Bollywood might be the abode of the stars but a mere starry essence does not render anyone immune to the wrath of the universe itself. No wonder even stardom and fame and money could not stop death from snatching away our favorite celebrities. Here are some such Bollywood actors and celebrities who died too young to leave their legions of diehard fans grieving-
One of the immensely popular of female actors in Bollywood of her time, Divya Bharati also died very young. Her death has in fact remained a mystery till this date and has been one of the most unexpected deaths in the industry. Having debuted with a Telugu film in 1990, Bharti moved to Bollywood a couple of years later. In the year that followed, a then 18 year old Divya Bharati went on to act in over a dozen Bollywood films that stands as an unbroken record till this date. The illustrious existence of this young actress was cut short rather abruptly when she fell to her death from the balcony window of her fifth floor apartment. At the time of her death in 1993, Bharti was just 19 years old.
Among the legendary actresses of Bollywood who delivered several notable performances in her films had been the exquisite talent Smita Patil. In her accomplished decade long career in films, Patil had been the recipient of two National Awards and was also awarded with the Padma Shri. In being equally versed in delivering the nuances of parallel cinema as well as serving the entertainment demands of commercial cinema, this exceptionally talented lady emerged as one of the finest stage and film actresses of her times. Also a feminist, Patil however could not survive long to carry on her legacy as she passed away at the age of 31. Her death in 1986 was caused by childbirth complications while giving birth to son Prateik Babbar with actor husband Raj Babbar.
Among the most legendary of actor- director- producers Bollywood has ever witnessed has been the phenomenal Guru Dutt. The man behind many a classics as well as being a terrific actor himself, Dutt persisted with his artistic abilities till the time of his death. When Dutt died in 1964 he was just 39 years of age. He died from an overdose of sleeping pills, which might have been a suicidal or an accidental death. If however it was suicidal, the third attempt proved to be the last for this artistic genius.
The Tragedy Queen of Indian cinema and one amongst the legendary of female actors to have graced Bollywood, Meena Kumari died at the young age of 39. Her grace, allure and performance won her fans and the young girl who rose from poverty to emerge into a self made woman became one of the biggest stars of Indian cinema. Kumari’s personal life however became a crossover of her tragic legacy on screen that greatly disturbed the young actress. She passed away of liver cirrhosis in 1972, a medical condition that stemmed from her tremendous alcohol addiction.
Kumari’s alcoholic nature had persisted since years, but it was the separation from her husband Kamal Amrohi that further spurred this into the life threatening malady it turned out to be. A natural actress, a Urdu poet and also a playback singer, Meena Kumari lived a life that was no less dramatic than any movie itself. In her untimely death, the film industry lost a star who was passionately dedicated to her work and her stardom.
Celebrated in life as much for her exquisite beauty as for her enduring legacy in films, Madhubala had been one of the most iconic of Bollywood actresses ever. Ever since Madhubala made her debut as a mere 9 year old, she catched the fancy of the world. As the first Indian woman in Hollywood, not only was the actress celebrated but she was also compared to the legendary Marilyn Monroe. Her exemplary fame however came to be short lived in person as Madhubala passed away in 1969 at the age of 36 owing to some long standing medical complication of the heart and lungs.
Irrfan Khan had been one of the finest actors in Indian cinema in the three and a half decades he had been following his passion. But the terrific Khan who also was a stellar presence in Hollywood had his illustrious life cut short owing to a medical complication. The 53 years old talented actor passed away in 2020 of a colon infection after a couple of years of treatment for a rare neuroendocrine tumour.
Among the iconic actors of Indian cinema, Bollywood was thrown into shock when the legendary Sridevi died an unexpected death in 2018. In a career sporadically spread over five decades, the actress has delivered numerous memorable films, in each essaying such roles that are reflective of her histrionic range. She died an accidental death at the age of 54 when she drowned in the bathtub of her hotel room in Dubai where she was attending a family wedding.
Rituparno Ghosh might strike us more as a doyen of the Bengali film world but his filmmaking pursuits in Bollywood were no less exemplary. He might have made only a couple of Hindi films but the cinematic genius that he was meant that he still managed to clinch the National Award. One among the acclaimed film directors of the country, Ghosh died an early death at the age of 49 following a massive heart attack.
In one of the most sensational suicides that rattled up Bollywood, a 25 year old Jiah Khan hanged herself to death. Having made her Bollywood debut in 2007 opposite Amitabh Bachchan, Khan had acted in just three films before she passed away tragically in 2013. Her death remains a matter shrouded in controversy even after years have passed. Khan allegedly took her own life because of her troubled romantic relationship with then boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi. Khan also had addressed a suicide note to Pancholi, who was subsequently arrested on charges of abetment to suicide. Her untimely demise made Khan among the many Bollywood actors who died quite young.
