Known to fans by her screen name, Sridevi, the beloved star died in a hotel room in Dubai, where she was reportedly attending her husband's nephew's wedding. She was found by her husband, Boney Kapoor, a prominent Indian film producer, according to news reports in India.
Hundreds of fans gathered at Sridevi's home in Mumbai. Indian movie stars, too, gathered to mourn the legendary actress, dubbed "India's first female superstar" by the local media because she often was paid more than her male co-stars and was one of few female stars to play the role of the protagonist. Many praised her soaring performances in over 300 films. She singled herself out in an Indian movie industry dominated by men.
Sridevi's career spanned five decades - she started working in movies at age 4. By the time she was 13, she was playing adult roles. She acted in regional cinema - in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam movies - before conquering the Hindi film industry, known as Bollywood. As an actress, she was known for her comedic facial expressions, striking dance sequences and versatility. In her final film, "Mom," she played the mother of a rape victim who sets out to avenge her daughter.
Actress Alia Bhatt tweeted, "Nothing makes sense. I have no words.. just completely shocked. RIP Sri Devi. My icon forever. Love you."
Politicians added to the chorus of grief. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was "Saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi," adding, "May her soul rest in peace."