Sidharth Shukla, a popular Bollywood actor and reality TV star in his native India, died Thursday at the age of 40.
An official at Mumbai’s Cooper Hospital in Mumbai told the Hindustan Times that the actor died of a heart attack.
A native of Mumbai, Shukla first rose to fame in the 2008 Indian TV series “Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na.” But he broke out in a bigger way in the Indian soap opera “Balika Vadhu,” which earned him recognition from the Indian Television Academy Awards.
Shukla made his Bollywood film debut in the 2015 rom-com “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania.” But he found new fame last year on the small screen, winning the 13th season of “Bigg Boss” — a spinoff of the reality TV franchise “Big Brother” — in February 2020.
In recent years, the actor gained a huge social media following, with more than 3.8 million followers on Instagram.
Just days before his death, Shukla paid tribute to “superheroes in white capes, the nursing staff and their countless sacrifices” amid the ongoing COVID pandemic in India. “To all the frontline warriors, a thank you from the heart! You risk your lives, work for countless hours, and comfort patients who couldn’t be with their families. You truly are the bravest! Being on the frontline surly isn’t easy, but we really appreciate your efforts.”
Tributes soon poured in for Shukla.