Not only would the year 2020 be remembered for the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives across the globe, but this year will also go in history as one of the most tragic years for the Indian film industry. With only six months into 2020, the Hindi film industry has already seen tragic deaths of some of its stalwarts. Bollywood has already lost actors Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor and Sushant Rajput, filmmaker Basu Chatterjee, music composer Wajid Khan of the Sajid-Wajid duo and renowned choreographer Saroj Khan.
Both Irrfan and Rishi had died within 24 hours of each other’s death after battling cancer for two years on 29 and 30 April this year.
Irrfan was diagnosed with high-grade NeuroEndocrine cancer in 2018. He had travelled to London for the treatment and returned home last year. After his return to Mumbai, the popular actor had penned an emotional note to his fans, stating that he wanted to ‘pause to be grateful’ for the ‘immense love and support’ that he received from them.
He died on 29 April soon after being hospitalised in a Mumbai hospital as he developed colon infection.
Day after Irrfan’s tragic death, veteran actor Rishi Kapoor also died in Mumbai aged 67. Rishi Kapoor was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 for which he had to travel to the US. Later, the family had also issued an official statement revealing for the first time that the actor was suffering from leukemia, commonly known as blood cancer.
Days later on 1 June, Salman Khan’s favourite music composer Wajid Khan of Sajid-Wajid fame too passed away in Mumbai. Though there were rumorus that Wajid died of COVID-19, his brother Sajid had later issued a statement saying his brother was receiving treatment for pneumonia.
on 4 June, Bollywood lost another stalwart in Basu Chatterjee, who died due to age-related ailments. He was best known for directing Choti Si Baat, Rajnigandha, Baaton Baaton Mein, Ek Ruka Hua Faisla and Chameli Ki Shaadi among others. He was 93.
On 14 June, popular actor Bollywood was stunned by the tragic death of Sushant Singh Rajput. Sushant’s body was found hanging inside his house on 14 June. The 34-year-old actor from Bihar had made his Bollywood debut with Kai Po Che before acting in successful films such as MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, PK, Raabta and Kedarnath among others.
Sushant’s death has triggered a huge debate on the issue of nepotism in Bollywood even as the Mumbai Police probes a professional rivalry angle into his suicide.
On 3 July, renowned choreographer Saroj Khan died of cardiac arrest days after she was admitted to a Mumbai hospital. She was 71. Saroj Khan was admitted to Mumbai’s Guru Nanak Hospital in Bandra last month after developing a breathing issue. The 71-year-old choreographer had to undergo a COVID-19 test but had reportedly tested negative. A report by India TV said that the legendary choreographer died at 1.52 AM on Friday.