Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who is known for films such as M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, Chhich- hore, Sonchiriya, Kedarnath, and PK, among others, is no more. He reportedly committed suicide at his residence in Mumbai by hanging himself earlier on Sunday. He was only 34.
“Sushant Singh Rajput has committed suicide, Mumbai Police is investigating. Police have not found any note yet,” said Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Pranay Ashok.
Also, the statement shared by Rajput’s team read, “It pains us to share that Su- shant Singh Rajput is no longer with us. 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 media to help us maintain privacy at this moment of grief.”
The year 2020 is proving to be a tragic year for Indian cinema as Rajput joins the likes of Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Ranjit Chowdhry, Wajid Ali, Basu Chatterjee, and Anwar Sagar who have left us one after the other in a quick succession. While early reports suggest that Rajput was suffering from depression for the past few months, the reason behind him taking this extreme step is still not clearly known.
Ever since the news broke out tributes have been pouring in from the Bollywood fraternity, politicians, sports stars and fans. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his heartfelt tribute, “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 and he leaves behind several memorable performances. Shocked by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family and fans. Om Shanti.”
Rajput’s unforgettable portrayal of former Indian captain M.S, Dhoni in Neeraj Pandey’s biographical film M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story made Rajput a household name in cricket-crazy India. Also, the role made him very popular with the Indian diaspora.
Hailing from Patna, Bihar, Rajput pursued Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the prestigious Delhi Technological University (erstwhile Delhi College of Engineering) before joining Shiamak Davar’s dance classes. He subsequently enrolled for Barry John’s acting classes with the hope of become an actor.
In Mumbai, he found great success as a television actor thanks to his turn of a car mechanic in Pavitra Rishta, a popular Indian soap opera produced by Balaji Telefilms which aired on Zee TV from 1 June 2009 to 25 October 2014. But Rajput had his eyes set on the big screen and his first major break came in form of Abhishek Kapoor’s sports drama Kai Po Che (2013), which was an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel best- selling novel titled The Three Mistakes of My Life.
The film’s success provided just the right kind of plat- form for Rajput who subsequently starred in Maneesh Sharma’s romantic drama Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) alongside Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor. While the film failed to create magic at the box-office, Rajput none- the less earned praise from the film critics for his performance. His next release was Rajkumar Hirani’s blockbuster film PK (2014). Although, Rajput only had an extended cameo in the film, his performance was widely appreciated. Rajput’s only release in 2015 was Dibakar Banerjee’s Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! wherein he played the titular role of the legendary Indian sleuth Byomkesh Bakshy. Yet again Rajput earned praise for his performance but the film failed to match the box-office expectations owing to a clash with Furious 7—the seventh installment in the popular Fast & Furious franchise.
Rajput’s luck at the box-office saw a major reversal with the MS Dhoni biopic the very next year as the Neeraj Pandey film went on to break all kinds of box-office records. Rajput’s last theatrical release was Chhichhore (2019). The film was a huge box-office success. Interestingly, the film dealt with the delicate issue of suicide and academic success. His other theatrical release last year, Sonchiriya, was rated as one of the best films of the year by several critics. But it failed to create any buzz at the box-office. Rajput’s portrayal of a dacoit, however, received ubiquitous praise.
Rajput’s next scheduled release is Mukesh Chhabra’s Dil Bechara which is a remake of the Hollywood film The Fault in Our Stars. His name was also associated with a bunch of other upcoming projects including Chanda Mama Door Ke but his sudden demise has cast a shadow of uncertainty regarding their fate.