Silk Smitha (1960-1996): Born Vijayalaxmi, she reached the iconic status of a sex symbol in Tamil cinema during her time. She starred in the classic Hindi film 'Sadma' (1983). Appearing in over 200 films, the young seductress was neck deep in controversies and eventually died at the age of 35 on September 23, 1996. It is suspected that she committed suicide. The 2011 Bollywood film 'The Dirty Picture' was loosely based on Smitha's life.
Divya Bharti (1974-1993): Beginning her career down south, Divya Bharti took Bollywood by storm with her performances in 'Shola Aur Shabnam', 'Deewana' and 'Balwan'. However, just when her career was on the verge of taking full flight, Bharti died on April 5, 1993, under circumstances that remain a mystery till this day. She was only 19. Pic/mid-day archives.
Kuljeet Randhawa (1976-2006): A model-turned-actress, she was best remembered for her role in 'Kohinoor', a mystery-thriller Indian television series. Randhawa was also part of 'C.A.T.S', the Indian version of 'Charlie's Angels'. She had a promising career ahead but committed suicide by hanging herself at her residence on February 8, 2006, just a couple of years after her friend Nafisa Joseph had done the same. Randhawa had just turned 30.
Jiah Khan (1988-2013): Jiah Khan tragically committed suicide at the young age of 25 on June 3, 2013. She made her debut in the controversial 2007 film 'Nishabd' co-starring Amitabh Bachchan. She starred opposite Aamir Khan in 2008's 'Ghajini'. Jiah made her final screen appearance in the 2010 hit comedy 'Housefull'. Pic/AFP
Pratyusha Banerjee (1991-2016): Popular television actress Pratyusha Banerjee, who shot to fame for her character Anandi in the daily soap 'Balika Vadhu', was found dead at her residence in Mumbai on 1st April, 2016 in a suspected case of suicide. The 24-year-old was found hanging from the ceiling at her home in Goregaon. Pratyusha and her boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh had an acrimonious exchange on WhatsApp, following which Banerjee told Singh that she was going to kill herself. Pic/Santa Banta
Nafisa Joseph (1978-2004): Former MTV VJ, model-turned-actress Nafisa Joseph hanged herself in her home on July 29, 2004 after her marriage to businessman Gautam Khanduja was called off in 2004. She was only 26 years of age. Joseph was the winner of Miss India Universe 1997 and was a semi-finalist in the Miss Universe 1997 pageant in Miami. she also acted in television series 'C.A.T.S', an Indian version of 'Charlie's Angels'.
Viveka Babajee (1973-2010): A failed relationship allegedly spurred the 37-year-old Viveka Babajee to commit suicide on June 25, 2010. Her body was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her rented apartment in Bandra, Mumbai, where she was staying alone. The last entry in her diary, which was found next to her body, read, "you killed me, Gautam Vora". The latter was in further trouble when he was arrested in connection with the Arun Tikku murder case. Mauritius-born Babajee's claim to fame was the famous KamaSutra condom ad campaign. She was Miss Mauritius 1993 and represented her country in the Miss World pageant in Sun City, South Africa, the same year. She also acted in the 2002 movie 'Yeh Kaisi Mohabbat' directed by Dinkar Kapoor.
On Silk Smitha's birth anniversary, we look back at the tragic tales of actresses who died at an early age...
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