Indian Celebrities Who Died Young

Indian Celebrities Who Died Young

The Indian entertainment industry has been deeply impacted by the untimely loss of several beloved celebrities. From the tragic passing of Sushant Singh Rajput, Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Puneeth Rajkumar, and Sridevi to the shocking death of Jiah Khan, these individuals have left an indelible mark on the hearts of their fans. The particular, witnessed the departure of many iconic figures, sparking a wave of mourning and reflection on their contributions to the world of cinema and music.

The circumstances surrounding some of these deaths have also shed light on the mental health challenges and pressures faced by celebrities in the Indian entertainment industry. The passing of Sushant Singh Rajput, in particular, brought to the forefront the issue of mental health in Bollywood, prompting discussions and raising awareness about the emotional strains and difficulties experienced by those in the limelight. The legacies of these talented individuals serve as a reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of addressing mental health issues in the industry.

Despite their short lives, their contributions to the film industry and the lasting impression they made on their fans ensure that their legacies will continue to inspire and illuminate the world for generations to come.

Here are 15 Indian Actors Who Died Early:

  1. Divya Bharti (19 years)
  2. Jiah Khan (25 years)
  3. Sushant Singh Rajput (34 years)
  4. Puneeth Rajkumar (46 years)
  5. Tunisha Sharma (20 years)
  6. Madhubala (36years)
  7. Irrfan Khan (53 years)
  8. Sridevi (54 years)
  9. Meena Kumari (38 years)
  10. Sidharth Shukla (40 years)
  11. Smita Patil (31 years)
  12. Geeta Bali (35 years)
  13. Vinod Mehra (45 years)
  14. Sanjeev Kumar (47 years)
  15. Soundarya (31 years)

1. Divya Bharti

Divya Bharti

Divya Bharti was a popular Indian actress who passed away too soon. She was born on 25 February 1974 in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. She worked predominantly in Telugu and Hindi films. Recognized as one of the highest-paid actresses of her era, she was noted for her acting versatility and stunning beauty. Her accolades include a Filmfare Award and a Nandi Award, reflecting her impactful presence in the film industry.

Divya Bharti Cause of death:

On the evening of April 5, 1993, Divya Bharti tragically fell from her fifth-floor apartment in Versova, Andheri West, Bombay. Rushed to Cooper Hospital, she succumbed to head injuries and internal bleeding. Despite conspiracy theories, her father denied any wrongdoing. Divya Bharti was cremated on April 7, 1993, at the Vile Parle crematorium in Bombay.

2. Jiah Khan

Jiah Khan

Nafisa Rizvi Khan, better known as Jiah Khan born on February 20, 1988, in New York City, was an English-American-Indian actress and singer known for her work in three Hindi films from 2007 to 2010. She debuted in Ram Gopal Verma’s 2007 film “Nishabd,” for which she was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. Notable for her supporting role in the highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2008, “Ghajini,” she garnered praise for her comic role in the 2010 hit “Housefull” after a two-year hiatus.

Jiah Khan Cause of death:

On 3 June 2013, Jiah Khan tragically passed away by hanging at her residence in Juhu, Mumbai, reportedly between 11:00 pm and 11:30 pm. Unfortunately, her mother and sister were not present at home during this time.

3. Sushant Singh Rajput

Sushant Singh Rajput

Sushant Singh Rajput born on 21 January 1986 in Patna, Bihar, India, was an Indian actor who died young, known for his work in Hindi cinema. He starred in several commercially successful Hindi films like “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story” (2016), “Kedarnath” (2018), and “Chhichhore” (2019). Recognized for his contribution, he won a Screen Award, earned three Filmfare Award nominations, and was featured on Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 list twice since 2017.

Sushant Singh Rajput Cause of death:

On June 14, 2020, at 34, Rajput was discovered dead in his Bandra, Mumbai home. Battling clinical depression and bipolar disorder, his postmortem revealed “asphyxia due to hanging,” confirming suicide. Authorities, along with a forensic team from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, confirmed that Rajput’s death was not murder.