A National Award winner, the versatile Sanjeev Kumar had been another of the Bollywood actors who died young. A class apart from the other actors, Kumar portrayed diverse roles in as many diverse genres with elan. Specially remarkable is his casting in such characters that required him to play roles beyond his age. An accomplished actor, widely hailed as among the greatest Indian cinema has ever produced, Kumar worked for 25 long years in the industry, He died a 48 year old man after suffering a massive heart attack.
Sushant Singh Rajput
Another of the controversial celebrity suicides that claimed the life of a young actor, Sushant Singh Rajput‘s untimely demise has been the cause of immense speculation. One of the finest and most popular self made actors in Bollywood of his time, Rajput died of suicide in 2020 as a 34 year old. His mysterious death has led to an outrage emerge in Bollywood over nepotism, even as it is widely believed that there is a possible outside angle decipherable in the unnatural circumstances of demise.
She has been famous as the Rasna girl after starring in commercials for the brand but Taruni Sachdev had also embarked on the Bollywood path. Her role opposite Amitabh Bachchan in the 2009 film Paa was her first endeavour in Bollywood even when she debuted in films some years back. Sachdev had been quite a popular face at a very young age having appeared in some fifty commercials and a couple of films. The young talent breathed her last on her 14th birthday when she died in a plane clash in Nepal.
A talented actress who starred in Marathi films and television serials, Rasika Joshi also had appeared in popular Bollywood films like Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Ek Hasina Thi, De Taali, Malaamal Weekly and some more. Joshi succumbed to leukemia in 2011 when she was just 38 years old.
He is most remembered for his portrayal of the iconic Gabbar Singh in the 1975 classic Sholay but Bollywood baddie Amjad Khan also acted out some comic characters. In a nearly three decade long career, Khan starred in more than 130 films becoming a well known face in Bollywood. He passed away in 1992 as a 51 year old owing to heart failure, that had been the repercussion of a drug dose prescribed for treating injuries sustained in a severe accident in 1976.
Though mainly a mainstay in Marathi films, actor Laxmikant Berde also made a niche of his own in Bollywood. Particularly memorable for his rendition of such comic characters that had that endearing vibe to them, Berde entertained audiences for some two decades with his many performances. The popular actor passed away at the age of 50 owing to a kidney ailment.
Amongst the legion of Bollywood actors who died very young, Geeta Bali has been one sad addition. One of the most spontaneous and expressive actresses of Bollywood, Bali debuted as a child actress in 1946 before emerging as a star in the 1950s. Her decade long career saw Bali do some 70 films before she contracted smallpox and passed in 1965 at the age of 35.
In being a part of hit Bollywood films like Hum Saath Saath Hain and Khoobsurat, comedy actor Jatin Kanakia had been a well known name in the entertainment world. More prominently known for his work on television, Kanakia however could sustain his pursuit of entertaining the masses for just over half a decade. In 1999, the actor died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 46.
Debuting in Bollywood as a child artist, Vinod Mehra has been among the actors who died young. One among the handsome men in the film industry, Mehra has also been a producer and a director and worked in Bollywood for close to two decades. He passed away at the age of 45 of a heart attack.
She might have been a popular name in Tollywood but actress Aarthi Agarwal made her film debut with the Bollywood movie Pagalpan. As a 16 year old teenager, Agarwal stepped into the world of films in 2001 before going on to star in numerous Telugu movies. However, the young actress attempted suicide in 2005 allegedly due to relationship and professional relations. She survived the attempt but still died quite young in 2015 after suffering a heart attack. Her death post a liposuction surgery at the age of 31 made Agarwal among the many actors in Bollywood who died young.
Music director Wajid Khan of the Bollywood musician duo Sajid- Wajid also lived a life short in the years. The multiple hitmaker breathed his last in 2020 as a 47 year old suffering a cardiac arrest.
A prominently Marathi actor, Siddharth Ray is known in Bollywood for starring alongside Shah Rukh Khan in the Bollywood film Baazigar. The actor died at a young age of 40 years following a heart attack.
He might have mainly played supporting roles in Bollywood films but Inder Kumar was very much among the popular actors who unfortunately died young. In a career lasting a little over two decades, Kumar saw quite some ups and downs and had been in the midst of many a controversies. He died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 43 in 2017.
He is known for his many portrayal in films like Talaash, Delhi Belly, Fukrey and Manjhi- The Mountain Man among others. And Ashraful Haque is also known as one of the Bollywood actors who died young. His death due to a rare disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome saw Bollywood lose a star at the young age of 46.
The quintessential baddie of many a Bollywood films, Jack Gaud had been in the Indian Navy before he embarked on to become an actor. His passion however was cut short owing to his untimely demise attributed to a heart attack at the age of 42.
An actor who made his presence felt in some Hindi films as well as in television serials was Shafi Inamdar. The Krantiveer actor passed away of a massive heart attack at the age of 50 in 1996.