon its return from Dubai.

Tributes kept pouring in for the actress and fans gathered outside her home for a second day.

"We want to see her one last time," 48-year-old Laxmi Subbaramaiah told AFP outside the house in the Andheri area of Mumbai - the heartland of the Bollywood film industry.

"All of my family members are big fans and we cried when we heard the news. We will wait here until her body comes back," he said.

Sridevi's death has prompted an outpouring of grief in India from fans and fellow actors as well as condolences from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Bollywood stars pay tribute

"I have always been a huge fan of her work. Equally I have been an admirer of the grace and dignity with which she conducted herself," actor Aamir Khan wrote on Twitter.

"I join all the millions of her fans in mourning her demise. Ma'am we will always remember you with love and respect," he added.

Fellow actor Ranveer Singh tweeted that he was "shocked and saddened to hear about the untimely demise of one of Hindi cinema's greatest superstars".

Actress Alia Bhatt posted on Twitter: "Nothing makes sense. I have no words... just completely shocked. RIP Sri Devi. My icon forever. Love you."

'Case closed' in death of Bollywood star Sridevi: Dubai police

An investigation into the death of Bollywood superstar Sridevi Kapoor, who drowned in her bathtub in a Dubai hotel, has been closed, police said Tuesday.

"The Dubai public prosecutor's officer has decided to release the body of Indian actress Sridevi to her family today (Tuesday) after the investigation into the incident was concluded and the case closed," read a tweet by the Dubai police.