Sushant Singh Rajput (21 January 1986 - 14 June 2020) was an Indian film and television actor, dancer, television personality, an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. Rajput started his career with television serials. His debut show was Star Plus's romantic drama Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil (2008), followed by an award-winning performance in Zee TV's popular soap opera Pavitra Rishta (2009–11).
Rajput made his film debut in the buddy drama Kai Po Che! (2013), for which he received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. He then starred in the romantic comedy Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) and as the titular detective in the action thriller Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015). His highest-grossing releases came with a supporting role in the satire PK (2014), followed by the titular role in the sports biopic M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016). For his performance in the latter, he received his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Rajput went on to star in the commercially successful films Kedarnath (2018) and Chhichhore (2019).
NITI Aayog, the policy think-tank of the Indian government, signed him to promote the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP). Apart from acting and running innsaei ventures, Rajput was actively involved in various programmes like Sushant4Education, as a part of efforts to help young students.
1 Early life
2.1 Early years
2.2 Television (2008–12)
2.3 Film career (2013–2020)
2.4 Projects cancelled
3 Personal life
5.3 Music videos
6 Awards and nominations
7 See also
9 External links
Rajput was born in Patna. His ancestral home is in Bihar's Purnea district. One of his sisters, Mitu Singh, is a state-level cricketer. His mother's death in 2002 left Rajput devastated and it was in the same year that the family moved from Patna to Delhi.
Rajput attended St. Karen's High School in Patna and Kulachi Hansraj Model School in New Delhi. According to Rajput, he had ranked seventh in the DCE Entrance Exam in 2003, and secured admission in the Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) class in Delhi College of Engineering. He was also a National Olympiad Winner in Physics. In all, he cleared as many as 11 engineering entrance exams, including that for the Indian School of Mines. After he started participating in theatre and dance, he rarely had time for studies, resulting in several backlogs which ultimately made him leave DCE. He completed only three years of the four-year course before dropping out to pursue an acting career.
While a student at Delhi Technological University, Rajput enrolled in Shiamak Davar's dance classes. It was only later that the idea of making a career in acting came to him, as some of his fellow students in the dance classes happened to be interested in acting and were attending Barry John's drama classes. Influenced by them, Rajput also joined the acting classes. Here, he found his passion for acting: "I found the experience liberating. I realised that I could communicate with the audience. I knew I wanted to do this forever."
Within a few months of joining the dance class, Rajput was selected to be a member of Davar's standard dance troupe. In 2005, he was chosen to be one of the group of background dancers at the 51st Filmfare Awards. In 2006, he was part of the troupe that went to Australia to perform in the cultural program at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games. By this time, he was tired of engineering. He was happy and successful in the dance and drama classes, and decided to do what he was good at. He dropped out of engineering and devoted himself full-time to dancing and acting.
To make a break into films, Rajput moved to Mumbai and joined Nadira Babbar's Ekjute theatre group, which he remained a part of for two and a half years. During this time, he was featured in a TV advertisement for Nestle Munch, which became famous throughout India.
In 2008, the casting team of Balaji Telefilms saw Rajput's personality and acting talent while he was on stage for one of Ekjute's plays. They invited him to audition for them and Rajput landed the role of Preet Juneja in Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil. His character was killed quite early in the show, but he was such a popular character with the viewers that he was brought back for the series finale in the form of a spirit, looking on as his family celebrates after going through difficult times.
In June 2009, Rajput began starring in Pavitra Rishta as Manav Deshmukh, a serious and mature character working as a mechanic to help support his family. His work in this serial received wide appreciation, and Rajput received three major television awards for best male actor and most popular actor. This performance was his breakthrough and gave him a stepping stone into films.
In May 2010, Rajput joined the dance reality show Zara Nachke Dikha 2. He had already proven his acting talents by winning awards for his performance in Pavitra Rishta, and he wanted to establish that he had good dancing skills and could be trained further. In Zara Nachke Dikha, Rajput was a part of the Mast Kalandar Boys Team. He did the shooting for both Pavitra Rishta and Zara Nachke Dikha 2 at the same time. On the Mother's Day special episode, his team dedicated a performance to his mother, who had died in 2002.
