16 Jul 2021: Surekha Sikri, veteran actor, dies of cardiac arrest at 75
Surekha Sikri, the evergreen television and film star, passed away this morning in Mumbai at the age of 75. Her manager confirmed the news in a statement and said that she died of a cardiac arrest. Sikri had been ailing for the past few years, after suffering a paralytic stroke in 2018 and a brain stroke last year.
Fact: 'She was surrounded by family and her caregivers'
"Surekha Sikri has passed away following a cardiac arrest earlier this morning...She had been suffering from complications arising from a second brain stroke. She was surrounded by family and her caregivers. The family asks for privacy at this time," her manager told The Indian Express.
Life: Sikri was born in UP in April, 1945
Sikri was born in Uttar Pradesh, British India on April 19, 1945 and spent her childhood in Almora and Nainital. She attended the Aligarh Muslim University and later graduated from the National School of Drama (NSD) in 1971. Her father was in the Indian Air Force and her mother was a teacher. She was married to Hemant Rege, who died in 2009.
Work: Sikri worked in dozens of films across industries
Sikri worked with the NSD for more than 10 years before shifting to Mumbai. Her first film role was in the 1978 political-drama film Kissa Kursi Ka. She went on to work in films like Tamas, Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro, Mammo, and Raincoat. Her most recent movies were the blockbuster comedy Badhaai Ho (2018) and the horror anthology Ghost Stories (2020).
Awards: Sikri won the National Film Award thrice
Sikri gained immense popularity for her role of a strict matriarch called Kalyani Devi in the television soap opera Balika Vadhu. She won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress three times, for the movies Tamas, Mammo, and Badhaai Ho. In 1989, she was the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. Sikri is survived by her son, Rahul Sikri.
Reactions: Fellow film industry members post tributes
Sikri's fans and fellow actors are pouring in tributes on social media. "Very sad news," tweeted actor Manoj Bajpayee. "One of the greatest talent Surekha Sikari ji passed away leaving behind so many great performances in theatre and cinema!! She was a treat to watch on stage. can't forget some of those memories of her act in theatre.great craft and a graceful person!! (sic)"
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