Remembering Sridevi: Can you think of any other star who has continuously faced the camera for 50 years?

And then, there is Chaalbaaz, Mr India and Nagina, which never fail to remind you of Sridevi’s incredible variety. She became muse to Yash Chopra. She has won our sympathies by playing the ingénue and the innocent (think: Chaalbaaz) like a natural fit, a theme that finally culminated in the laddoo-making Shashi of English Vinglish and the indomitable warrior as seen in MOM. Only, in the end, it turned out the reclusive glamour diva was just as mortal as the rest of us. She was so young and at 54, only beginning to reach her full stride as an actor. Which of the two is the real Sridevi? From 1980s onwards, her Hindi cinema career picked pace, turning her into a pan-India face. Even at 54, despite rumours of cosmetic surgeries and Botox, Sridevi looked ravishing and camera-ready. If she were alive, there was a good chance the audiences would have seen at least one watershed Friday with both mother and daughter having a release opposite each other. Before her Bollywood move, Sridevi had proved herself back home in Tamil cinema. (Photo credit: Express photo)

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In Memoriam: Members of the film industry pay their tributes to actor SrideviFrom Superstar to Style IconThe Many Shades of SrideviThe news of Sridevi’s death after a cardiac arrest on Saturday night in Dubai could not have come at a worse time. Her Numero Uno position can be judged from the fact that in several hits of the time, Sridevi outshone her male co-stars and these include A-list names like Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty and Anil Kapoor. So does her legendary beauty. Watched together, MOM and English Vinglish actually represent the two sides of Sridevi’s long acting career. Her entire life, it seems, has played out on a film set. And to pick up the threads of what we said in the beginning, she had many things to look forward to, including her daughter Jhanvi Kapoor’s big Bollywood debut. She loved to face the camera. Her early training under the aegis of such stalwarts as K Balachander, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan helped in her Hindi cinema stint. 2018-02-25T18:07:53+00:00″>
Updated: February 25, 2018 6:07 pm

Sridevi was indeed a shy person off-screen, but turn on the camera and she could light a thousand bulbs with her magnetic charm. Both, it seems. She was indeed a shy person off-screen, but turn on the camera and she could light a thousand bulbs with her magnetic charm. Her last two films, the recent thriller MOM (2017) in which she played an avenging mother out to get her daughter’s rapists and English Vinglish (2012) that saw her as a docile housewife who develops a passion to learn English, reinforced her versatility and range. Her comic timing was arguably the sharpest among her contemporaries and always gets mentioned in any discussion about Sridevi. Can you think of any other star who has continuously faced the camera for fifty years? Chopra’s Chandni and Lamhe are probably her two best-known Hindi films. Think about it – the MOM star has been working since the age of four! She was taking it slow. Her unrehearsed and natural style of acting can be attributed to her beginnings as a child actor in Tamil cinema. (Shaikh Ayaz is a writer and journalist based in Mumbai)
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© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd Perhaps, the King of Romance saw in her an extension of Rekha, the quintessential YRF heroine. Her stardom was unmatched and unparalleled, save for that of Madhuri Dixit’s, in the 1980s and ‘90s. (Picture credit: Express Archive)
After Tamil cinema, Sridevi switched to Bollywood. Meendum Kokila, Sigappu Rojakkal, Varumayin Niram Sivappu and Moondram Pirai are considered landmark Sridevi classics in the Tamil language. (Picture credit: Express Archive)
Bollywood, where she became a face that Indians of any generation can recognise so easily and South cinema where she started her illustrious career, will miss one of its biggest superstars. Even though the Bollywood hits were largely commercial in sharp contrast to the social realism of K Balachander, Sridevi came armed with an experience that few actresses can boast of. She’s one of those actors who never went to an acting school but formed her own school, with a retinue of Bollywood leading ladies finding in their very own “Sridevi ma’am” an inspirational figure to look up to and to emulate. Long after many of her peers had hung up their boots, Sridevi made a starry comeback with English Vinglish in 2012.