In all walks of life, death is the final milestone in the saga of every living organism.

The glamorous world of Bollywood encompasses love, applause and adulation.

It is easy to lose the differentiation between the celebrity and the human being behind the magic of the camera.

Some of these celebrities tragically succumb to untimely deaths which can break the hearts of fans and cause a massive blow to the industry.

Several of these icons, unfortunately, pass away at quite a young age, which makes their death feel even more disturbing and saddening.

DESIblitz remembers some of these legendary figures as we present a list of 10 untimely deaths that shocked millions.

Guru Dutt

10 Untimely Deaths in Bollywood that Shocked All - Guru DuttWhen it comes to the classic filmmakers of Indian cinema, Guru Dutt’s name always tops the list.

This celluloid magician has weaved enduring masterpieces including Mr and Mrs 55 (1955), Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959).

However, although many fans admire Kaagaz Ke Phool for the classic it is, the film did not succeed when it was first released.

This failure had a devastating impact on Guru who could not find the courage to direct another film after its debacle.

In Guru Dutt: An Unfinished Story (2021), lyricist Kaifi Azmi sheds light on Guru’s mental health:

“When the film was released, nobody could understand what he was trying to say.

“His mental health also made him unclear.”

Guru also had an uneasy personal life. In his later years, he drifted apart from his wife Geeta Dutt.

The director ultimately took his own life on October 10, 1964, at the age of 39, leaving behind a staggering body of work that many celebrate.

Madhubala

10 Untimely Deaths in Bollywood that Shocked All - MadhubalaTouted as the ‘Venus of Indian Cinema’, this beautiful and massively talented actress is the stuff of mystic legend within Bollywood.

The untimely death of Madhubala still makes classic Indian cinema connoisseurs emotional.

Her magnificent performances in countless films including Kala Pani (1958) and Mughal-E-Azam (1960) are examples for newer actors.

Sadly, behind the flamboyant actress onscreen was a woman who was always nursing a heart that was not only damaged but also broken.

Madhubala’s personal life is a tragic saga. Her highly publicised relationship with Dilip Kumar fell apart due to a messy court case in the ’50s.

She went on to marry the actor-singer Kishore Kumar but her congenital heart disease strained the romance.

Madhubala’s sister Madhur Bhushan details the star’s final days:

“Gradually, [Madhubala] began losing too much weight. She became a skeleton. Her beauty paled.

“She didn’t want to meet anyone. She was like a caged bird. Blood would ooze from her nose and mouth.”

Madhubala passed away on February 23, 1969. She was only 36 years old.

Meena Kumari

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Meena KumariIf you’re a Bollywood fan looking down the ages in search of a poetic and elegant performer, look no further.

Meena Kumari has her name ingrained in the annals of Indian cinema as the most charming actress of the Golden Era.

The star made a name for herself in the early ’50s and shone brightly over the next couple of decades.

Her swansong is Pakeezah (1972), in which Meena gives her most mesmeric act.

Her husband Kamal Amrohi directs the film, painting Meena on a canvas of opulent scale and grandeur.

The chartbuster ‘Chalte Chalte‘ perfectly highlights Meena’s grace and refinement.

Meena and Amrohi had a difficult relationship which fuelled the former’s descent into alcoholism.

Just three weeks after the release of Pakeezah, Meena was admitted to hospital and she fell into a coma, ultimately leaving the world on March 31, 1972 at the age of 38.

Pakeezah was subsequently re-released in cinemas and not one eye was dry in the auditorium as scores of fans mourned the loss of such an icon.

The following phrase is inscribed on Meena Kumari’s tombstone, depicting her tragic but triumphant story:

“She ended life with a broken fiddle, with a broken song, with a broken heart, but not a single regret.”

Sanjeev Kumar

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Sanjeev KumarSanjeev Kumar is a natural actor, famous for portraying lead and character roles with equal skill and fervour.

His well-known films include Khilona (1970), Sholay (1975) and Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977).

The actor is never himself onscreen. His talent lies in the fact that he merges into the character.

Sanjeev remained an unmarried man all his life. He proposed to Hema Malini in 1973 but she declined as she was already in love with Dharmendra.

In his later years, the actor began a courtship with Sulakshana Pandit but could not accept her marriage proposal.

Sanjeev suffered from a rare hereditary heart condition. As a result, many members of his family had not lived past the age of 50.

The Trishul actor died on November 6, 1985. He was 47 years old.

The magic of Sanjeev Kumar still charms and amazes viewers. He excels in all genres of content including drama, comedy and romance.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praises Sanjeev and enthuses:

“He was a natural – one of the most powerful actors.”

Smita Patil

10 Untimely Deaths in Bollywood that Shocked All - Smita PatilIt takes a true talent to accomplish much in a short life. Smita Patil is unquestionably one of them.

Smita began her career in the ’70s and was a highly prolific actress.

Her popular films include Chakra (1981), Namak Halaal (1982) and Shakti (1982).

She notably maintained a distance from typically commercial cinema and she gives her best to every character.

Katrina Kaif reminisces about the inspiration of Smita Patil:

“Smita Patil’s roles were an inspiration and touched the lives of millions of women.

“She showed us that not even the sky is the limit.”

Smita passed away on December 13, 1986, at the young age of 31.

She died of childbirth complications, thus making her demise one of the most untimely deaths in Bollywood.

However, her untouched legacy will continue forever via her fantastic and historic work.

