Bollywood star and Indian TV personality Sidharth Shukla has died following a heart attack.
40-year-old Shukla was well-known and loved across Indian, winning Big Brother’s Indian version, Bigg Boss, as well as hosting India’s Got Talent.
The news came in the early hours of 2 September, it has been reported that the actor was rushed to hospital in Mumbai, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
So, who is Sidharth Shukla and how have his fans and the world of Bollywood reacted to his untimely death? This is what you need to know.
Who was Sidharth Shunkla?
Sidharth Shukla was born on 12 December 1980, the only son of his engineer father and stay-at-home mother. He has two sisters and the family lived in Bombay, now a part of Mumbai.
He achieved a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Rachana Sansad School of Interior Design and spent a few years working in the industry.
In 2004, he competed and was runner-up in the Indian magazine Gladrags Manhunt and Megamodel Contest at the age of 23. This was to be the beginning of his fame.
In 2005, he represented India at the World’s Best Model contest held in Turkey, and became the first Indian, as well as the first Asian, to win the title beating 40 contestants from across Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
He then ventured into acting, where he became known for his roles in Indian TV series Broken But Beautiful 3 (2018), soap opera Balika Vadhu and romantic comedy series Dil Se Dil Tak (2017-2018).
Aside from his successful acting career, he also hosted TV shows India’s Got Talent and crime show Savdhaan India.
Aside from his acting roles, he was also a well-known ambassador of health and fitness. Shukla also ranked in The Indian Times Top 10 Most Desirable Men on Television in 2017 and 2018, taking the top spot in 2019 and 2020.
In 2020, it was reported he was dating fellow Indian star and Bigg Boss contestant, Shehnaaz Gill.
What TV and film roles did he have?
Shukla made his acting debut with a lead role in the 2008 show Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na.
His breakthrough role came in 2012, when he was cast as District Collector Shivraj Shekhar, opposite Pratyusha Banerjee and Toral Rasputra in Indian soap-opera Balika Vadhu.
His character remained in the show until 2015, in which time Shukla was nominated for several awards including the "GR8! Performer of the Year (Male)" award at the Indian Television Academy (ITA) Awards.
His Bollywood debut came in rom-com Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014), and continued his career as a TV host.
In 2016, he won the stunt reality show Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 7 and begun presenting India’s Got Talent.
He starred in movies such as Broken But Beautiful 3 and Businessman in Kazakhstan (2017).
In February 2020, he won Bigg Boss 13, ranking as the most popular contestant on the show throughout the entire series. He was voted as the Bigg Boss Greatest Of All Times (GOAT) in a series of polls conducted by Colors TV.
What happened to him?
On 2 September, he died of a suspected heart attack at his Mumbai apartment.
He was taken to Cooper Hospital in Mumbai, but was allegedly dead before he reached the hospital.
“He was brought dead to the hospital some time ago.”a senior doctor told the Hindustan Times, the doctor added more will be known after a post mortem.
He was not known to have any underlying health conditions and had referred to himself as extremely athletic throughout his life.
How have others paid tribute following his death?
Following news of his death, his Dil Se Dil Tak co-star Rashami Desai tweeted only a broken heart emoji, with many fans of the show expressing their condolences in the comments section.
Fellow actor and director Umar Riaz also took to Twitter, writing: “Shocked to hear this news . My heart pains to even think about this. Good bye my brother.
Bollywood film director and producer Ajay Devgn Tweeted: “Life & death are both baffling. But when someone as young as #SidharthShukla passes away with suddenness, one is very sad... Condolences to his family. RIP Sidharth”
Colors TV also issued a statement on Twitter, referring to him as part of the production company’s family.
It Tweeted: “We, at Colors, are saddened & devastated by the sudden loss of our family member, Sidharth Shukla. He will be immensely missed. His passing is an irreparable loss for us & the whole industry. Our prayers & support are with his family, friends & fans. May his soul rest in peace.”
His Bigg Boss co-contestants also paid tribute, with Nikki Tamboli simpy writing on social media “Gone too soon.”
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