10 Bollywood Celebrities Who Died Under Mysterious Circumstances

Shreemi Verma , 26 Sep 2017
Jiah Khan
Jiah Khan

Death is so final doesn’t it? An end to a living being, which can be peaceful for some, violent for others and mysterious for a few. Celebrity deaths, especially the ones that happen under mysterious circumstances, always dominate our headlines because of our fascination with the subject matter.

Here’s a list of the most haunting ones –

1) Divya Bharti


A post shared by S . Kuwait (@bollywood.q80) on

One of the highest paid and most established actresses of the early ’90’s, Divya Bharti‘s death is still a contentious topic. Married to producer Sajid Nadiadwala, Divya died at the age of 21 on 5 April 1993, from head injuries after falling off the balcony from her fifth-floor apartment in Versova, Mumbai. As per various reports, the cause of Divya’s death was never fully established.

Multiple sources and theories suggest that she fell off because she was drunk, some believe that she was pushed to to her death, and some think it was suicide. Her parents claimed that she had been killed, but in 1998, the police shut the case, calling her death accidental. Interestingly, popular designer Neeta Lulla and her husband were with Divya at the time of her fall, but even that didn’t help the police to determine the real cause of her death.

There’s an entire portal dedicated to the late actress, you can check it out here.

2) Parveen Babi

Parveen Babi was ranked as one of the most glamourous and popular actresses of the 70’s and 80’s Bollywood. While never married, she had high-profile relationships with Mahesh Bhatt (who made Woh Lamhe on their relationship), Kabir Bedi (Parveen and Kabir’s former wife Protima Bedi gave an explosive interview about this affair) and Danny Denzongpa. Parveen was also linked to Amitabh Bachchan, her co-star in various films.

After appearing in numerous blockbusters, Parveen vanished from the movie business in 1983, without informing anyone about her whereabouts. As per various reports, Parveen went to the United States and various other countries for a ‘spiritual journey’. In 1984, she was held at John F. Kennedy International Airport after she failed to submit her identification papers and behaved badly with the staff. The authorities handcuffed her and kept her in a general ward with mentally disturbed patients. After being informed of this incident, the Indian Consul General, went to visit her at the hospital. Parveen reportedly smiled and chatted with the Consul as though nothing had happened. When she returned to Mumbai in 1989, Parveen was rumoured to have been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, which she denied.

As per an article on India Today, Parveen accused many foreign dignitaries as well as Indian film personalities including Amitabh Bachchan, Bill Clinton, Robert Redford, Prince Charles, Al Gore, the US government, the British government, the French government, the BJP, the Roman Catholic Church, CIA, CBI, KGB and Mossad of conspiring to kill her, but her petition in court was dismissed due to lack of evidence.

In January 2005, she was found dead in her apartment. The police suspected that she may have been dead for up to 72 hours before her body was found. The cause of her death was not immediately known. She was found to have gangrene of the left foot as a complication of her diabetic condition, which the police state was the reason she died.

3) Guru Dutt

Happy Birthday to my Guru on Guru Purnima! I learn everyday from this man from his each frames . #happybirthday #gurudutt

A post shared by Chandan Roy Sanyal (@iamroysanyal) on

The tragic life of Guru Dutt is known to anyone who is interested in Bollywood. His films Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam are considered classics. Guru Dutt often made artistic films as opposed to the commercial fare Bollywood films are usually known for.

On 10 October 1964, he was found dead in his bed in his rented apartment at Pedder Road, Mumbai. He is said to have been mixing alcohol and sleeping pills. It hasn’t been determined whether his death was a case of suicide, or an accidental overdose. But he had attempted suicide twice in the past. Despite Guru Dutt’s suicidal tendencies, his son Arun Dutt believed that the death was an accident. In an interview to Reddit.com, Arun revealed that his father had scheduled appointments for the next day with actress Mala Sinha and actor Raj Kapoor for his movie Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, to discuss the making of colour films. He said –

My father had sleeping disorders and popped sleeping pills like any other person. That day he was drunk and had taken an overdose of pills, which culminated in his death. It was a lethal combination of excessive liquor and sleeping pills.

