Mumbai: Three-time National Award-winning Bollywood actress Surekha Sikri, passed away in Mumbai following a cardiac arrest at the age of 75, on Friday. The actor was ailing for quite some time and had suffered two brain strokes in 2018 (paralytic stroke in 2018) and 2020.
Actor’s manager confirmed the news, saying, “Three-time national award winning actress, Surekha Sikri has passed away following a cardiac arrest earlier this morning at the age of 75. She had been suffering from complications arising from a second brain stroke. She was surrounded by family and her caregivers. The family asks for privacy at this time. Om Sai Ram.”
Among those who mourned the loss were actors Manoj Bajpayee, Pooja Bhatt, Divyenndu and Divya Dutta. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also paid a tribute to her. “Heartfelt condolences on the demise of veteran actress Surekha Sikri ji. May God bless her soul,” he wrote on Twitter.
Talking about her ailment, the actor had said in an interview, “I had a brain stroke ten months ago and I have been recovering since then. I fell down and hit my head in the bathroom while shooting in Mahabaleshwar. I have not been able to work due to my illness. The doctors say that I will be alright soon,” Surekha had said after her stroke in 2018.
Sikri was born in Uttar Pradesh. Her father was in the Air Force and her mother was a teacher. She graduated from National School of Drama (NSD) in 1971. Sikri made her film debut in the 1978 political drama ‘Kissa Kursi Ka’ and made a mark with roles in films, TV and on stage over more than 40 years. The actor found a lot of popularity with her role of a stern matriarch Kalyani Devi in TV soap ‘Balika Vadhu’. She won the National Award as Best Supporting Actress for ‘Tamas’ (1988), ‘Mammo’ (1995) and ‘Badhaai Ho’ (2018). She won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989. She was last seen in Netflix anthology Ghost Stories in the section helmed by Zoya Akhtar.
In recent years, she won acclaim for her roles in the film ‘Badhaai Ho’, and the TV series ‘Balika Vadhu’.