Saroj Khan Passes Away: Akshay Kumar, Manisha Koirala, Nimrat Kaur pay last respects to Bollywood's 'masterji'

Updated: 03 July, 2020 11:19 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Veteran choregrapher Saroj Khan passed away due to cardiac arrest on July 3, 2020, at the age of 71. Bollywood celebrities mourned on social media.

Saroj Khan/picture courtesy: Saroj Khan's Instagram account
Saroj Khan/picture courtesy: Saroj Khan's Instagram account

Saroj Khan, who was earlier hospitalised for breathing problems, breathed her last on July 3, 2020, 01:52 am in Mumbai. The veteran choreographer complained about breathing issues in June. Later, as per the mandate, Saroj Khan's COVID-19 test was done, which came out to be negative.

The choreographer, who was popularly known as 'masterji' in Bollywood, passed away at the age of 71 due to a cardiac arrest. As soon as the news broke, Bollywood celebrities mourned on social media. Looking at the current situation of the city, the funeral will take place today in Mumbai. The last rites will be performed by her family members.

Here's what the celebrities have shared on Twitter:

View this post on Instagram

RIP saroji masterji 🙏💔

A post shared by Malaika Arora (@malaikaaroraofficial) onJul 2, 2020 at 10:05pm PDT

View this post on Instagram

R.I.P Saroj Khan Maam🙏Your legacy lives on ❤️ Condolences to the family.

A post shared by Bhumi✨ (@bhumipednekar) onJul 2, 2020 at 8:12pm PDT


The three-time National Award winner has choreographed for some of the most memorable tracks, including Dola Re Dola from Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas, Ek Do Teen from Madhuri Dixit-starrer Tezaab and Ye Ishq Haaye from Jab We Met in 2007. Saroj Khan shot to fame in the late eighties, choreographing Sridevi superhits such as Main naagin tu sapera (Nagina) and Hawaa hawaai (Mr India).

Her recent works include choreographing Kangana Ranaut in Manikarnika last year and Tanu Weds Manu Returns in 2015. She last choreographed for Tabaah Hogaye, featuring Madhuri from filmmaker Karan Johar's production Kalank in 2019.

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    Born on November 22, 1948, Saroj Khan's birth name was Nirmala Nagpal. She started out in films at the age of three as a child actor before a stint as a backup dancer in the fifties. (All pictures/Saroj Khan's official Instagram account)

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    One of the most prolific choreographers of the Hindi film industry, Saroj Khan was fondly called Masterji in Bollywood. The ace choreographer had called the shots in over 2,000 songs spanning over three and a half decades.

  • 3/17

    As a choreographer, Saroj Khan started her journey in the film industry in the early seventies. But she became a household name and gained immense popularity in the mid to late eighties, first directing dances for Sridevi, and then Madhuri Dixit.

    In picture: On Madhuri Dixit's birthday, Saroj Khan posted this picture of her teaching 'Choli Ke Piche Kya Hai' dance steps to the actress. "Happy birthday M.D, my inspiration. You are my love for dancing. God give you a long long long life, his blessing should always be on you, God give you good health and keep you wealthy. God bless your children and Dr. Nene. Lots of love, Master Ji," she wrote in the caption.

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    Saroj Khan started out choreographing with the 1974 film, Geeta Mera Naam. She directed songs for the Tamil film Thai Veedu in 1983, and also worked in Subhash Ghai's superhit Hero the same year.

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    However, it was the 1986 film Nagina that made Saroj Khan a household name. Sridevi's iconic dance 'Main naagin tu sapera' in that film continues to be a popular number even today.

  • 6/17

    Saroj Khan's choreography for Sridevi the next year in Mr India, particularly the song Hawaa Hawaii then scaled popularity.

  • 7/17

    Saroj Khan won the National Award thrice in her lifetime. In 2003, she received the honour for the song 'Dola re dola' in Devdas, picturised on Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan.

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    In 2006, Saroj Khan was a recipient of the award for all the songs she choreographed in the Tamil film, Sringaram.

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    In 2008, she won the award for the song 'Yeh Ishq Haaye' filmed on Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met.

  • 10/17

    Lately, Saroj Khan had been selective with signing new projects. Her recent works include choreographing Kangana Ranaut in Manikarnika and Madhuri Dixit in Kalank last year.

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    Over the past few weeks, Saroj Khan, who was diabetic, had complained of breathing problems, following which she was admitted to Mumbai's Guru Nanak Hospital. Since last month, she had been experiencing multiple health issues, though she had tested negative for COVID-19.

    In picture: Saroj Khan had shared this picture of Rekha and wrote in the caption, "#majorthrowback to Rekha ji's World Tour Show '99 with my daughter @sukainanagpal"

  • 12/17

    After a cardiac arrest on Thursday night, Saroj Khan passed away. She is survived by her husband, son and two daughters.

  • 13/17

    A look at some candid pictures of Saroj Khan, during her younger days:

    Saroj Khan with Sanjay Dutt

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    Saroj Khan with Ranbir Kapoor on the sets of Saawariya, which marked the actor's debut in Bollywood.

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    Saroj Khan with Aishwarya Rai in the 90s

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    Saroj Khan with megastar Amitabh Bachchan

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    Saroj Khan with Preity Zinta

First Published: 03 July, 2020 07:44 IST

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