MUMBAI: Veteran Bollywood actor and Padma Shri awardee Sridevi, who had an illustrious career spanning over four decades, passed away. She was 54.
The actor, wife of producer Boney Kapoor, died late in the night reportedly due to cardiac arrest in Dubai, where she had gone along with her family to attend her nephew Mohit Marwah's wedding.
Confirming the news, a source close to the family said, "Yes it's true. She was in Dubai while some of the other family members came back to India. We hear it's cardiac arrest."
VIEW GALLERY: Rare photos of veteran actress Sridevi
While some of her family members returned from Dubai after the wedding, Sridevi, Boney and her younger daughter Khushi stayed back.
Her elder daughter -- Janhvi -- had not travelled with the family because of the shooting schedule for her upcoming Bollywood film, her first in the industry.
Sridevi, known for her versatility as an actor, 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.
Before her entry into Bollywood, the actor had been a known face in South Indian films.
She made her debut as a child artist in in Tamil film "Thunaivan" in 1969.
She also worked in Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada films.
Sridevi's beguiling eyes, scintillating screen presence and acting prowess soon made her one of the most sought-after actors in the Hindi film industry.
While films like "Mawaali" (1983), "Tohfa" (1984), "Mr India" (1987) and "Chandni" (1989) kept her at the top in the box-office game, her outings like "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 also shot for a special appearance in superstar Shah Rukh Khan's upcoming film, "Zero", which releases in December.
Sridevi was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour, in 2013.
Minutes after the news of her death broke, many Bollywood actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Sushmita Sen, Sidharth Malhotra and Riteish Deshmukh took to Twitter to pay their condolences.
The first one, however, was megastar Amitabh Bachchan who in a cryptic tweet wrote, "Don't know why, feeling a strange restlessness. I have no words."
"Condolences to everyone who loved #Sridevi . A dark day. RIP," tweeted Priyanka, alongside a still of Sridevi from her superhit film "Mr India".
Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh too mourned the untimely demise of veteran actress, and recalled her as one of the few genuine people he met from the cinema industry.
"In this industry, there are only a few people I have met who are the same from within as they are outside, who have sentiments off the camera as well. I found people full of selfishness, who would give you a hug and then laugh at your back. In this artificial world, Sridevi was a genuine person," he told ANI.
"A woman who entered into the skin of her character and was capable of taking on that image, but as soon as the camera clicked off, (she) went completely quiet, and detached from the outside world if ever I saw such a woman it was Sridevi," he added.
Singh also shared that he too was at the wedding ceremony that the actress attended and where she breathed her last.
Comedian Johnny Lever, while expressing grief, sent prayers to the late actor's family, which includes husband Boney Kapoor and daughters Khushi and Janhvi.
"Deeply saddened and shocked to hear about #Sridevi Ji. My prayers and condolences to the family," he tweeted.
"Really Shocked and disturbed to hear that Sridevi Maam is no more. #RIP #Sridevi," wrote Sidharth.
Saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi. She was a veteran of the film industry, whose long career included diverse roles and memorable performances. My thoughts are with her family and admirers in this hour of grief. May her soul rest in peace: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) February 25, 2018
Actor Shilpa Shetty's husband -- Raj Kundra -- posted, "Heartbroken by this news!! She was One of the finest kindest souls I ever knew. Speechless shocked.#RIP#Sridevi this is just not right at all! May god give all the family strength at this darkest hour."
Riteish tweeted, "Terrible terrible news. Am shocked beyond words. SRIDEVI ji No More RIP," while Sushmita wrote that she has been inconsolable since the news broke.
"I just heard Madam Sridevi passed away due to a massive cardiac arrest. I am in shock, can't stop crying."
Shocked to hear of passing of movie star Sridevi. She has left millions of fans heartbroken. Her performances in films such as Moondram Pirai, Lamhe and English Vinglish remain an inspiration for other actors. My condolences to her family and close associates #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) February 25, 2018
Actor Nimrat Kaur tweeted, "Absolutely devastated to hear about the passing of #Sridevi. What a dark black terrible moment in time. Gutted.
Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival, tweeted, "Shocked to hear of the passing of India's legendary Sridevi. Honoured to have been in her presence in 2012 when she visited Toronto for English Vinglish. She made countless millions fall in love with her characters."
Saddened at the untimely passing away of Sridevi, one of the most popular actors of a generation. Condolences to her family, her colleagues in the industry and fans— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) February 25, 2018
Congress President Rahul Gandhi offered condolences to the family of the veteran actress.
"Shocked to hear about the sudden and untimely death of one of India’s favourite actress, Sridevi. Sridevi was an incredibly talented and versatile actress whose vast body of work spanned a range of genres and languages. My condolences to her family. May her soul rest in peace," Gandhi tweeted.
The Twitter handle of the Congress Party also paid tribute to Sridevi.
"We regret to hear about the passing away of Sridevi. An actor par excellence. A legend who will continue to live in our hearts through her stellar body of work. Our deepest condolences to her loved ones," the tweet read.
Deeply saddened by the untimely demise of versatile actor #Sridevi. Her contribution to Hindi cinema is unparallel and will be remembered for generations to come. My condolences to her family and countless admirers.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) February 25, 2018
The sports fraternity too expressed grief over the veteran Bollywood actress's demise.
Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar expressed shock.
“I have no words to express how I feel. We have grown up seeing her. It is difficult to digest that she is not with us. My heartiest condolences to her family,” Tendulkar told ANI.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore took to Twitter to express grief over Sridevi's demise.
“Shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Sridevi ji, a legend of Indian Cinema. May god give peace to her soul & strength to family, friends and fans. ? ?????,” said Rathore.
Veteran cricketer and commentator Harsha Bhogle took to Twitter and said, “Oh, no! In her own way, she lit up the screen. Such a star! No age to go. Sridevi.”
Ace Badminton player P. V. Sindhu also took to Twitter to express her emotions.
“Such sad and shocking news. My condolences to the family RIP Sridevi,” she added.
Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag also sent out his condolences to the actress's family.
“Shocked to hear about the demise of #Sridevi ji. Heartfelt Condolences to the family. Om Shanti,” he tweeted.
(With Inputs from ANI)