Death is never easy, it is suffocating, painful and very devastating. As a fan, one can never be too close to a celebrity, even if many of us may consider them as our safe spaces or idols. That doesn’t ever take away from the fact that even the passing of a favorite celebrity would hurt any less than losing a dear friend. In addition to all the things this year took from us, here’s a list of Bollywood celebrities India lost in 2020.
1. Jagdeep Born Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jaffrey, Jagdeep (his stage name) worked in over 400 films and made his mark as an hilarious comedian. He began his life as a child actor portraying small roles here and there, until he landed the film Hum Panchi Ek Daal Ke that won him critical acclamation. After completing certain movies that landed him the leading man roles, he found love in comedy after the release of Bramhachari.
He passed away at the age of 81, safe in the confines of his Mumbai abode on the 8th of July due to age related problems.
2. Saroj Khan
Saroj Khan was known in Bollywood as one of the most talented choreographers of our time, with artists like Madhuri Dixit considering her as their guru. She specialized in the dance form of Mujra, one she taught and critically won acclaimed awards for her choreographies. She was married to her teacher in Mujra when she was only 13 and he was 43 with almost 4 other children and the couple separated after she came to know. Saroj Khan has battled with the loss of her 8-month infant baby child who she lost to certain health conditions. She happens to be India’s first Female Bollywood Choreographer. Her breakthrough happened while she worked as an independent choreographer with Sridevi for a song in the 1987 hit Mr.India and later Madhuri Dixit in the hit song Ek Do Teen. Saroj Khan died on 3rd of July through a sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 71. She had won a National Film Award for her choreography in the 2007 hit Jab We Met and Sringaram, along with five Filmfare awards for her choreographies in Guru, Lagaan, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas, all blockbuster hits.
3. Nishikant Kamat
Not much is known about Nishikant’s early life. He gained popularity through the theatre circuit of his college in Mumbai, following which he acted and directed several films in Marathi, Hindi and Tamil. His prominent role came from the set of Rocky Handsome where he acted in a negative role of Kevin Ferreira. His debut as a director with the 2005 film Dombivli Fast, one that won him critical acclamation in the Marathi cinema and an award at the National Film Award for the Best Feature Film. He died in Hyderabad at the age of 50 on the 17th of August to a liver problem called cirrhosis.
4. Wajid Khan
One of the duo Khan brothers, Wajid Khan was the younger son of his parents. He had his separate singing career and was even nominated for plenty of awards for his playback singing. Wajid was not keeping well for a prolonged period of time, with his kidney transplant being called successful, but he soon after suffered from throat infections. He was diagnosed positive for COVID-19 but he passed away only one day after the admission, on the 1st of June at the age of 43.
5. Rishi Kapoor
Shooting to fame with his debut film Bobby opposite Dimple Kapadia, veteran actor Rishi Kapoor stole everyone's hearts and went on to become one of the biggest names in the Bollywood industry. Born in a star-studded family with his father being the legendary Raj Kapoor and uncles like Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, he began his film career since the age of 3. His debut role too, was directed by Raj Kapoor where he played the younger version of the protagonist. In 1991, his film Henna was submitted to the Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Picture. He took on many versatile roles, from being the villain in 2012 release Agneepath to a gay character in Student Of The Year in 2012 and a real-life mobster in D-Day in the subsequent year. Kapoor was diagnosed with leukemia in 2018 and had undergone a successful treatment for the same in New York, but he was admitted to the hospital in April and we lost the icon to leukemia on the 30th of April, hours after Irrfan Khan succumbed to colon infection. His role in Kapoor & Sons won him three awards, and in 2009 he was honored by the Russian Government for his contribution to Cinema.
6. Irrfan Khan Undoubtedly one of our finest actors, Irrfan Khan’s death moved the entire country to tears, even countries abroad where his fanbases were deeply rooted with his immense talents. Born in a humble family in Rajasthan to parents in a tire business, Irrfan showed interest in cricket for the longest time and was even selected to attend a National team but he could not go because of the travelling expenses. Under his uncle who worked in theatrics, Khan was introduced to the world of acting, and he performed in several stage plays before joining the National School of Drama in Delhi to study acting professionally. In March of 2018, Khan revealed that he had been diagnosed with tumor for which he seeked treatment in the UK for a year before returning to India and being diagnosed with a colon infection. He was admitted to a hospital for treatment, but he died the very next day on the 29th of April, aged only 53. He won 12 awards in the Best Actor category for his films in his lifetime, alongside his greatest achievement being the Padma Shri that was awarded to him in 2011 for his path-breaking contributions to the field of arts.
7. Sushant Singh Rajput TW: Details about Suicide and Asphyxia
The Nation’s most shocking and legally controversial passing, Sushant’s life began very humbly in the city of Patna where he was the youngest of his siblings. His mother passed away in 2002 and he completed his schooling in Delhi, where he became fascinated with physics and was exceptionally brilliant in it. With his interest in Astrophysics with a goal to become an Astronaut, Sushant was forced to do a Mechanical Engineering degree from DTU. His interest in acting piqued when he took dance classes under Shamak and discovered the acting classes under Barry John. He began his career in theatre after shifting to Bombay and then worked on TV. His breakthrough series came from Ekta Kapoor’s Pavitra Rishta winning many awards. His big screen debut happened with Kai Po Che which was a critical success. Rajput was found hanging from his ceiling on the 14th of June after giving blockbuster performances one after the other. He was reportedly suffering from Depression and Bipolar Disorder. He won 9 awards for his performance across his career line before he died of suicide at the age of 34.
8. SP Balasubrahmanyam
Owning to the pandemic were also people who succumbed to the COVID-19 virus, SP Balasubrahmanyam being one of them. SP Balasubrahmanyam or SPB, juggled many different roles in the entertainment industry like composing, singing, anchoring, directing and acting predominantly in South Indian movies. He was born in Nellore in 1946 and showed a keen interest in music from a very young age. Pursuing engineering as his degree did not deter him from practicing his love for music. He held the Gunnies World Record for the highest number of songs sung by a Playback Male singer, with the number sitting at 40,000 songs. In 12 hours of a day, he was reported to have recorded almost 20 songs. On the 5th of August, he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and his health conditions deteriorated until in September when he tested negative. However, he still required a ventilator and on 25th September, he passed away due to post COVID-19 complications (cardio-respiratory attack). He has won about 12 awards for his acts.
9. Asif Basra TW: Mentions of Suicide
Not much was known about his life except for that he studied Mumbai University and while earning his bachelors in engineering, he worked in his college’s theatre productions, sparking his first intrests in cinema. His career spanned across a lot of critically acclaimed roles that he pulled off flawlessly, making him a favorite in the eyes of the public. He also appeared in the Amazon Prime most streamed show Paatal Lok and Hostages on Hotstar. Asif was found hanging from the ceiling of his house in Himachel Pradesh, with the subjects and information behind his death still being shrouded in doubt.
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Anushka Chandra, Content Writer, Skyshot Media