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Surekha Sikri was best known for her performance in films like ‘Tamas’, ‘Mammo’, and on the Hindi television serial ‘Balika Vadhu.’

Surekha Sikri dressed in a blue kurti with Indigo scarf had appeared on a TV showRajya Sabha TV
news Death Friday, July 16, 2021 - 10:59

Veteran actor Surekha Sikri died on July 16 morning at the age of 75 following a cardiac arrest. In a statement shared with the media, the late actor’s agent stated that Surekha had been suffering from complications due to a second brain stroke. The actor was married to Hemant Rege till his death in 2009. She is survived by her son Rahul Sikri. 

"Three-time National award-winning actress Surekha Sikri has passed away following a cardiac arrest earlier this morning at the age of 75. She had been suffering from complications arising from a second brain stroke," the actor's agent Vivek Sidhwani said. He added that her family and caregivers were by her side. The family asks for privacy at this time, he added. Surekha had suffered a brain stroke last year and was discharged after a few days.

An alumna of Aligarh Muslim University and National School of Drama, Surekha has acted in several plays, Hindi and Malayalam films and Indian soap operas. Post her graduation from NSD, Sikri continued to work in theatre and was attached with the NSD Repertory Company for more than a decade, performing in hit productions such as Sandhya Chhaya, Tughlaq and Adhe Adhure. The actor made her debut with director Amrit Nahata’s political satire Kissa Kursi Ka (1978). She was best known for her performances in Tamas by Govind Nihalani (1988), Shyam Benegal’s Mammo (1995) and Zubeidaa (2001), Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989) and Badhaai Ho (2018). She also worked with the celebrated filmmakers like Rituparno Ghosh, Aparna Sen and Mani Kaul among others.

Sikri won three National Awards for her performance in a supporting role in films— Tamas, Mammo and Badhaai Ho. The actor was also awarded with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989.

Surekha was last seen in Netflix's anthology Ghost Stories (2020), in the story directed by Zoya Akhtar. The actor is fondly remembered as 'Kalyani Devi or Dadisaa,' an austere matriarch from the television serial Balika Vadhu, for which she even bagged the award for the best actor in a negative role. Surekha was a part of the show since it was first aired in 2008, until its end in 2016. The Delhi-borne artiste played the part of 'Dadi' in other soap operas like Pardes Mein Hai Mera Dil and Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani. Sikri's back-to-back impressive turns as the grandmother on TV, helped her land the 2018 feature Badhaai Ho. The film, starring Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao and Ayushmann Khurrana in lead roles, was one of the biggest hits of the year.

Several members of the film industry have expressed grief at the actor’s passing. Actor Manoj Bajpayee, Sushant Singh and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia were some who took to Twitter to condole the actor’s demise. “Few actors are as versatile & accomplished as Surekha Sikri Ji. She was an institution. Young actors must watch her work. RIP,” wrote Sisodia, sharing pictures of Surekha Sikri from the films she has acted in.

“Very Sad news!!! One of the greatest talents Surekha Sikari Ji passed away leaving behind so many great performances in theatre and cinema!! She was a treat to watch on stage. Can’t forget some of those memories of her act in theatre. Great craft and a graceful person!! RIP,” tweeted actor Manoj Bajpayee.

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