Divya Bharti

10 Untimely Deaths in Bollywood that Shocked All - Divya BhartiVivacious, sexy, and brash, Divya Bharti was everyone’s dream in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Divya started her career in the Telegu film industry before transitioning to Bollywood.

The young star shines in Shola Aur Shabnam (1992) as Divya Thapa, proving that she is a force to reckon with.

As Shah Rukh Khan’s leading lady in his debut Deewana (1992), Divya eclipses every frame.

Her boldness is infectious in the song ‘Aisi Deewangi Dekhi Nahi Kahi‘.

On April 5, 1993, aged 19, she shockingly fell from a balcony at her apartment.

The incident left the entire industry shaken and millions of fans were shattered.

At the time of her passing, Divya was married to the film producer Sajid Nadiadwala.

Anushka Sharma classifies Divya as a major dance inspiration: “I became a huge fan of Divya Bharti after watching her songs.

I would dance to almost all her songs, especially ‘Saat Samundar Paar’, and would break into the dance moves anytime and anywhere.

“When she passed away, my mother didn’t tell me for about a week, because she knew I would break down.”

Parveen Babi

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Parveen BabiAny list of top Bollywood actresses is incomplete without Parveen Babi.

After finding footing in the Indian film industry in the ’70s, Parveen became endlessly loved amongst cine-goers.

Her onscreen pairing with Amitabh Bachchan is one of the most popular of the ’80s.

At the height of her career, Parveen abruptly left Bollywood in 1983.

In subsequent years, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and diabetes. In the late ’80s, she accused Amitabh of trying to kill her:

“Amitabh Bachchan is a super international gangster. He is after my life.

“His goons kidnapped me and I was kept on an island where they performed surgery on me.”

However, Parveen’s claims were proven untrue due to her illness.

The star returned to India and was found dead on January 20, 2005. She was 50 years of age.

Costume designer Manish Malhotra speaks glowingly of Parveen’s style:

“Parveen Babi brought minimalism into fashion. She was always impeccable, not overdoing it even once.”

This shows the indelible impact Parveen Babi has had on fans.

Jiah Khan

10 Untimely Deaths in Bollywood that Shocked All - Jiah KhanDuring her short Bollywood journey, Jiah Khan appears in three films – Nishabd (2007), Ghajini (2008) and Housefull (2010).

However, in all three films, Jiah makes a colossal impact and one can honestly say that these movies would not be the same without her.

Her debut, Nishabd was a box office flop. Nevertheless, the actress earned acclaim for her performance.

Taran Adarsh lauds Jiah’s sex appeal and confidence:

“Newcomer Jiah Khan is supremely confident.

“Loaded with attitude and sex appeal, the newcomer carries off her part with flourish.”

Tragically, at the tender age of 25, Jiah ended her life on June 3, 2013.

Bollywood fans still grow sad whenever they recognise Jiah Khan’s demise as one of the most untimely deaths.

In the note she had written to her family, the star alleges that her partner Sooraj Pancholi was abusive towards her.

This led to a legal issue for Pancholi which spanned many years.

In April 2023, the CBI Special Court acquitted him due to a lack of evidence.

Sridevi

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - SrideviOne of the most legendary Bollywood actors, Sridevi’s remarkable contribution to cinema remains unparalleled.

Beginning her career at the age of four, the icon has an intangible yet glorious screen presence.

She shines like an emerald in films including Mr India (1987), Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991) and English Vinglish (2012).

On February 24, 2018, fans were dumbfounded when news emerged that Sridevi had suddenly passed away in a case of accidental drowning.

The 54-year-old star was in Dubai at the time of her death. Initially thought to be an internet hoax, the sad news was later confirmed true.

Celebrities and politicians flooded social media with tributes. Ram Nath Kovind laments:

“Shocked to hear of the passing of movie star Sridevi. She has left millions of fans heartbroken.

“Her performances in films such as Moondram PiraiLamhe and English Vinglish remain an inspiration for other actors.

“My condolences to her family and close associates.”

Sridevi’s funeral procession attracted over 7,000 people, signifying the love she has amassed from innumerable fans.

Sushant Singh Rajput

10 Untimely Deaths in Bollywood that Shocked All - Sushant Singh RajputNumerous Bollywood lovers adore this talented young man for his effortless acting and unique magnetism.

Sushant Singh Rajput arrived onscreen with a bang in Kai Po Che (2013). He also made a seismic impact with Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore (2019).

However, it was with MS Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016) with which he garnered widespread acclaim.

The actor devastatingly battled mental health problems and on June 14, 2020, he hanged himself in his apartment at the age of 34.

The circumstances of Sushant’s passing have triggered galvanised debates surrounding nepotism and partiality within Bollywood.

Film luminaries including Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt and Aditya Chopra all found themselves receiving hateful comments.

The actor’s death also paved the way for several legal cases.

Regardless of the situation and aftermath, Sushant Singh Rajput remains a beacon of film excellence and acting genius.

For that, he will be remembered and celebrated forever.

Bollywood film personalities win hearts and entertain millions in their lifetimes.

Fans can often feel connected with their work and sometimes with the people themselves.

Therefore, when some of these celebrities pass away unexpectedly, it can have a devastating and shocking impact on viewers, the industry and those closer to them.

It is always heartbreaking when these talents leave this world through untimely deaths.

However, they will be respected and saluted for their tireless contribution to cinema which will continue to shine in glory.