4) Jiah Khan

The death anniversary for #JiahKhan. ذكرى وفاة الممثلة #جيا_خان

A post shared by فلم هندي (@film_hindi) on

On 3rd June 2013, Bollywood actress Jiah Khan was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her bedroom at her residence in Juhu. Her death was initially termed as suicide by the police, but her mother accused Jiah’s former boyfriend, actor Sooraj Pancholi of murdering her due to several inconsistencies in the report and marks on her body.

Jiah, who had made her debut with Amitabh Bachchan in the movie Nishabd, an Indian take on Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita, left a six-page suicide note was found by her sister. In the note, she mentioned a recent abortion. Sooraj, who was reportedly in a live-in relationship with Jiah was taken into police custody during investigation but he was given bail soon after. The Mumbai High Court then asked the CBI to probe into the matter. The prosecution accused Sooraj of sexual assault and murder.

In 2016, the CBI ruled out murder and as per their investigation, the cause of her death was ‘suicide by hanging’. Jiah’s mother Rabia independently hired a British forensics expert who concluded in a report that Jiah Khan’s hanging was staged and the marks on her face and neck indicate it was not just suicide. The case hasn’t been solved yet.

5) Kunal Singh

Kunal Singh made his Bollywood debut opposite Sonali Bendre with the film Dil Hi Dil Mein, which was remake of his Tamil film Kadhalar Dhinam. While he made a promising start, the flopping of his other movies lead to Kunal being unable to find roles. He worked as an assistant editor afterwards and decided to become a producer.

In 2008, he was found found hanging from the ceiling in his Mumbai apartment by actress Lavina Bhatia. His father Rajendra Singh claimed that it wasn’t a case of suicide, but murder, as his body showed suspicious bruising. Lavina, the lady who found Kunal’s dead body, was detained by the police but they were unable to find any evidence against her. After the police found out that Kunal had slashed his wrists in the past in order to kill himself, they termed this incident as suicide.

6) Pratyusha Banerjee

Rahul Raj Singh & Pratyusha Banerjee

Popular television actress Pratyusha Banerjee was found hanging in her apartment in 2016. According to the postmortem report, the cause of death was asphyxia, but her parents suspect her former boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh of being the driving force behind her decision. The matter is still sub judice.

To get a detailed coverage of her mysterious death, you can read these articles:

Pratyusha Banerjee’s Post-Mortem Report Reveals The Cause Of Death

Pratyusha Banerjee’s Boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh Gives His First Statement On Her Suicide

Mumbai Police Files FIR Against Pratyusha Banerjee’s Boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh

Pratyusha Banerjee’s Mother Writes To The CM & Accuses Rahul Raj Singh Of Murder

7) Priya Rajvansh

Priya Rajvansh was an Indian film actress, popular for her roles in movies like Heer-Ranjha, Haqeeqat and Hanste Zakhm. Priya was in a relationship with Chetan Anand, noted film producer and director and the brother of Dev Anand.

After Chetan Anand’s death in 1997, Priya inherited a part of his property along with his sons from his first marriage. In 2000, her murdered body was found in Chetan’s bungalow in Juhu, Mumbai. The police charged his sons Ketan Anand and Vivek Anand along with their employees Mala Choudhary and Ashok Chinnaswamy with her murder. Their motive was said to be her inheritance of Chetan Anand’s property.

The police used Priya’s handwritten notes and a letter addressed by her to Vijay Anand as evidence in court. The note suggested that she was aware of Anand and Vivek’s intentions and was afraid of dying under mysterious circumstances because of property dispute. The suspects were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002. In 2011, the High Court accepted their appeals, but the hearing hasn’t happened yet.

