In 2008, Sushant was spotted by Balaji Telefilms' casting team in one of his plays and was asked to audition. He landed the role of Preet Juneja in 'Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil' His character was 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. Pic/YouTube
In June 2009, Sushant 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 film-making course abroad. He was replaced by Hiten Tejwani after the show saw a leap of 20 years.
In December 2010, he 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'. Pic/YouTube
Sushant auditioned for Abhishek Kapoor's 'Kai Po Che' (2013) 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 a commercial success.
Sushant's second Bollywood outing was 'Shuddh Desi Romance' (2013), 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.
Sushant appeared in a small but significant role in Rajkumar Hirani's 'pk' (2014) opposite Anushka Sharma. He was acclaimed for his effortless and breezy performance, while his charming screen presence as Sarfaraz made one wish there was more of him in the film. Pic/YouTube
Sushant is set to appear in Dibakar Banerjee's 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!' which is slated for a February 13, 2015 release. The crime thriller based on the exploits of a fictional detective character Byomkesh Bakshi, originally created by Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandopadhyay, is sure to test his acting mettle. Pic/Shadab Khan
The biopic 'MS Dhoni' helmed by Neeraj Pandey saw Sushant Singh Rajput padding up to play MS Dhoni, one of India's most successful cricket captains. It covered the rise of the World Cup-winning captain and revealed facts of his personal life and journey before he became a global sporting icon
Sushant Singh Rajput starred alongside Kriti Sanon and Jim Sarbh in the romantic thriller 'Raabta' in 2017. The film courted controversy after makers of the 2009 Telugu hit 'Magadheera' claimed the film was plagiarised however the court ruled in the latter's favour. The film had a lukewarm response at the box-office
On Sushant Singh Rajput's 32nd birthday, we look at his celluloid journey from working in soap operas like 'Pavitra Rishta' to making a dynamic debut in Bollywood with 'Kai Po Che!' and garnering critical acclaim with 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story'. A look at the actor's career so far in pictures...