4. Puneeth Rajkumar

Puneeth Rajkumar

Puneeth Rajkumar, colloquially known as Appu, was a versatile Indian actor, philanthropist, playback singer, TV presenter, and producer in Kannada cinema. Born on March 17, 1975, in Madras (now Chennai), he became one of the most beloved figures in Kannada cinema, featuring as the lead in 32 films. He won the National Film Award for Best Child Artist for his role of Ramu in Bettada Hoovu. He also won the Karnataka State Award for Best Child Artist for Chalisuva Modagalu and Eradu Nakshatragalu.

Puneeth Rajkumar Cause of death:

On 29 October 2021, at 46, Puneeth Rajkumar complained of uneasiness to his wife Ashwini and passed away on his way to a Bengaluru hospital due to a cardiac arrest, commonly known as a heart attack. In line with his father Rajkumar’s pledge, he fulfilled a commitment to donate his eyes at the Narayana Nethralaya Eye Hospital.

5. Tunisha Sharma

Tunisha Sharma

Tunisha Sharma, born on January 4, 2002, was an Indian television and film actress. She made her acting debut with Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap as Chand Kawar in 2015. She was best known for her roles in “Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat,” “Ishq Subhan Allah,” and “Internet Wala Love.”

Tunisha Sharma Cause of death:

On 24 December 2022, in a studio in Naigaon, Maharashtra, Tunisha Sharma tragically took her own life by hanging in the make-up room of co-star Sheezan Khan on the set of the television serial Ali Baba: Dastaan-E-Kabul. She was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival (DOA).

6. Madhubala


Madhubala was an Indian actress who worked in work in Hindi cinema. She was born as Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi in Delhi, British India, on 14 February 1933. Madhubala ranked as one of the highest-paid entertainers in India in the post-independence era. She was the first female superstar in the 50s and 60s. Despite a career spanning over 20 years, she was predominantly active for a decade and featured in over 60 films before she died in 1969.

Madhubala Cause of death:

In early 1969, Madhubala’s health sharply declined due to jaundice and hematuria. After suffering a heart attack at midnight on February 22, she passed away at 9:30 a.m. on February 23, just nine days after turning 36. Madhubala was laid to rest at Juhu Muslim Cemetery in Santacruz, Bombay, along with her personal diary.

7. Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan was an Indian actor who worked in Indian cinema as well as British and American films. He was born on 7 January 1967 in Tonk, Rajasthan, India into a Muslim family. Widely regarded as one of the finest actors in world cinema, Khan’s career spanned over 30 years, earning him prestigious accolades such as a National Film Award, an Asian Film Award, and six Filmfare Awards. In 2011, Khan was honored with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honor, and in 2021, he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously.

Irrfan Khan Cause of death:

In March 2018, Khan announced on Twitter that he had been diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer. After a year of treatment in the UK, he returned to India in February 2019. He was admitted to Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on 28 April 2020, where he started receiving treatment for a colon infection caused by the disease and passed away on April 29, 2020, at the age of 53. Khan was laid to rest at the Versova Kabristan in Mumbai, with his sons performing his last rites.

8. Sidharth Shukla

Sidharth Shukla

Born on December 12, 1980, in Bombay, Sidharth Shukla was an Indian actor, host, and model who mostly appeared in Hindi television and films. He was known for his roles “Balika Vadhu,” “Broken But Beautiful 3,” and “Dil Se Dil Tak,” he triumphed in reality shows like Bigg Boss 13 and Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 7. He was also the winner of the World’s Best Model title in 2005. His acting journey began with the lead role in the 2008 show “Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na,” and he made his Bollywood debut in a supporting role in “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania” in 2014.

Sidharth Shukla Cause of death:

He died on 2 September 2021 after suffering a heart attack at the age of 40.

9. Sridevi


Sridevi, born Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan, was an Indian actress who worked in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, and Kannada films. She was born on 13 August 1963 in Meenampatti, Madras State, India. Recognized as the “first female superstar,” she received various accolades, including a National Film Award. Known for her introverted off-screen personality and strong-willed on-screen roles, she was honored with the Padma Shri in 2013. She was voted “India’s Greatest Actress in 100 Years” in a CNN-IBN national poll the same year.