8) Manmohan Desai

Remembering Manmohan Desai on his 23rd death anniversary. Manmohan Desai (26 February 1937 – 1 March 1994) was a producer and director of Indian movies. Manmohan Desai was known for his family-centered, action-song-and-dance films which catered to the tastes of the Indian masses and through which he achieved great success. His movies defined a new genre called masala films. His best known super-hit movies were Amar Akbar Anthony and Dharam Veer. He had a string of hits with Amitabh Bachchan in the 70s and early 80s which helped cement Bachchan's status as a superstar of Indian cinema. He worked with Amitabh on Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish, Suhaag, Naseeb, Desh Premee, Coolie, Mard and Ganga Jamuna Saraswati; all but the last were box office successes. He was one of the directors who had a special working relationship with Amitabh Bachchan, the others being Yash Chopra, Prakash Mehra, Ramesh Sippy, and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Of these, only Yash Chopra went on to make hits beyond the 1980s. He often worked with the same actors in several different films: Jeetendra in Dharam Veer (1977) after Bhai Ho To Aisa Shatrughan Sinha in Naseeb after Bhai Ho To Aisa and Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1973) and Rampur Ka Lakshman (1972) Shashi Kapoor in Suhaag after Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1973) Shammi Kapoor in Parvarish (1977) as a father figure after Junglee and Bluffmaster (1963) Randhir Kapoor in Chacha Bhatija (1977) after Rampur Ka Lakshman (1972). Apart from Bachchan, Manmohan Desai worked with such leading male stars as Raj Kapoor in the 1960 film Chhalia, Shammi Kapoor in "Bluffmaster" (1963), Rajesh Khanna in Sachaa Jhutha (1970) and Roti (1974), Randhir Kapoor in Raampur Ka Lakshman (1972), Shashi Kapoor in Aa Gale Lag Jaa, Dharmendra in Dharam Veer (1977). 1977 was an exceptional year for him. All four of his films released that year were huge hits: Parvarish, Amar Akbar Anthony, Chacha Bhatija and Dharam Veer. The first two were with Amitabh, and the latter two were with Dharmendra. Read more on our facebook page. Follow @bollywoodirect . . . . . . #bollywoodirect #bollywood #amitabhbachchan #manmohandesai

A post shared by Bollywoodirect (@bollywoodirect) on

Manmohan Desai was the man behind what is considered ‘masala’ films in Bollywood. His movies helped cement Amitabh Bachchan’s status as a superstar in the industry. While Mr. Bachchan gained stardom with his ‘angry young man’ avatar, it was Manmohan Desai’s movies that sustained his success. The two collaborated on blockbusters like n Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish, Suhaag, Naseeb, Desh Premee, Coolie and Mard.

Directors like Farah and Sajid Khan often cite his films as inspiration, but his death was shrouded in mystery. In 1994, it was reported that he fell from his balcony, as the railing he was leaning on collapsed. The fall lead to his death, and while it’s termed as an accident, some theories suggest that he committed suicide due to his chronic back pain and the failure of the movies he made later.

9) Viveka Babajee

Viveka Babajee became a successful face in India after her famous Kama Sutra condoms commercials. She also appeared in popular music videos like Daler Mehndi‘s Boom Boom and Harbhajan Mann‘s Hai Meri Billo. Viveka also made her Bollywood debut with the movie Yeh Kaisi Mohabbat also starring Deepak Tijori.

In 2010, Viveka was found dead hanging by the ceiling of her Bandra apartment. Her diary was found near her body, the last entry in it were the words “you killed me, Gautam Vohra“, referring to her boyfriend at that time. The police reports stated that she committed suicide due to depression. But in 2012, the case was re-opened and Gautam Vohra was arrested.

10) Silk Smitha


A post shared by Vellinakshatram (@vellinakshatram) on

Vijayalakshmi Vadlapati who became popular by her screen name Silk Smitha was a very popular sex symbol and a sought-after erotic actress in the ’80s. Silk appeared in over 450 films in Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi. The Dirty Picture starring Vidya Balan was based on her life.

In 1996, Silk called her friend Anuradha, to discuss a matter that was disturbing her. Her friend said that she wouldn’t be able to meet her at night, but would definitely meet her the next morning. But the next morning, Silk was found dead in her Chennai home. The cause of her death is still a mystery as some people believe it was suicide because of depression and debt while others believe that there was some foul play involved.

Are you aware of more such strange celebrity deaths? Tell us in the comments below.

Related Stories

Related Stories

More Showbiz