DUBAI, (Reuters) – Indian actress Sridevi died from drowning in her hotel room bathtub, police in Dubai said yesterday following a post-mortem.
Media reports had earlier said the 54-year-old, who had been in Dubai for a family wedding, had died of cardiac arrest on Saturday.
“Following the completion of post-mortem analysis, Dubai Police today stated that the death of Indian actress Sridevi occurred due to drowning in her hotel apartment’s bathtub following loss of consciousness,” Dubai Police said on their Twitter account.
“Dubai Police has transferred the case to Dubai Public Prosecution, which will carry out regular legal procedures followed in such cases,” it added, without elaborating.
In a career spanning five decades, Sridevi acted in 300 films and was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour in 2013.
Born Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, she started acting at the age of four, appearing in several Tamil-language films in the 1960s and 1970s, and eventually dropping out of school for a career in the movies.
Sridevi made her Bollywood debut in 1979 with “Solva Sawan” (16th spring), but it was in 1983, with Balu Mahendra’s “Sadma” (Shock) that she made her mark in the Hindi film industry.
That year, she also acted with Jeetendra in K. Raghavendra Rao’s blockbuster “Himmatwala” (The Courageous One), cementing her place as one of Bollywood’s top actresses.
Sridevi was known for her on-screen vivacity and energy, playing memorable characters in films such as “Chaalbaaz” (Trickster) and Shekhar Kapur’s “Mr India” in the 80s and 90s. She charmed audiences in female-centric hits at a time when the Indian film industry relied on male actors for box-office success.
Sridevi took a break from films soon after she married producer Boney Kapoor in 1996. She made a successful return to the big screen 15 years later in Gauri Shinde’s “English Vinglish” (2012), playing a housewife taking English-language lessons. Her last screen appearance was in “Mom” (2017), as a mother avenging her daughter’s rape.
Sridevi’s death triggered an outpouring of tributes from Bollywood luminaries and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.