Bollywood Actress Who Died Young
NAFISA RIZVI KHAN (also known as Jiah Khan, 20 February 1988 – 3 June 2013) was a British-American actress, model and singer .On June 4, 2013, she was found dead in her apartment in her residence in the Sagar Sangeet building in Juhu, Mumbai after apparently hanging herself.
DIVYA BHARATI (25 February 1974 – 5 April 1993) Midnight, 5 April 1993. The budding actress who was recently married to producer Sajid Nadiadwala fell to her death from her five-storey apartment in Versova. Despite much speculation – was it suicide? was it murder? – the investigation reached a dead end and the case was closed in 1998. Designer Neeta Lulla, famous for draping Ash, was present at Divya’s apartment a few minutes before she plummeted to her death.
SILK SMITHA (2 December 1960 – 23 September 1996) India’s first bonafide porn star Silk Smitha became a household name for her role in Malayalam skin-flick ‘Layanam’ (1989). She was also found dead in her Chennai apartment on September 23, 1996. A botched attempt at becoming a producer merged with her alcoholism had created a lethal cocktail of acute depression. The first reports that emerged suggested suicide. Yet there remains a shroud as to what happened in that apartment on Silk’s last night. Smitha was immortalized recently in a tour de force performance by Vidya Balan in ‘The Dirty Picture’.
PARVEEN BABI (4 April 1949 – 20 January 2005) In November 1989, the ‘70s sex siren returned to Bombay after an almost decade-long hiatus. A front page photograph shot at Sahar airport revealed Babi with a chubby face and twice her size. Later, at a press conference, in her bloated hand she held a manuscript of her ‘experiences’. These included having been the victim of an assassination plot in which Amitabh Bachchan, Ronald Reagan and the FBI were equal accomplices. The media had a field day at Babi’s expense who was a paranoid schizophrenic. Through the next decade and a half, Babi made on-and-off appearances on talk shows and filed her random FIRs against Prince Charles, Margaret Thatcher, Amitabh Bachchan, you name it. Finally she was so paranoid that she would only consume Coca Cola and eggs, the only two items she believed her would-be assassins could not contaminate. She was found dead in her apartment with complications related to diabetes in 2004.
NAFISA JOSEPH (28 March 1978 − 29 July 2004) The MTV VJ hanged herself in her Versova pad on July 29, 2004. A botched love affair was said to be the reason for her depression, even though her fiancé-to-be made it quite clear that Nafisa had a string of failed relationships behind her even before she was with him. Her career was a flash in the pan, with a Miss India Universe pageant to her name in 1997 and an Indian version of Charlie’s Angels being the two highlights. However, what her suicide highlighted most was the chronic insecurity and vulnerability of those in the industry.
VIVEKA BABAJEE (May 23, 1973 – June 25, 2010) The Mauritius-born model became a household name in the 1990s thanks to the Kama Sutra campaign. As her modeling career began to fade, she attempted to start fresh in Bombay with an innings in event management. On June 25, 2010, she was found hanging from a ceiling fan. A notebook in her room had a page that read, “You Killed Me, Gautam Vohra.” This again highlighted Babajee’s instability for a regular break-up had unhinged her so badly.
SMITA PATIL (17 October 1955 – 13 December 1986) The beacon of parallel cinema in the 1980s and someone who even surpassed Shabana Azmi for her thespian prowess died when giving birth to her son, Prateik. The nation mourned her loss and her husband and son have moved on – Babbar has a thriving career in politics and Prateik is making his mark in Bollywood. Yet, a spark that was extinguished this early in her prime remains one of Bollywood’s saddest tales….
PRATYUSHA BANERJEE (10 August 1991 – 1 April 2016) was an Indian television actress. She had appeared in numerous television and reality shows. She was signed as lead role in 2010 Indian television series Balika Vadhu as an adult Anandi, replacing Avika Gor. According to the actress, she was chosen via a talent hunt, surpassing the contestants Nivedita Tiwari from Lucknow and Ketaki Chitale from Mumbai. On 1 April 2016, Banerjee was found hanging in her Mumbai apartment and according to the postmortem report the cause of death was asphyxia.