Google Doodle celebrates Sridevi, the Bollywood superstar who died in Dubai

The Indian actress would have turned 60 today

The Google Doodle celebrating actress Sridevi was created by Mumbai artist Bhumika Mukherjee. Photo: Google
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Google is celebrating Indian film star Sridevi on what would have been her 60th birthday.

One of Bollywood's first female superstars Sridevi died in Dubai in 2018 while in the UAE for a wedding.

On August 13, the search engine is marking what would have been her birthday with a colourful animation by Mumbai artist Bhumika Mukherjee.

Over her four-decade career, Sridevi starred in some three hundred films and made her mark on Bollywood as one of the first women to chart a path to success in the traditionally male-dominated industry.

The doodle is displayed across the GCC, India, Australia, Canada, France and New Zealand.

Known by one name, which is Hindi for goddess, Sridevi was famous for her dance moves and impeccable comic timing. She was married to film producer Boney Kapoor, including her in the tight-knit clan often considered Bollywood royalty.

In 2018, she visited the UAE for the wedding of her nephew, Raag Desh actor Mohit Marwah, to stylist Antara Motiwala. Her death was reported shortly afterwards.

Dubai police conducted an investigation and post-mortem before her body was flown back to India. Her last rights were offered in Mumbai with a sea of fans in attendance.

Widely lauded for her comeback in the sweet slice-of-life drama English-Vinglish (2012), Sridevi's star had shone since the 1970s, when she made her debut in the Tamil film industry with Moondru Mudichu, by director K Balachander.

Sridevi first appeared on the big screen in Thunaivan (1969), a devotional film, in which she was credited as baby Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan, her given name.

In keeping with the Indian film industry's penchant for marketable names, Shree became Sridevi – the star of numerous Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada movies, winning her first of five Filmfare awards for Meendum Kokila (1981). Solva Sawan, Sridevi's first Bollywood movie in 1979, was also a remake of a Tamil film in which she starred alongside South India's greats Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth.

She moved to Mumbai in the 1980s for meatier roles in Hindi films.

Initially criticised by leading Bollywood actresses for her full figure and Tamil accent, Sridevi got her big break in Bollywood with box office hit Himmatwala (1983) where she was paired with Jeetendra.

Eventually, she became one of the industry’s most bankable stars and was often pitted against big names such as Rekha and Madhuri Dixit.

The actress was honoured with India's Padma Shri award in 2013, and her last film was Mom (2017), for which she was praised as “the high priestess of Indian cinema” by The Times of India.

Updated: August 13, 2023, 5:21 AM