Sridevi Cause of death:

Sridevi was pronounced dead, at the age of 54 on 24 February 2018 at 19:00 GMT in her hotel room where her husband had found her. At first, it was announced by her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor to the Indian media that the cause of death was a cardiac arrest, but the investigation into her death began early Sunday morning around 2:30, and the case was transferred to Dubai Public Prosecution by Dubai Police, where General Department of Forensic Evidence, Dubai revealed that the cause of death was “accidental drowning (type of suffocation)”. The toxicology report later also revealed that traces of alcohol were found in her body, and water was found in her lungs.

10. Meena Kumari

Meena Kumari

Meena Kumari was an Indian actress and poet, who worked in Hindi films. She was born on 1 August 1933 in Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India. Popularly known as The Tragedy Queen, she was active between 1939 and 1972. She is widely considered one of the greatest actresses of Indian cinema. In a career spanning 33 years, from child actress to adult, she starred in over 90 films.

Meena Kumari Cause of death:

She died at the age of 38 years, from cirrhosis of the liver, which has been associated with her alcoholism. As per her husband’s wish, she was buried at Rehmatabad Cemetery, located at Narialwadi, Mazagaon, Bombay.

11. Smita Patil

Smita Patil

Smita Patil was an Indian film and theatre actress. She was born on 17 October 1955 in Poona, Bombay State, India. Regarded among the finest stage and film actresses of Indian cinema, she appeared in over 80 films, mostly in Hindi and Marathi, in a career that spanned over a decade. Smita Patil made her film debut with Shyam Benegal’s Charandas Chor (1975). She was the recipient of two National Film Awards, a Filmfare Award, and two Filmfare Awards Marathi, and received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour in 1985.

Smita Patil Cause of death:

Smita Patil died from childbirth complications (Puerperal sepsis) on 13 December 1986, age 31 Nearly two decades later, notable film director Mrinal Sen alleged that Patil had died due to “gross medical negligence”. After Patil’s death, her son was raised by her parents in Mumbai.

12. Vinod Mehra

Vinod Mehra

Vinod Mehra was an Indian actor in the Hindi film industry, and he is among the Indian celebrities who passed away at a young age. He was born on 13 February 1945 in a Punjabi family. He started as a child actor in the mid-1950s before starting his film career as an adult in 1971. He acted in over 100 films from the 1970s through to his death at the age of 45 in 1990. Additionally, he served as the producer and director of the film “Gurudev,” which was released three years after his death.

Vinod Mehra Cause of death:

Vinod Mehra died of a heart attack on 30 October 1990. He was only 45 years of age.

13. Geeta Bali

Geeta Bali

Geeta Bali was an Indian actress who worked in Hindi films. She was born in 2030 in Punjab, India. She is regarded of the finest actresses in the history of Indian cinema. With a career spanning over two decades, she appeared in 75 films and received two nominations for Filmfare Awards, including one for Best Actress.

Geeta Bali Cause of death:

Geeta Bali died on 21 January 1965, at the age of 35, due to illness from smallpox.

14. Sanjeev Kumar

Sanjeev Kumar

Sanjeev Kumar was an Indian actor, born as Harihar Jethalal Jariwala (also referred to as Haribhai) on 9 July 1938 in Surat to a Gujarati Brahmin family. He is well remembered for his versatility and genuine portrayal of his characters. He acted in genres ranging from romantic dramas to thrillers, and was voted the seventh greatest actor of Indian cinema of all time in a poll conducted by His double role in the film Angoor was listed among the 25 best acting performances of Indian cinema by Forbes India on the occasion of celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema.

Sanjeev Kumar Cause of death:

After Sanjeev Kumar’s first heart attack, he underwent a bypass in the U.S. However, on 6 November 1985. At the age of 47, he suffered a massive heart attack, which resulted in his death.

15. Soundarya


K.S. Sowmya, better known by her stage name Soundarya, was an Indian actress known for her works primarily in Telugu cinema in addition to Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, and Malayalam films. She was born on 18 July 1972 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. A recipient of three Nandi Awards, two Karnataka State Film Awards, and six Filmfare Awards South, she also achieved the National Film Award for Best Feature Film as a producer for the Kannada film “Dweepa” in 2002.

Soundarya Cause of death:

On 17 April 2004, at the age of 31 Soundarya died in an aircraft crash along with her brother Amarnath while travelling to Karimnagar from Bengaluru during an election campaign to support Bharatiya Janata Party, which she had joined that year.


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