Sridevi was a rare talent that is often credited as the first female superstar in the Indian cinema. The actor, who Passed away in 2018, was the highest-paid actor of her time. Born in 1963 to Ayyapan Yanger and Rajeswari Yanger, she was named Shree Amma Yanger Ayyapan.
Sridevi started her profession at the age of 4 years in Thirumugham’s devotional film, Thunaivan (1969). She played a child artist in Julie (1975). Her Bollywood debut was Solva Saavan in 1979. Sridevi played Rajinikanth’s stepmother’s role in a Tamil film Moondru Mudichu (1976).
One of her most notable song, Chaalbaaz’s Na Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai was shot when she was down with fever and had 103 degrees temperature. Sridevi did playback singing for movies such as Sadma (1983), Chandni (1989), Garajna (1991) and Kshana Kshanam (1991).
Among one of the superhits she turned down was the 1992 film Beta. Filmmaker Indra Kumar wanted Sridevi to portray the role of Saraswati, which was later played by Madhuri Dixit. Sridevi said no to the film as she had already acted in quite a few films with Anil Kapoor who was the film’s lead.
However, the biggest films Sridevi turned down was Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993). However, she declined the offer as the role was too small for her stature.
Sridevi’s mother tongue was Tamil so most of her films were dubbed. Yesteryear actor Naaz used to dub for her. In Aakhiri Raasta (1986), Rekha dubbed for her. The first time Sridevi dubbed for her role was in Chandni (1989).
Jaya Prada was considered Sridevi’s strongest competitor and the two actors didn’t share a cordial relationship. During the shoot of Maqsad (1984), Rajesh Khanna and Jeetendra decided to break the ice between them and locked them up in a room hoping that they would make peace. But when they opened the door, both Sridevi and Jaya were sitting silently in the two corners of the room.
ChaalBaaz is the first film Sunny Deol and Rajinikanth teamed up for. Sridevi assumed a double role in the film similarly as she did in Guru that released in February that year.
Sridevi’s two biggest films were offered to other actresses. Nagina (1986) was first offered to Jaya Prada and Rekha was considered for Chandni.
Sridevi actually spelled her name as Sreedevi but was always credited as Sridevi in her films.