A list of Bollywood legends who passed away in the decade of 2010s (2010-2019)

While I am preparing this post, it is the third week of October 2019. Now only a couple of months have left to complete this year as well as a decade. How many legends and artists have we lost in the past 10 years or a period of one decade? Countless. All of them have been associated with different phases of growth of Hindi cinema, and many of them belong to the golden era of 1950s-1970s who shaped Bollywood cinema. I may miss many in this list. Yet it’s my humble tribute and remembrance of all those artists who left us leaving behind voids never to fill again, because each represent a particular era and time, which is never to come back. Also read: Top actors and actresses who died comparatively at a young age. 

dead bollywood actors

Bollywood Actors who deceased in the 2010s

Rajesh Khanna (29 December 1942 – 18 July 2012) – The first superstar of Indian cinema

rajesh khanna

The first name which comes to everyone’s mind is definitely the first superstar of Indian cinema, who redefined romance onscreen with his lovely screen presence, charisma and handsome personality – Rajesh Khanna. Through Aradhana, he became a permanent fixture in the minds of movie fans and later he gave a string of hits through Do Raaste, Dushman, Katti Patang, Amar Prem, Anand, Haati Mere Saathi, Aap Ki Kasam, The Train, Ittefaq, Daag and many more. He rose to stardom in a flash of moments and showed to the whole world what a superstar means. India lost its first superstar on 18 July 2012, aged 69.

Shammi Kapoor (21 October 1931– 14 August 2011) – Romantic face of Bollywood 1960s

shammi actor

Before Rajesh Khanna stormed into Bollywood in the late 1960s with his romantic ada, the actor who remained the romantic face of Bollywood in the 1960s was none other than Shammi Kapoor. Either it’s his acting or dancing skills, personality or charm which conquered everyone’s hearts, he was the true king of romance in the golden era of 1960s. Junglee, Professor, Teesri Manzil, Janwar, Pagla Kahin Ka, Andaz, Tumse Acha Kaun Hai, Prince, Dil Tera Diwana or Brahmachari or other popular roles he played on screen with different shades, it was his romantic ada, along with dancing skills and lovely songs sung by Mohammed Rafi which stole our hearts. We lost two great stars of golden era who redefined romance – Shammi Kapoor and Rajesh Khanna in a short interval of time. Rajesh Khanna passed away about one month before the first anniversary of Shammi ji. Really a great great loss! When he died of chronic renal failure, he was aged 79. His successful co-star Kalpana (of ‘Professor’ fame) passed away in January 2012. Read more about Bollywood’s first rockstar.

Dev Anand (26 September 1923 – 3 December 2011) – Evergreen hero of Hindi cinema

Doesn’t it appear weird? We lost some of the great and legendary heroes of yesterdays during the period 2011-2012. He passed away just 3.5 months after the death of legendary Shammi Kapoor. We also lost Rajesh Khanna and Joy Mukherjee very soon. All of these heroes were the torchbearers of Bollywood 1950s-1970s, which can be termed as the golden era. He, along with Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor formed the magical trio which ruled box office for two decades since late 1940s. As an actor this talented actor and filmmaker always reinvented himself and tried new avatars which were trendsetting. Guide, Hum Dono, Jewel Thief, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Johny Mera Naam, Asli Naqli,Teen Deviyaan, Ziddi (1948), Baazi (1951), CID, Paying Guest, Funtoosh, Kala Bazar, Kala Pani, Tere Ghar Ke Samne, Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai – his screen presence and romantic ada was just mesmerizing in each and every role he played on screen. He was fully active in his profession till death took him away at the age of 88, following a cardiac arrest.

