Indian actor Sushant Singh Rajput has died at his home in Mumbai in a suspected suicide. The 34-year-old first made his name in Indian soap operas before Bollywood beckoned.
Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput has been found dead at his Mumbai home, Indian media reported Sunday, citing police confirmation.
The 34-year-old star died in a suspected suicide, according to the Hindustan Times.
Several news outlets said Rajput was found hanged by his domestic help.
Mumbai police spokesperson Pranaya Ashok confirmed the death and said details were being investigated.
“It pains us to share that Sushant Singh Rajput is no longer with us," a spokesman for the actor told the Indian Express. "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.”
Path to fame
Rajput gained the spotlight with popular television soap opera Pavitra Rishta and the critically acclaimed film, Kai Po Che! based on Chetan Bhagat's bestselling book, The Three Mistakes of My Life.
Rajput also starred in MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, in which he played the former Indian cricket team captain. It was among India's most successful films in 2016.
Rajput received critical acclaim for his role in Dibakar Banerjee’s 2015 movie, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! and had a supporting role in Aamir Khan's 2014 hit PK.
Recently, he starred in the comedy-drama Chhichhore and his last appearance was in the Netflix movie Drive.
His new film Dil Bechara, co-starring actor Saif Ali Khan, was meant to be released in May but was postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Born in the ancient city of Patna in Bihar, northeast India, Rajput studied engineering and was a National Olympiad Winner in Physics. He later dropped out to pursue a career in acting.
Rajput's death on Sunday follows the apparent suicide of his former manager Disha Salian a few days earlier.
"It's such devastating news," he had posted on Instagram in reaction to the news.
Mumbai, India's financial hub and home to Bollywood, has been grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought the business of entertainment to a complete halt in the country.
India mourns loss
Following the news, politicians, devastated fans, and other Bollywood actors took to social media to pay tribute.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter: "Sushant Singh Rajput...a bright young actor gone too soon. He excelled on TV and in films. His rise in the world of entertainment inspired many…”
"Honestly this news has left me shocked and speechless...I remember watching #SushantSinghRajput in Chhichhore and telling my friend Sajid, its producer how much I’d enjoyed the film and wish I’d been a part of it. Such a talented actor..." Indian actor Akshay Kumar posted.
Actress Swara Bhaskar tweeted, "you were such a wonderful performer and had such a long long way to go! Don’t know what you were going through but I’m sorry for your suffering!"
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar also gave his condolences to the actor, tweeting, "Shocked and sad to hear about the loss of Sushant Singh Rajput. Such a young and talented actor."
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