Sridevi, Bollywood’s leading lady of the 1980s and ’90s who redefined stardom for actresses in India, has died at age 54.
The actress was described as the first female superstar in India’s male-dominated film industry. She used one name, like many leading ladies of her generation, and was known for her comic timing and her dancing skills, a great asset in the song-and-dance melodramas that are a staple of mainstream Indian cinema.
Sridevi died Saturday in Dubai due to cardiac arrest, her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor confirmed to Indian Express online. She had been in Dubai to attend a wedding in her extended family.
Indian political leaders and entertainers posted condolences and recollections of her work, with many colleagues and fans expressing shock at the sudden news.
Sridevi began acting as a child in regional cinema in India’s south and made her debut in Hindi-language Bollywood films in the late ’70s.
Her most famous films included “Mr. India,” in which she played a reporter, and “Chandni,” where she played a woman choosing between two men who loved her. She played dual roles of a woman and her daughter in “Lamhe,” or “Moments” in 1991.
She stopped acting for several years after her marriage to film producer Boney Kapoor but made a well-received comeback in 2012 with “English Vinglish,” about a middle-aged woman learning English.
She is survived by her husband and two daughters.