Joy Mukherjee (24 February 1939 – 9 March 2012) – Romantic hero of 1960s

Though Joy Mukherjee tried different shades of acting, it was his romantic style which appealed movie buffs. Many of his songs originally sung by Mohammed Rafi also helped him to establish in this image. Love in Tokyo, Ziddi, Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, Shagird, Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon and Love in Shimla are among his memorable roles. Within one year between August 2011 and July 2012, we lost four great pillars of Bollywood romance of the golden era – Rajesh Khanna, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor and Joy Mukherjee, absolutely shocking. Joy was 73 when he passed away after a prolonged illness. Two days prior to it, music composer of yesterdays Ravi also passed away. The composer had composed songs for Mukherjee movies like Yeh Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai and Ummeed.

Shashi Kapoor (18 March 1938 – 4 December 2017) – Amitabh Bachchan’s best comrade in the 1970s and 1980s

We lost Shammi ji’s youngest brother also in the same decade. Shashi Kapoor started his career in the early 1960s, and established as a romantic hero with the success of Jab Jab Phool Khile in 1965. With changing trends in the mid-1970s, he changed to an action hero and joined hands with Amitabh Bachchan for many blockbuster hits – Kabhi Kabhi, Kaala Pathar, Deewar, Suhaag, Silsila etc. He has been fighting with diseases for the last few years and died at the age of 79 due to liver cirrhosis. His elder brother Shammi Kapoor also died at the same age. Read a few interesting facts about him.

Vinod Khanna (6 October 1946 – 27 April 2017) – The action hero of 1970s

He owns many hit films to his credit – both as romantic and action hero, and he frequently worked with Amitabh Bachchan. It was a time when everyone speculated that he would overpower Big B at box office. However like a filmy twist, he took sabbatical, and he returned back after a few years. He is one among those rare actors of Bollywood who succeeded as a lead hero, after playing numerous villain roles. Hera Pheri, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Inkaar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Imtihaan, Parvarish, Mera Gao Mera Des, Khoon Pasina, Dayavan, Chandni, Qurbani, Jurm and Haath Ki Safai are among his memorable roles. He gave up to bladder cancer at the age of 70 and he was posthumously honoured with Dada Saheb Phalke Award. Read more about Khanna.

Pran (12 February 1920 – 12 July 2013) – Bollywood’s greatest ‘bad boy’ ever

This legendary villain of Bollywood fully dominated the screen in the 1950s, throughout 1960s and 1970s. During his glorious years, he was paid more even than the lead heroes of his films. His character/villain roles in Ram Aur Shyam, Zanjeer, Madhumati, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai, Upkar, Shaheed (1965), Purab Aur Paschim, Victoria No. 203, Amar Akbar Anthony, Don, Majboor etc – his memorable roles are countless. He was honoured with Dada Saheb Phalke Award at the age of 93, a few months before his death. His health was deteriorating for the last few days and he was suffering from pneumonia too. Read more about Pran.

Om Puri (18 October 1950 – 6 January 2017 – Leading character artist of Hindi cinema

He was one of the veteran actors, best known for playing character roles in both offbeat and commercial movies. It came to a big shock to many when he died of heart attack at his residence, aged 66 only. He was fully active in his career and Tubelight was one of the commercial movies which got released after his death. As an actor he is best remembered for the roles he played in Aakrosh, Aarohan, Ardh Satya, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Hey Ram, Rang De Basanti, Chachi 420, Pyar To Hona Hi Tha, Gadar etc apart from a few TV roles.

Kadar Khan (22 October 1937 – 31 December 2018) – Great character artist and screenwriter

Countless comic, character and villain roles he has played on screen, apart from writing scripts and dialogues for many blockbusters. Since early 1970s, he made a distinct mark as a dialogue and screenwriter, along with character roles. Initially he played negative roles most. In the 1990s, he worked in several iconic comic films, and shared screen space with Govinda for a few. Aankhein, Judaai, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Coolie No. 1, Raja Babu, Khuddar, Chhote Sarkar, Dulhe Raja etc are some of his best performances in the 1990s. He was suffering from supranuclear palsy for the last years and it was also reported that he couldn’t identify people. He passed away in Canada aged 81.

