A prominent actor in Indian movies and television programs, Sushant Singh Rajput, was found dead in his Mumbai home on Sunday, June 14, 2020. He was 34 years old.
His family released a statement confirming Rajput’s death, however, the family did not say how he died. According to the Mumbai police, he committed suicide, nevertheless, there is an investigation underway.
“It pains us to share that Sushant Singh Rajpur is no longer with is. We request his fans to keep him in their thoughts and celebrate his life and his work like they have done so far. We request the media to help us maintain privacy at this moment of grief,” the family’s statement read.
Rajput first began acting on television. He was best known for his role as a mechanic, Manav Deshmukh, in “Pavitra Rishta,” which was a soap opera that debuted in 2009.
In 2011, he left the show and made his Bollywood debut in 2013. Rajput was in “Kai Po Che,” which is a film based on a novel by Chetan Bhagat. He played a gifted, yet troubled cricket player. Critic Taran Adarsh stated that Rajput was “blessed with wonderful screen presence.” Rajput received a Filmfare Award nomination for his performance.
Shock waves permeated India’s film industry and the country at the news of Rajput’s death. Several leaders and fellow actors have taken to social media to offer their condolences.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to Rajput as “a bright young actor gone too soon. He excelled on TV and in films.”
Actor Shah Rukh Khan said Rajput’s death was “extremely sad….and so shocking.” Khan also praised the actor’s “energy, enthusiasm, and his full happy smile.”
Another actor, Akshay Kumar wrote that Rajput was “such a talented actor.”
Open about her personal experiences with mental health, Deepika Padukone, posted on Twitter, “#YouAreNotAlone I cannot stress enough about the importance of reaching out.”
Sushant Singh Rajput was born on Jan. 21, 1986, in Patna. Patna is in the Indian state of Bihar. His father was an engineer and his mother was a homemaker. Rajput was the youngest of five children. He had four sisters.
The actor often credited his mother with his success. She died in 2002 when Rajput was 16. “There was a vacuum in my life after her as she was the only one with whom I would discuss everything.”
While he was in college, Rajput took acting and dancing classes. He dropped out of school to dance for well-known choreographer, Shiamak Davar.
Eventually, Rajput moved to Mumbai and joined a theater group and landed his first commercial.
He was scouted by a television casting agency in 2008 and made his television debut in “Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil.” This was a dramatic series. He played the stepbrother of the protagonist, however, his character was killed off early in the series.
Rajput made an appearance in the fourth season of “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa,” which is India’s version of “Dancing With the Stars.” He finished in second place on the show.
Most recently, the actor made an appearance in “Drive.” This movie was produced by Dharma Productions and went straight to Netflix. This movie is in English.
The actor also starred in “Dil Bechara.” This movie is based on the 2012 novel by John Green, “The Fault in Our Stars.” The movie was scheduled to be released in May, however, it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rajput is survived by his father and four older sisters. May he rest in peace.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
By Jeanette Vietti
The New York Times: Sushant Singh Rajput, Bollywood Star, Dies at 34
CNN: Indian actor Sushant Singh Rajput found dead in his Mumbai home
India Today: KanganaRanaut blasts Bollywood after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death: Was it suicide or planned murder?
Image Courtesy of Laura Lee Dooley’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License