6 Bollywood’s most controversial deaths

Behind the glitz and glamour of Bollywood, lies a dark reality

February 27, 2018

Behind the glitz and glamour of Bollywood, lies a dark reality. Over the years, Bollywood has seen its fair share of tragedies that come hand in hand with fame like a coin with two sides. Here are some of the most mysterious deaths of Indian celebrities that shook the entire world:

1. Sridevi

The recipient of five Filmfare Awards and a renowned superstar, Sridevi, died at the age of 54 on February 24, 2018. Initially reported to have passed away due to a cardiac arrest at her nephew’s wedding in Dubai, it has now been revealed that she drowned in her hotel room's bathtub following loss of consciousness according to the Dubai post-mortem report.


How the original report of a cardiac arrest and the listing of an accidental drowning are linked is not yet known. More light will be shed on the true occurrence of the events once the complete post-mortem report is made public.

2. Divya Bharti

Once dubbed as the most promising Bollywood actress, Divya tumbled to her demise from the balcony of the fifth floor of her Mumbai apartment. At the time of her death, she was only 19 years old and one of the most sought-after actresses in the industry having given hits like Deewana and Vishwatma.


She was said to be under the influence of alcohol when the unfortunate incident happened on April 5, 1993. However, it is still unknown if it was an accident, a suicide or murder.

Many believe in a conspiracy theory that claims her husband Sajid Nadiadwala, who secretly married the starlet on the sets of Shola Aur Shabnam when she was 18, was behind her death. Sajid is now a noted Bollywood film-maker.

3. Nafisa Joseph

The top model and famous MTV VJ, reportedly hanged herself in her apartment in Mumbai on July 29, 2004.

Nafisa was the winner of Femina Miss India Universe 1997 and the finalist of Miss Universe 1997 pageant in Miami. Her wedding was called off a few weeks before her death when she found out her almost husband, Indian businessman Gautam Khanduja, had lied to her about his first marriage.


According to Nafisa’s parents, she took her life as she was thoroughly depressed, reported Zee News.

4. Parveen Babi

The first Bollywood star to grace the cover of Time Magazine in 1976 was found dead in her home on January 22, 2005.

Parveen featured in a number of Bollywood blockbusters throughout the ’70s and ’80s. The actress had been living an isolated life for many years prior to her death.


Nobody knows for certain whether she committed suicide or if she died a natural death. She was rumored to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia as an effect of which she suspected some people, including Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, of conspiring to kill her.

A post-mortem report suggested that she might have starved to death.

5. Guru Dutt

The director, actor and producer, who gave us classics like Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, and Chaudhvin Ka Chand was one of the most talented people Bollywood had ever seen. Guru Dutt had been fighting depression for a long time and had attempted suicide two times prior to his death.


He was found lifeless in his bed due to a deadly mixture of alcohol and sleeping pills on October 10, 1964.

It is, to date, unclear if his death was suicide, or just an accidental overdose. Dutt's son, Arun Dutt, however, considers the death to be an accident. According to him, "My father had sleeping disorders and popped sleeping pills like any other person. That day he was drunk and had taken an overdose of pills, which culminated in his death. It was a lethal combination of excessive liquor and sleeping pills.”, Revealed Rediff.

6. Jiah Khan

The 25-year-old starlet committed suicide on June 3, 2013 in Mumbai. During interrogations, her mother revealed that Jiah had left behind a six-page note expressing how she was being harassed and tortured mentally, reported Pinkvilla.


Her family alleged that her boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi, who made his debut with Hero, triggered the actress to commit suicide. Sooraj was arrested and booked on the charge of abatement to suicide.

Later, forensic reports confirmed that Jiah was under the influence of alcohol when she hanged herself. A failed relationship or a dying career were said to have played a part in Jiah’s tragic end.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