A. K. Hangal (1 February 1914 – 26 August 2012) – Legendary character artist best known for his father & grandfather roles

He was a freedom fighter and stage actor who joined films in mid-1960s as a character artist. Sholay, Namak Haraam, Manzil, Shaukeen, Prem Bandhan, Aaina etc are some of his memorable roles from hundreds of character roles he played on screen. Though he appeared in more than 250 movies in a career spanning to 5 decades, he faced a lot of financial difficulties during his old age, and couldn’t even meet his medical expenses. He appeared for a last time in a wheelchair for TV series, Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon. He suffered from a back injury and faced chest and breathing problems after which the scheduled surgery was called off. He was 98 years old when he passed away.

Other famous actors who left us in the decade of 2010s include Saeed Jafrey, Girish Karnad, ‎Navin Nischol‎, Farooq Shaikh, Inder Kumar, Jaspal Bhatti, Narendra Jha, Shri Vallabh Vyas, Pappu Polyester, Neeraj Vora, Razak Khan, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Tom Alter, Rajesh Vivek, Mahesh Anand, Viju Khote, Suresh Chatwal, Raj Kishore, Dhara Singh, Dinyar Contractor, Deven Verma, Veeru Krishnan, Jagdish Raj etc. Most of them played supporting roles on big screen.

Bollywood Actresses who deceased in the 2010s

Sridevi (13 August 1963 – 24 February 2018) – The first female superstar of Indian cinema

Among female celebrities who passed away in this decade, definitely this lady superstar with pan Indian appeal and huge fan following crowd tops the list. She was young and only 54, very much active in her second innings in Indian cinema, when death took her away so expectedly. Her accidental drowning in a bath tub in a hotel in UAE was accepted with disbelief by her fans. Apart from working in all regional language movies of South India, she gave some significant contributions to Bollywood through Mr. India, Chandni, Sadma, Lamhe, English Vinglish, Judai, Chaalbaaz, Laadla, Khuda Gawah and many more. No doubt, among the celebrities who passed away in this decade, it was the death of Sridevi which came as a great shock to Bollywood. Read more about this iconic actress.

Sadhana Shivdasani (2 September 1941 – 25 December 2015) – The mystery girl of Bollywood

The lady with mysterious smile remained one of the top stars of 1960s. With Raj Khosle’s trilogy (which include Woh Kaun Thi and Mera Saaya), romantic roles in Love in Shimla, Arzoo, Mere Mehboob, Waqt, Rajkumar etc and social dramas – Hum Dono, Parakh, Asli Naqli etc, she was one of the most sought stars. Her thyroid issues badly affected her career, and she preferred to stay away from limelight for many decades, before she made one and last appearance for a fashion show in 2014 with her ‘Sadhana hair cut’. She died the following year fighting to cancer at the age of 74. Read a few interesting facts about her.

Nanda (8 January 1939 – 25 March 2014) – Top rated actress of 1960s 


She owned many hits with Shashi Kapoor in the 1960s, and also worked with him in many movies before he established as a romantic hero. She was one of the highly paid actresses of 1960s throughout and early 1970s. Jab Jab Phool Khile, Gumnaam, Hum Dono, Kanoon, Teen Deviyaan, Ittefaq, Train etc are among her big hits. She remained unmarried, yet owned a friend circle. She was one among the gang of actresses of 1960s, who frequently watched movies and enjoyed a social life. She died at the age of 75 following a heart attack.

Suchitra Sen (6 April 1931 – 17 January 2014) – Bengali actress best known for ‘Aandhi’ in Bollywood

This legendary Bengali actress did only a few movies in Hindi. Yet her lead role in Aandhi made her popular among Hindi movie viewers. In Bengali cinema, her screen pairing with Uttam Kumar gave numerous blockbusters. During her last years she completely stayed away from limelight. She was diagnosed with a lung infection on the Christmas fortnight and was admitted at hospital. Though reports came out that she recovered, she passed away a few days later. She was 82 years old.

