Ahead of Sushant Singh Rajput's 37th birth anniversary on January 21, we look back at his journey from TV to the big screen
Sushant Singh Rajput/ Photo-File pic
Born on January 21, 1986, in Patna, Sushant Singh Rajput's family hails from Maldhiha in Bihar. A very bright student academically, Sushant ranked seventh in the All India Engineering Entrance Examination and had cleared 11 national engineering exams. He studied Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) from Delhi Technological University (DTU).
Sushant Singh Rajput was a National Olympiad Winner in Physics. However, he dropped out of college to pursue a career in showbiz.
In 2008, Sushant Singh Rajput was spotted by Balaji Telefilms' casting team in one of his plays and was asked to audition. At age 22, Sushant Singh made his acting debut with the television show 'Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil'. He played Preet Juneja, the fun-loving and childish younger brother of Prem Juneja, played by Harshad Chopra. Sushant's character was later killed in the show but came back for the series finale as a spirit looking at his family celebrate after going through difficult times.
In 2009, Sushant Singh Rajput was cast in 'Pavitra Rishta' as Manav Deshmukh, a role that proved to be a breakthrough and for which he received several awards as Best TV actor. He played a mechanic who falls in love with Archana, an uneducated, caring woman, played by Ankita Lokhande. Manav and Archana's love is tested through challenges. Sushant and Ankita won many Best Couple awards for their on-screen chemistry in Pavitra Rishta that fuelled a real-life romance between the two. In October 2011, Sushant decided to quit Pavitra Rishta to pursue a filmmaking course abroad. He was replaced by Hiten Tejwani after the show saw a leap of 20 years
Sushant Singh Rajput was a great dancer as well. In December 2010, SSR participated in the dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 4 where he was paired with choreographer Shampa Sonthalia. The pair scored perfect points several times and Sushant won the title of 'Most Consistent Performer'
In 2013, Sushant auditioned for Abhishek Kapoor's 'Kai Po Che' and bagged the role of one of the three leads. Sushant's dynamic debut in Bollywood garnered rave reviews and earned him the Star Guild and Screen awards for Best Male Debut. The film has been a critical and commercial success. It was said that Sushant quit his most popular show Pavitra Rishta for his big Bollywood break. But Rajput said that contrary to reports his decision to leave the show had nothing to do with his film career. 'I didn't leave the show for the film. These are all rumours. I wanted to quit the show because my character was getting monotonous and I wanted to do something different in my life,' Sushant had said.
In the same year, Sushant gave his second Bollywood outing - Shuddh Desi Romance, directed by Maneesh Sharma and opposite Parineeti Chopra. Sushant was praised for bringing freshness and spontaneity on screen, while his sizzling chemistry with Parineeti kept the viewers hooked and pinning for more.
In 2014, Sushant Singh Rajput appeared in a small but significant role in Rajkumar Hirani's PK opposite Anushka Sharma. He was lauded for his effortless and breezy performance, while his charming screen presence as Sarfaraz made one wish there was more of him in the film.
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In 2015, Sushant Singh Rajput appeared in Dibakar Banerjee's Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! The crime thriller based on the exploits of a fictional detective character Byomkesh Bakshi, originally created by Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandopadhyay, met with a mixed response from critics and audience
In 2016, Sushant Singh Rajput padded up to play MS Dhoni, one of India's most successful cricket captains, in his biopic - M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story. Sushant won Screen Award for Best Actor (Critics)
In 2017, Sushant Singh Rajput starred alongside Kriti Sanon and Jim Sarbh in the romantic thriller Raabta
In 2018, Sushant Singh Rajput collaborated with his Kai Po Che director Abhishek Kapoor in Kedarnath, opposite Sara Ali Khan. SSR won hearts for his impactful performance in the movie
In 2019, Sushant Singh Rajput was seen in the dacoit drama - Sonchiriya - opposite Bhumi Pednekar. The film didn't perform well at the Box Office, but Sushant's work was lauded by critics.
His last film, 'Dil Bichare' was released after his demise in 2020.