Film stars who bid adieu this year
One year ago, nobody would have believed this list. But unfortunately, the phrase - "Truth is stranger than fiction" - proved a tad too true for this nightmare of a year. It felt as if we were mourning a beloved gem's passing every few days. Here, we take a look at the film stars we lost this year and their glorious careers.
Irrfan Khan, Indian cinema's trailblazer in the West, passed away at the age of 53 due to a colon infection on April 29 after battling a neuroendocrine tumor for two years. His death was mourned by cinema lovers across the globe. The actor had enthralled viewers with his performances in movies such as Maqbool, Life of Pi, and The Lunchbox, among others.
As fans were still grappling with the loss of Irrfan Khan, they suffered another heartbreak as the ever-versatile and charming Rishi Kapoor died on April 30. The 67-year-old actor bid farewell after battling cancer for two years. Kapoor, who had entered Bollywood as a child artist with Mera Naam Joker, went on to star in movies like Bobby, Chandni, Agneepath, and Kapoor & Sons.
The deadly COVID-19 claimed several lives in the entertainment fraternity, and one of the first among them was music composer Wajid Khan. After being shifted to the hospital because of coronavirus-related complications, he suffered a heart attack and passed away only a day later on June 1. The singer-composer had delivered many hit numbers for movies like Dabangg, Rowdy Rathore, and Partner, among others.
Legendary film director and screenwriter Basu Chatterjee left a huge void in the entertainment world as he passed away on June 4 due to age-related ailments. Having marked his directorial debut in 1969 with Sara Akash, he went on to deliver critically-acclaimed movies such as Rajnigandha, Baton Baton Mein, and Ek Ruka Hua Faisla, among others. He had also directed the series, Byomkesh Bakshi.
Fans all around the world were left shocked on June 14 this year when actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at his residence in Mumbai. The 34-year-old had reportedly been suffering from mental health issues, and allegedly killed himself. Rajput starred in many commercially successful movies like MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Chhichhore, and PK. His last movie appearance was in Dil Bechara.
Popular choreographer Saroj Khan, who was lovingly called "Master ji" by Bollywood stars, bid adieu to the world on July 3 this year. The 71-year-old choreographer died of a cardiac arrest at the Guru Nanak Hospital in Mumbai. Khan had choreographed many iconic songs like Hawa Hawai (Mr. India), Main Naagin Tu Sapera (Nagina), Ek Do Teen (Tezaab), and Dhak Dhak (Beta), among others.
Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jaffrey, better known by his stage name Jagdeep, who brought a smile to one and all through his film roles, passed away on July 8 at the age of 81. Jagdeep is fondly remembered as Soorma Bhopali from the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer classic Sholay. The veteran actor also gave memorable performances in movies like Andaz Apna Apna and Gali Gali Chor Hai.
Television and film actor Sameer Sharma was found dead in his apartment in August. The 44-year-old actor died by alleged suicide. Sharma was best known for his roles in television serials such as Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Bhootu, and Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke. He had also featured in a few Bollywood movies like Hasee Toh Phasee and Ittefaq.
Film director-actor Nishikant Kamat breathed his last at the age of 50 on August 17, 2020, after suffering from liver complications. Best known for directing Marathi movies Dombivali Fast and Lai Bhaari, Kamat was also behind the Bollywood action flick Force, starring John Abraham. Apart from direction, he also worked as an actor in films like Rocky Handsome and Bhavesh Joshi Superhero.
SP Balasubrahmanyam, fondly referred to as "Balu" by his countless fans, was an artist of colossal talent. The veteran playback singer succumbed to complications caused due to COVID-19 at the age of 74 on September 25 this year. In a career spanning decades, SPB's body of work consisted of over 40,000 songs in numerous languages, including Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi.
Actor Asif Basra was found dead at his residence in Himachal Pradesh's Dharamshala on November 12, 2020. The police had said the actor died by suicide. Basra was best known for his roles in the movies Black Friday, Kai Po Che!, and Jab We Met, among others. He also appeared in the web series Paatal Lok on Amazon Prime Video and Hostages on Hotstar.
Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee succumbed to COVID-19 on November 15 after undergoing treatment for the virus for nearly a month. Chatterjee was a popular face of world-acclaimed filmmaker Satyajit Ray's movies and worked with him in 14 films, including Apur Sansar. The actor had also featured in the movies Charulata, Parineeta, and Sonar Kella, among many others.