Kalpana (18 July 1946 – 4 January 2012) – Best known for her debut flick, Professor

She is best known for her lead roles in Professor opposite Shammi Kapoor, Pyar Kiya Jaa opposite Kishore Kumar and Teen Deviyan opposite Dev Anand. Most of her movies got flopped and she retired from acting after marrying celebrated screenwriter Sachin Bhowmick. However it also didn’t last long, and she remarried a navy officer. This relationship too was short-lived. She was completely away from limelight for last few decades. After her single daughter (from second marriage) got married and settled in US, she lived at her residence in Pune. She was battling with cancer when she passed away of pneumonia aged 65.

Zohra Sehgal (27 April 1912 – 10 July 2014) – Bollywood’s favourite dadi (grandmother)

She was a dancer and choreographer, apart from playing character roles on screen for more than 6 decades. Her grandmother roles in Dil Se, Saawariya and Cheeni Kum were well-noticed. She died of a cardiac arrest in Delhi, a few months after she celebrated her 102th birthday. At the age of 101 she came to spotlight when news spread about the denial of a flat in the ground floor by urban development ministry. Due to age related issues, she had requested for a flat in the ground floor, which was denied citing ‘not qualify under certain classes’.

Vidya Sinha (15 November 1947 – 15 August 2019) – best known for traditional roles of middle-class in the 1970s

vidya sinha young

Her roles in Rajnigandha, Chhoti Si Baat and Pati Patni Aur Woh made her popular. Though she remained a successful model, she got type casted for traditional roles only. She married twice. After the death of her first husband, she remarried in 2001, which resulted in divorce. She died of respiratory failure in Mumbai, aged 71. Read more about her.

Other famous actresses who left us in the decade of 2010s include Nalini Jaswant, Reema Lagoo, Sumita Sanyal, Shammi, Jiah Khan, Rasika Joshi, Rita Bhaduri, Taruni Sachdev, Achala Sachdev, Ava Mukherjee etc. The most recent name added to this list is Shaukat Azmi of Umrao Jaan fame.

Bollywood Directors who deceased in the 2010s

Yash Chopra (27 September 1932 – 21 October 2012) – The filmmaker who redefined romance onscreen

One of the greatest Bollywood directors ever, he will always remain as a true inspiration to many generation filmmakers. It’s not an easy task to draw youth audience belonging to three different generations to theatres, through his unique story weaving style. Since late 1950s, till his death in 2012, he owns numerous blockbuster hits. His last work as a director – Jab Tak Hain Jaan starring SRK was released posthumously. He died so expected following multiple organ failure, while he was fully engaged in the post-production work of Jab Tak Hain Jaan. He was 80. Dhool Ka Phool, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Ittefaq, Waqt, Daag, Deewar, Trishul, Kabhi Kabhi, Silsila, Kaala Patthar, Lamhe, Chandni, Darr, Dil To Pagal Hai, Veer-Zaara etc are some of his blockbuster hits, which established the careers of many Bollywood stars including Big B and SRK.

Mrinal Sen (14 May 1923 – 30 December 2018) – Pioneer of new wave cinema

His name is taken along with his contemporaries Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak – Indian representatives of new wave cinema in Hindi and Bengali language. Bhuvan Shome, Mrigaya etc are among his major works which earned him national and international recognition. He was suffering from age related ailments during his last years and died of heart attack, aged 95.

Bollywood Music Directors, Lyricists and Playback Singers who deceased in the 2010s

Manna Dey (1 May 1919 − 24 October 2013) – The legendary playback singer

He owns countless hit songs to his credit. In the 1950s and early 1960s, he sang numerous songs for Raj Kapoor, composed by Shankar Jaikishen. His classical based songs for Padosan for Mehmood also got well noticed. Some of his career best songs were recorded for the films – Baharon Ke Sapne, Upkar, Waqt, Raat Aur Din etc. He got a chest infection and got admitted in ICU at a hospital in Bangalore in early June 2013, and got discharged. However he was hospitalized again in October and died of cardiac arrest aged 94.

