THE LOST STARS
In 2020, India witnessed notable deaths amidst the pandemic lockdown until July. From Bollywood actors such as Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan Khan to acclaimed Indians overseas, their passing has left an impact among Indians around the globe.
The chocolate boy of the Indian cinema, Kapoor was best known as a romantic hero, and his charm and charisma quickly made him one of Bollywood's leading men in the '70s and '80s. He passed away on April 30. Famed for his romantic roles, Kapoor's second innings as an actor was even more amazing than his first. From Mera Naam Joker to 102 Not Out, the actor has given us a plethora of remarkable performances to remember him.
Padma Shri awardee and one of the finest talents in Bollywood, Irrfan Khan passed away on April 29 due to colon infection. Best known to English-speaking audiences as the police inspector in Slumdog Millionaire and for his roles in Jurassic World and Life of Pi, Khan was a Bollywood beloved, acting in hits such as Haider, Piku and Hindi Medium. There was so much promise and so many more roles to play. Fortunately, he has left behind a large treasure trove of films for his fans.
Sushant Singh Rajput
Widely acclaimed as a promising young actor, Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Mumbai's Bandra on June 14. Known for his work in films such as Kai Po Che! and M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, among others, Rajput was recently seen in Chhichhore. His death led to a deluge of tribute and recriminations on social media involving the Hindi film industry, which has been battling allegations of nepotism and cliques. Dil Bechara, his last movie that was released online on Friday on Disney+ Hotstar, has drawn praise from critics.
Noted choreographer Saroj Khan passed away at the age of 71 due to cardiac arrest. She was best known for the Mujra dance form and the first woman choreographer in Bollywood. With a career spanning over 40 years, she choreographed more than 3,000 songs. Khan was a pioneer, one of the few women working behind the camera at a time when nearly all the technicians were men. She joined the industry as a three-year-old child actress in the early '50s, and became an assistant choreographer at the age of 12. There was the frenetic Ek Do Teen, the raunchy Choli Ke Peechay Kya Hai, the effervescent Hawa Hawai, the sizzling Dhak Dhak Karne Laga and the lush songs from the period drama Devdas. Much of her best-known work was in collaboration with the actresses Madhuri Dixit and the late Sridevi.
Samir Bangara, the co-founder and chief executive of digital music platform, Qyuki Digital Media, passed away on June 14 following a motorcycle accident, believed to have taken place on the outskirts of Mumbai. The 46-year-old, a riding enthusiast, shot into prominence when he, along with founder Vishal Gondal, engineered the sale of home-grown video publisher, Indiagames - where he was chief operating officer to entertainment conglomerate Disney in 2012-13 for a reported $80-$100 million.
Popular Kannada actor, known for movies such as Chirru, Sinnga, and Amma I Love You, died of cardiac arrest on June 7 at a private hospital in Bengaluru. Chiranjeevi's untimely demise sent shockwaves across the industry.
Singer-composer Wajid Khan of music director duo Sajid-Wajid, popular for their work on actor Salman Khan's films such as Wanted, Dabangg and Ek Tha Tiger, died on June 1 due to complications arising from a kidney infection. He also tested positive for Covid-19, but died of a cardiac arrest.
Basu Chatterjee, the director behind cult films like Rajnigandha and Chitchor, passed away on June 4 due to age-related ailments at the age of 93. Best known for chronicling middle-class lives and values in light-hearted movies such as Piya Ka Ghar', Rajnigandha, Chhoti Si Baat, Chitchor, Khatta Meetha, Baton Baton Mein, Priyatama, and Shaukeen, Chatterjee also created and directed the hit Doordarshan television series Byomkesh Bakshi, starring Rajit Kapur as the eponymous sleuth.
Prominent lyricist in 70s Hindi cinema passed away on May 29. Yogesh who wrote memorable songs like Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaaye and Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli and Phool Tumhare Maheke Jeevan Main. He was awarded the National Award for his song Kayi Baar Yu Bhi Dekha from Rajnigandha.
Pioneer Indian Journalist and socialite died with Covid-19 at her home in London on April 18. She edited two of India's most popular magazines - women's journal Eve's Weekly and film magazine Star & Style - between 1966 and 1989.
Chef Floyd Cardoz
Noted Chef Floyd Cardoz of Covid-19 infection in a hospital in New York on March 25. He was the first chef born and raised in India to lead an influential New York City kitchen at Tabla. After winning the culinary competition television show Top Chef Masters in 2011, Cardoz became a celebrity son of India. In Mumbai, he opened the Bombay Canteen and O Pedro, a restaurant influenced by his family's Portuguese roots in Goa.
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