Bollywood actor Sridevi died of “accidental drowning” in her hotel bath tub, the Dubai government said today. Sridevi, who had an illustrious Bollywood career spanning over four decades, passed away in Saturday evening in Dubai’s Jumeirah Emirates Towers. She was 54.
Her mortal remains could not be repatriated on Sunday as the final investigation reports from Dubai Police were not ready.
Sharing an official statement though its Twitter handle, the Dubai police said that the case has been transferred to the “Dubai Public Prosecution” which will carry out regular legal procedures followed in such cases.
“Following the completion of post mortem analysis, Dubai police headquarters today stated that the death of the Indian actress Sridevi occurred due to drowning in her hotel apartment’s bath tub following loss of consciousness,” the Dubai government’s media office said on Twitter.
On Monday, the Dubai-based Gulf News said in a report that the actor was under the influence of alcohol. She fell into the bathtub and drowned, it added. The daily also attached a copy of the UAE government’s forensic report on its Twitter handle.
The report, citing accidental drowning as the cause of death, has a stamp of the “Ministry of Health UAE” and the director of preventive medicine, Dubai, Dr Sami Wadie. The report mentions the actor’s full name, “Sreedevi Boney Kapoor Ayyappan”, her passport number, date of the incident and cause of death.
“The investigation is still going on to determine the circumstances surrounding the accident as the forensic report only says that she drowned, Gulf News quoted an official as saying.
Meanwhile, mortal remains of the late actor is expected to be flown back to India on Monday, her family said in a statement earlier in the day.
The actor and family were in town after attending the wedding of her nephew Mohit Marwah which took place in Ras Al Khaimah. While some of the family members returned from Dubai after the wedding, Sridevi, Boney and Khushi stayed back.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri and Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul, Indian Consulate representatives were coordinating with Dubai Police and other authorities concerned.
A versatile actor, Sridevi made her Bollywood debut in 1978 with “Solva Sawan”. But it was only after five years with Jeetendra-starrer “Himmatwala” that she gained commercial success.
While films like “Mawaali” (1983), “Tohfa” (1984), “Mr India” (1987) and “Chandni” (1989) kept her at the top in the box-office game, “Sadma” (1983), “ChaalBaaz” (1989), “Lamhe (1991), and “Gumrah” (1993) earned her critical acclaim.
She went on a hiatus for 15 years after starring in home production – “Judaai” — co-starring her brother-in-law Anil Kapoor and Urmila Matondkar. It was director Gauri Shinde’s “English Vinglish” in 2012 that marked Sridevi’s comeback.
Her nuanced performance as a middle-class woman, learning to speak English to feel accepted by her family, won accolades, and the film was also a commercial success.
Last year, she was seen in revenge-drama — “Mom” — opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna. She shot for a special appearance in superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming film — “Zero” — which releases in December.
But by the time she made her entry into Bollywood, the actor was a known face in South Indian films. She made her debut in Tamil films as a child artiste with “Thunaivan” in 1969. As an adult, she debuted in Tamil cinema in late 70s. She also worked in Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada films.
Besides Boney and Khushi, she is survived by older daughter Janhvi Kapoor, who is currently working towards making her entry into the Hindi cinema. Sridevi was step-mother to actor Arjun Kapoor and his sister Anshula, who Boney had from late first wife Mona.
(With inputs from PTI)