Ravi (3 March 1926 – 7 March 2012) – Equally popular in Hindi and Malayalam cinema

Humraaz, Khandan, Gharana, Chaudhvin Ka Chand, Do Badan, Aankhein, Ustadon Ke Ustaad, Shehnai, Kaajal, Nikaah, Waqt, Neel Kamal, Dilli Ka Thug, Ghunghat, Vachan, Dhund – he was frequently associated with Rafi, followed by Mahendra Kapoor and female singers like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. He had an equally glorious career in Malayalam cinema in the 1980s and 1990s. He was away from limelight for the last few years, and lived a peaceful life in Mumbai. He passed away in 2012 aged 86.

Shamshad Begum (14 April 1919 – 23 April 2013) – With songs of CID, Aar Paar etc to her credit

One of the early well-established playback singers of Indian film industry, her voice was so unique. She frequently worked with Naushad and O. P. Nayyar, and some of her popular songs were recorded for the movies – Mughal-E-Azam, Kismat, CID, Aar Paar, Naya Daur etc. She was away from limelight for last few decades, and was deeply hurt by the way she didn’t get more singing offers in the 1960s and 1970s. She died at her Mumbai residence after a prolonged illness, aged 94.

Khayyam (18 February 1927 – 19 August 2019) – Music composer with songs of Kabhi Kabhi & Umrao Jaan to his credit

One of the finest music composers of Bollywood ever, he gave us some of the memorable songs like Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein, Dil Cheez Kya Hai etc. When he passed away in August this year, among the composers he was the last representative of golden era of Hindi music of 1940s-1950s. He was 92 years old when died of cardiac arrest. He was suffering from various age related ailments during his last years.

Jagjit Singh (8 February 1941 – 10 October 2011) – The king of ghazals

Jagjit Singh was mostly associated with independent albums as a ghazal singer. However he composed and rendered his voice for some of finest filmy ghazals of 1980s, and a few of 1990s too. Songs of Arth, Sarfarosh, Prem Geet, Saat Saat, Dushman etc are a few such instances. He was fully active with his live ghazal concerts when he suffered a brain haemorrhage and got admitted in hospital. He was in coma for two weeks before he passed away, aged 70.

Aadesh Shrivastava (4 September 1964 – 5 September 2015) – The composer of Major Saab, Dehak and Raajneeti

One of the youngest Bollywood composers to die so early, he belonged to a musical family of composers and singers. Apart from his role as a composer and playback singer, he also scored background music for numerous films. Raajneeti, Deewar, Salma Pe Dil Aa Gaya, Dahek, Farz, Major Saab, Dev, Baghban, Aao Pyaar Karen, Chalte Chalte, Aankhen (2002), Deewanapan etc are some of his major works as a composer. He passed away because of cancer for a prolonged period, aged only 51.

Other musical artists who passed in the decade include – Bhimsen Joshi, Mohammed Aziz, Ustad Ali Khan etc. Doyens of Indian classical music like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Bhimsen Joshi, Bhupen Hazarika and Ustad Ali Khan were only seasonal artists in Hindi cinema.

Other Bollywood Celebrities who passed away in the 2010s

Director-painter M. F. Hussain, cinematographer Ashok Mehta, action director Veeru Devgan, Filmmakers – Ram Mukherjee, Raj Kumar Barjatya, Surinder Kapoor, Arjun Hingorani, Raj Kanwar, B. R. Ishara, Surinder Kapoor, Tandon, Kalpana Lajmi, Ravi Chopra, Shamin Desai, Cinematographer Ashok Mehta etc are a few more Bollywood celebrities who died in this decade. They include filmmakers and other crew, except actors and musicians. Televison celebrity Jaspal Bhatti of ‘Flop Show’ fame died in an accident in 2012. 

I have tried my level best to list all Bollywood celebrities who left us in the decade of 2010s. When I come across more artists, I shall definitely add to the list. Please share your remarks and comments.


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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this information with us

  2. I realy like Indian muvie so much

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