In December 2010, Rajput participated in another dance-based reality show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 4, where he was paired with choreographer Shampa Sonthalia. In October 2011, Rajput decided to quit Pavitra Rishta to pursue a film-making course abroad.
Film career (2013–2020)
From left to right: Rajput, Rajkumar Rao, Abhishek Kapoor and Amit Sadh at the promotion of Kai Po Che! in 2013
Rajput auditioned for Abhishek Kapoor's Kai Po Che! and was selected to play one of the three leads, along with Rajkumar Rao and Amit Sadh. Based on the Chetan Bhagat novel The 3 Mistakes of My Life, the film proved to be a critical and commercial success. Rajput's portrayal of Ishaan Bhatt, an ex-district level cricketer who is a victim of politics in the cricketing selection fraternity, was praised. Critic Rajeev Masand wrote: "...it's Sushant Singh Rajput, making his film debut as Ishaan, who it's hard to take your eyes off. The actor has an indescribable presence and it's clear from his confidence and distinct likeability that a star is born."
Rajput with Vaani Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra promoting Shuddh Desi Romance at Comedy Nights with Kapil in 2013
Rajput's second movie was Shuddh Desi Romance, alongside Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor. Directed by Maneesh Sharma and produced by Yash Raj Films, the film deals with the subject of live-in relationships and was completely filmed in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Taran Adarsh from Bollywood Hungama praised Rajput's performance, saying: "After leaving a tremendous impression in his first Hindi outing, Sushant Singh Rajput... brings a lot of freshness with his unpretentious and spontaneous act." Sukanya Verma from Rediff stated: "After a dynamic debut in Kai Po Che!, Rajput channelises his abundant energy to convey the childlike ineptitude of a man who wears his heart on a sleeve." Sushant's next role was in Rajkumar Hirani's 2014 film PK. Although his role was relatively minor, the film gave him the opportunity to work with Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma. Upon its release, the film proved to be the one of the highest-grossing Indian films.
In 2015, Rajput's sole release was Dibakar Banerjee's mystery thriller Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015), in which he portrayed detective Byomkesh Bakshi, created by Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. The film was produced jointly by Yash Raj Films and Banerjee's own film production company Dibakar Banerjee Productions. Set in Kolkata in the 1940s, the film was released on 3 April 2015.
In 2016, Rajput appeared in Neeraj Pandey's biographical sports film M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, in lead role of Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The film was a critical and commercial success, becoming one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2016. Rajput's performance was widely praised by the critics and his portrayal of the cricketer was applauded even before the film's release. For his performance in the film, Rajput got his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.
Rajput with Kriti Sanon promoting Raabta in 2017
In 2017, Rajput appeared in Dinesh Vijan's Raabta, co-starring Kriti Sanon.
In 2018, Rajput appeared in Kedarnath, a love story set in the backdrop of natural calamities of Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, co-starring Sara Ali Khan.
In 2019, Rajput appeared in Abhishek Chaubey's Sonchiriya opposite Bhumi Pednekar. He appeared in Nitesh Tiwari's Chhichhore opposite Shraddha Kapoor that released on 6 September 2019.
In 2019, Rajput was supposed to appear in Tarun Mansukhani's action comedy Drive opposite Jacqueline Fernandez. He was to appear in a science-fiction space film, Chanda Mama Door Ke, along with R. Madhavan, but the film was shelved temporarily due to budget issues. He has also signed on to star in Mukesh Chhabra's remake of The Fault in Our Stars titled Dil Bechara. He is also set to essay 12 real-life characters, including political strategist Chanakya, poet Rabindranath Tagore and former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam, in a biopic series on Stories of India.
Sushant was in a relationship with his co-star Ankita Lokhande for six years, which they ended in 2016.
On 14 June 2020, Rajput was found dead of an apparent suicide by hanging in his Bandra home in Mumbai. He had reportedly been suffering from depression for several months.
Films that have not yet been released
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