Bollywood starlet Jiah Khan found Dead; suicide suspected

Published: 05th June 2013 09:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th June 2013 09:36 AM   |  A+A-

Bollywood actress Jiah Khan of Nishabd fame was found dead at her residence here on Monday night after she allegedly committed suicide.

The 25-year-old actor was found hanging from the ceiling by her mother and sister, when they returned to their residence at Juhu on the western suburbs of Mumbai on Monday night.

According to the police, the death happened between 11 pm and 11:30 pm when Jiah was alone in the apartment.

She was rushed to nearby Cooper civic hospital and was declared dead on arrival by doctors.

Her last phone call was made at 10.40 pm to Suraj Pancholi, son of actors Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab. Police questioned Suraj on Tuesday.

Though no suicide note has been found yet, her distraught mother Razia Khan informed the police that her flagging film career may have forced her to take the extreme step. She had visited Hyderabad for a film audition on Sunday, which her mother claimed did not go well.

Jiah was also considering giving up acting and taking up interior decoration instead. The young actor, whose real name was Nafisa Khan, migrated from the UK to Mumbai to pursue a career in films and had acted in three films.

She bagged a dream debut in 2007, when she was cast opposite Amitabh Bachchan, in Ram Gopal Verma’s Nishabd that explored the relationship between a 60-year-old married man and an 18-year-old girl. She also acted in Aamir Khan’s Ghajini (2008) and her last film to hit the theatres was Housefull in 2010. She had experienced a lull in her career since then.

Police have registered a case of death by accident, which may be altered subject to the outcome of the investigation. 

Jiah’s alleged suicide has shocked Bollywood but it is not an isolated case in showbiz and brings back memories of the untimely death of film personalities like Guru Dutt, Divya Bharti and Silk Smitha.

B-town has witnessed some shocking tragedies, including the death of young and vivacious Divya Bharti at the age of 19 in 1993, after she allegedly fell off the fifth floor of a building.

One of the most glamorous starlets of her time, Parveen Babi, died a lonely death in 2005 at her flat here.

Yesteryear filmmaker Guru Dutt was found dead after an overdose of alcohol and sleeping pills in 1964. South Indian actress Vijayalakshmi, popularly called Silk Smitha, also committed suicide by consuming poison in 1996.    

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