On Sridevi’s 55th birthday, here are 7 lesser known facts about the legend.
Sridevi is one of the Bollywood stars who left us too soon. Sridevi emerged as the first female ‘Superstar’ of Bollywood. In fact, during the 1980s and 90s she was the highest paid actress who featured in other language films apart from Hindi.
However, after her untimely demise, today on her 55th birthday, Sridevi is remembered for her unparallel talent and charisma.
While many things are known about this legendary actress, here are some lesser known facts about Sridevi:
1. Journey from South sensation to Bollywood’s Queen
Sridevi started working in front of the camera from the tender age of 4 years. She debuted with 1969’s Tamil film ‘Thunaivan’ directed by M.A. Thirumugham. From there on she went to act in several Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam films.
She forayed into Bollywood with 1979’s ‘Solva Sawan’ but she only marked her presence after starring opposite Jeetendra in ‘Himmatwala’. That movie not only established Sridevi as an actress in Bollywood but also rewarded her with the title of ‘Thunder Thighs’ because of her dancing.
In all Sridevi has starred in 300 movies in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi.
2. Sridevi- The Painter
Very few people know that apart from being an actress and a playback singer, Sridevi was also a terrific painter. To congratulate her niece Sonam Kapoor on her Bollywood debut—Sridevi made a painting featuring Sonam as her character Sakina from ‘Saawariya’. The painting was meant to be auctioned right after Mohit Marwah’s wedding. However, the action never took place as Sridevi passed away in Dubai.
3. Sridevi’s Hindi woes—Rekha to the rescue!
As Sridevi had acted in several South films before venturing into Bollywood— her spoken Hindi was broken. To appear seamless on the screen actresses like Naaz and Rekha did most of the dubbing for Sridevi. In fact, the first film that Sridevi dubbed for herself was ‘Chandni’.
4. Refused a role in a Hollywood movie franchise
As Sridevi’s popularity grew in India it is obvious that the word of her talent became far spread! In fact, legendary Hollywood director Steven Spielberg approached Sridevi to star in 1993’s ‘Jurassic Park’. However, Sridevi refused to star in the film as the small role offered to her was not fitting her stature. Also, that the actress did not want to take time off from her already in progress projects to star in a movie that offered her little exposure.
5. Threatened, Anil Kapoor refused to work with Sridevi!
After ‘Himmatwala’ Sridevi was flooded with film offers. Post that there was no looking back for Sridevi as she became one of the most bankable actresses of that era.
The actress went on to act with future brother-in-law Anil Kapoor in many blockbuster movies. However, Anil Kapoor’s thunder was always stolen by his leading lady. To remedy this, it is rumoured that Anil Kapoor asked the filmmakers of 1992’s film ‘Beta’ to replace Sridevi with dhak-dhak girl Madhuri Dixit. Clearly, this worked for Anil Kapoor as ‘Beta’ was declared a hit and he won the Filmfare Award for the Best Actor.
6. Sridevi’s mysterious, untimely death
The news of Sridevi’s untimely death was shocking and numbing but most of all it was unbelievable. As the reports of Sridevi’s demise started circulating many were tempted to rubbish the news as a hoax or a fake news. However, the faces of the Kapoor family members said otherwise.The official reason for her untimely demise has been stated as accidental drowning however, initially it was reported that Sridevi passed away due to a sudden massive cardiac arrest in her hotel room’s bathtub.
But many theories suggest that Sridevi was murdered.
According to several reports Sridevi’s death was orchestrated by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim for unknown reasons.
Another theory suggests that Sridevi was murdered over an insurance policy. It was reported that Sridevi brought a Rs 240 Crore insurance policy in Oman. However, the insurance could only be encashed if Sridevi had died in Dubai.
Isn’t it interesting how a 5.6 feet tall person can drown in a 5.1 feet bathtub?
7. Consequences of her second marriage to Boney Kapoor
Sridevi’s affair and subsequent wedding with Boney Kapoor raised many eyebrows in Bollywood. Firstly, because Boney Kapoor had left his first wife Mona Kapoor and their children Arjun Kapoor and Anshula Kapoor, secondly because Sridevi was expecting her first child out of a wedlock.
Sridevi’s presence in the Kapoor family created a drift between Boney Kapoor and his children from his first marriage. When Boney would meet his children and his first wife, Sridevi would see red! Reportedly, the actress would hurl abuses at the filmmaker as ask him to stay with his first family. Due to Sridevi’s insecurity Boney Kapoor started distancing himself from his children. However, not everyone in the Kapoor family was as understanding towards Sridevi.
If reports are to be believed, during a New Year’s Eve Boney and Sridevi were having a coffee date at a five-star hotel in Juhu when they were rudely interrupted. Boney Kapoor’s former mother-in-law Sattee Shourie attacked the couple. Sattee hurled abuses at Sridevi and tried to beat her up before being dragged away by security. During this time Sridevi was pregnant with her eldest daughter and ‘Dhadak’ actress Janhvi Kapoor.
Sattee even filed a case against Boney Kapoor but at Mona’s insistence court took no action as she did not want to create problems for her husband.
While Sridevi is gone, she will always be remembered for her contribution to Indian cinema. Actress Sridevi is survived by her daughters Janhvi Kapoor and Khushi Kapoor.