President Ram Nath Kovind today expressed grief over the death of legendary Bolllywood actress Sridevi, saying that the shocking news has left "millions of fans heartbroken".
"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," the President tweeted.
The 54-year-old actor, wife of producer Boney Kapoor, died late last night reportedly due to cardiac arrest in Dubai, where she had gone along with her family to attend her nephew Mohit Marwah's wedding.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by her untimely demise.
"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," the PMO tweeted.
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The vice-president and the prime minister-led politicians and leaders also condoled the death of actor and Padma Shri awardee Sridevi and remembered her illustrious career that spanned over four decades.
"Felt very sad over the sudden demise of popular actress Sridevi. She was an extremely versatile and talented film star, who had acted in Telugu, Hindi and other South Indian languages," Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu tweeted.
Describing Sridevi as an incredibly talented and versatile actress, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "Her vast body of work spanned a range of genres and languages."
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Smriti Irani, in an emotional letter published by a news channel remembered the actor as her "favourite star who defined joy in my childhood".
"I pay homage to an actor who through her body of work ascertained that a female actress' place in a commercial Hindi movie is not only to compliment her male counterparts," Irani wrote in the letter.
"My memories of Sridevi are built through my journey from being a fan girl to an actor and then my role as a politician... She was a woman who knew her mind and despite the challenges that came her way, she approached life with a lot of dignity. The actor in me was influenced by her work in movies like 'Chalbaaz', 'Chandni', 'Sadma' and the effortless performance in 'Lamhe'," she said.
The minister described Sridevi as the first female superstar of the Indian film industry, who shouldered many '90s blockbusters alone.
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.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said, Sridevi, who acted in Telugu, Hindi and several other regional films, had captivated the cine-goers with her beauty, dancing and acting skills, and had earned countless fans."
"It is unfortunate that Sridevi, who was still active in the film industry, died at a young age," he said in an official release.
Sridevi acted in several Telugu movies and starred in hit films opposite late N T Rama Rao, late Akkineni Nageswara Rao, and late Sobhanbabu.
Former Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya and Telangana BJP president K Laxman also expressed their condolences.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a Facebook post, said the actress, who came to the filmdom as a child artist in Malayalam, had left behind a handful of unforgettable acting moments which her fans can cherish forever.
The chief minister also said the sudden death of the actress, who immortalised several characters in different languages, was an "irreparable loss to the Indian film industry."
Sridevi's beguiling eyes, scintillating screen presence and acting prowess 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.
BJP veteran L K Advani said her contribution transcended Bollywood.
"Sridevi was an iconic star of the Indian film industry. Her contribution transcended Bollywood, since she also starred in many Tamil, Telugu and other regional language films. In this sense, she symbolised Indian cinemas great role in national integration," he said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the actor's contribution to the field of cinema will be remembered for a long time.
In his condolence message, Fadnavis said Sridevi started her career at the age of four and continued to perform with ease in Hindi films and movies in several regional language.
"Her roles in movies such as Sadma, Chandni, Lamhe and English-Vinglish will be remembered for a long time," he said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the actor as "one of the most popular actors of a generation" while her Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar said Sridevi's death had caused an irreparable loss to the film fraternity.
Describing Sridevi a "strong actor", Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said that Indian cinema had touched new heights through her vibrant and emotional acting.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat expressed deep sorrow over the sudden demise of veteran actress while his Haryana counterpart, Manohar Lal Khattar said Sridevi had made a special place in the hearts of people through her acting.
(With PTI inputs)