India

Sridevi: Bollywood superstar dies at 54 of heart attack

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Media captionSridevi "paved way for other women in Bollywood"

Bollywood superstar Sridevi Kapoor has died of a heart attack, her family says. She was 54.

The actress known simply as Sridevi had been with her family in Dubai for her nephew's wedding.

She featured over five decades in almost 300 films, in classics like Mr India, Chandni, ChaalBaaz and Sadma.

She was considered one of the very few Indian female superstars capable of huge box office success without the support of a male hero.

From the age of four, she had worked in films in the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi languages.

Crowds gathered outside Sridevi's home in Mumbai as news emerged of her death. Bollywood figures and political leaders reacted with shock.

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Media caption"We miss you, Sridevi": Fans pay tribute to the Bollywood superstar

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was "saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi", while Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said her death had left millions of fans heartbroken.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, paid tribute to the late star, writing on Twitter: "Really enjoyed meeting Bollywood icon Sri Devi on my recent trip to India.

"So sad to hear the news of the death of such a terrifically talented actress, performer and producer."


A fluid talent

By Sudha G Tilak, in Delhi

The rise of Sridevi is an extraordinary chapter in the nation's film industry.

Her acting career began at the tender age of four and by 13 she was cast in the adult role of a complicated woman avenging her lover's death.

It was not long before directors took note of her versatile acting abilities and the offers started to snowball.

She became a box office magnet from the 1970s to the late 1990s with her numerous films spanning more than five Indian languages.

But while Sridevi's screen presence was a glamorous one, her private life was one of heartbreak, loss and estrangement.


How did she die?

The actress was in the United Arab Emirates to attend the wedding of her nephew, Mohit Marwah.

Sridevi's husband Boney Kapoor and daughter Khushi were with her when she passed away on Saturday, reports say.

Her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor said it had happened "roughly around" 23:00-23:30 (19:00-19:30 GMT), indianexpress.com reports.

He did not provide any further details.

Why was she such a huge box office draw?

She debuted as a lead actress in a Bollywood film in 1978, soon becoming one of India's biggest film stars.

The versatile actress decided to take a break from the film industry after the release of Judaai in 1997.

She made a comeback in 2012, starring in English Vinglish.

In 2013, the Indian government awarded her the Padma Shri - the fourth highest civilian honour.

How are fans reacting?

Social media sites are being flooded with condolences, with many users expressing shock that the actress died still relatively young.

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