HYDERABAD: Aarthi Agarwal is dead. The bubbly actress, who was the face of Telugu film industry for a brief while in 2001 to 2004, died in Atlantic City, New Jersey today. There are conflicting reports about the cause of the death of the 31-year-old actress, with one suggesting complications during a liposuction gone awry, while her manager in Hyderabad told reporters that it was due to heart failure. “Aarthi was battling obesity and pulmonary illness. She was undergoing treatment and due to some complications, she suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away,” Aarthi’s manager said.
Telugu film industry reacted with shock and disbelief as news of her death spread like wildfire in the afternoon.
Ironically, her latest movie called Ranam 2, released on June 5 to a tepid response. Born on March 5, 1985 in New Jersey, the actress had her first tryst with fame when she danced at a charity event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and she was spotted by Hindi actor Suniel Shetty. The actor saw a future for the teenager in Bollywood. Her first Hindi film Paagalpan with little-known stars sank without a trace in June 2001, but in September of the same year, Nuvvu Naku Nachchav, where she plays a spoilt brat, released in Telugu to box office delight.
And it was in Telugu film industry Aarthi shone like a star, where she starred with almost all the leading men of the industry. But, without a godfather, the actress had a tough time in the industry. A tumultuous personal life, with multiple rumours of suicide attempts in 2005, complicated the picture as she battled obesity. And it became a running joke in the Telugu industry to an extent that in Nenunannu, Nagarjuna cracks a joke about Aarthi’s obesity by calling her a ‘cylinder’!
Reportedly, the actress was preparing to come back to Hyderabad with an untitled film.