Sushant Singh Rajput was an Indian actor, model, dancer, and entrepreneur. He came into the limelight by playing the role of ‘Manav Deshmukh’ in the popular Indian television serial, “Pavitra Rishta.” From his debut film Kai Po Che! (2013) to his last theatrical release Chhichhore (2019), Sushant also appeared in many popular Bollywood films in his less than a decade career. The 34-year-old actor was found dead inside his Mumbai home on 14 June 2020.
He did his schooling from St. Karen’s High School, Patna, and Kulachi Hansraj Model School, Delhi. Indian Express According to Sushant, he was less communicative during his school days, and to get himself noticed, he focused on his studies to secure good marks. In an interview, while talking about it, he said,
After his schooling, the 18-year-old Sushant attended Delhi College of Engineering (DCE; now Delhi Technological University (DTU)) where he pursued Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering). Reportedly, Sushant had secured an All India Rank of 7 in the DCE Entrance Exam in 2003. The Times of India He also won the Physics National Olympiad and cleared as many as eleven engineering entrance exams. The Hindu He dropped out in the third year of the four-year course to pursue his passion for acting. The Times of India
While Sushant was a student at Delhi College of Engineering, he developed an interest in dancing. He joined Shiamak Davar’s dance group. Shiamak was impressed with the actor’s dancing talent and gave him a chance to perform at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and Filmfare Awards.
Later, he performed in a Barry John play. According to Sushant, with dancing and acting, he had found new ways to express and communicate. In an interview, while revealing that he was a dancer first, he said,
When I was dancing, I realised I could get people to notice me. I thought with acting I can better that. Even when I started acting, I never stopped feeling like a dancer. Dance has given me a sense of rhythm. That’s the first thing I work on while building a character.” Indian Express
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Family & Caste
Sushant belonged to a Rajput family of Bihar. However, in 2017, amid the row over Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s film Padmavat, and Karni Sena’s protest against the film, Sushant had dropped his surname “Rajput” from his name on his Twitter handle. The Print
Parents & Siblings
His mother, Usha Singh, died in 2002 of a brain hemorrhage. Sushant was the youngest among five children of his parents.
He was so close to his mother that he had penned down a few poems in her memory. One of his poems read –
As long as you were, I was. Now just in your memories I come alive. Like a shadow, Just a flicker. Time doesn’t move here. It’s beautiful, It’s forever…” He also wrote, “Do you remember? You promised that you would be with me forever, and I promised you that I would keep smiling no matter what. It seems we both were wrong mother…”
Even before his death, he had shared a black & white photo of her mother on his Instagram along with a post dedicated to her. In the post that he had shared on 3 June 2020, he wrote –
Blurred past evaporating from teardrops. Unending dreams carving an arc of smile. And a fleeting life, negotiating between the two…”
Relationships, Girlfriend & Affairs
Sushant Singh Rajput was in a relationship with Ankita Lokhande for six years. However, the couple broke up in 2016. Ankita was his co-star in the popular Hindi TV serial, Pavitra Rishta. The Times of India Sushant and Ankita also won many Best Couple awards for their on-screen chemistry in Pavitra Rishta.
In 2005, to accomplish his acting aspirations, Sushant left Delhi for Mumbai where he joined Nadira Babbar’s Ekjute theatre group. He remained associated with the group for two and a half years. Mid Day Meanwhile, he appeared in the television commercial of Nestle Munch, which became very popular. In 2015, he again appeared in the new TV commercial of Nestle Munch. Mid Day
While he was performing in a play at Prithvi Theatre, he was spotted by the people from Balaji Telefilms who called him for the audition. While talking about shifting from theatre plays to television, he said,
Balaji Telefilms offered Sushant the role of ‘Preet Juneja’ in the TV serial “Kis Desh Mein Hai Mera Dil.” It was only after he appeared in Kis Des Mein Hai Mera Dil that in 2009, the role of ‘Manav Deshmukh’ in Zee TV’s “Pavitra Rishta” landed to him. His performance in Pavitra Rishta proved to be a breakthrough for him, which made him a popular face on television. He also won several awards as the Best TV actor for this role.
Meanwhile, he also appeared as a contestant in the dance reality show, Zara Nachke Dikha on Star One in 2010. Indian Express In October 2011, Sushant quit Pavitra Rishta to pursue a filmmaking course abroad. While talking about his plan to join a film school abroad, Sushant said,
I thought of going to University of California, Los Angeles, as I was not getting the kind of films that I wanted to do. Before I joined, I signed Kai Po Che. Acting in films is like being in a filmmaking school. Today, I understand a lot more about how to say the same thing in a more effective way.” Indian Express
Amid the rumours that he had quit Pavira Rishta to pursue his career in films, he said,
While talking about his television career, he said,
The television shows brought me a few film offers. I was not excited about them till I got Kai Po Che. Television also got me good money. Money has made a major difference to my life. I come from a big family, there are certain things I could not do as I did not have enough money. Money can decide the way one thinks. But it does start losing its value the moment you acquire the kind of money you wish to have. I hit that mark thanks to television, so I could experiment with my choice of films.” Indian Express
In 2013, Sushant auditioned for “Kai Po Che!” and was selected to play one of the leads in the movie. The film was a commercial success.
While talking about the success of Kai Po Che!, he said,
Kai Po Che also changed people’s perceptions, not just about me, but about television actors. Those who hire us started to believe actors from television can do movies. Also, it motivated other television actors to believe they could do it too.” Indian Express
After that, Rajput appeared in the film Suddh Desi Romance (2013) alongside Parineeti Chopra. In 2014, Sushant appeared in a small yet significant role in Rajkumar Hirani’s PK opposite Anushka Sharma. In PK, he played the role of ‘Sarfaraz.’
In 2015, he played the lead character in Dibakar Banerjee’s “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy.”
In 2016, Sushant played the titular role in the Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s biopic, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story. The film was one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2016.
Subsequently, he went on to star in the films, Raabta (2017), Kedarnath (2018), Sonchiriya (2019), and Chhichhore (2019).
His last theatrical release film was Chhichhore (2019), the film depicted college life and the frustrations of the later years.
Rajput’s last released film on the digital platform was Dil Bechara, an action drama film in which he played the role of ‘Manny,” and Sanjana Sanghi played the role of “Kizie.”
The film is the remake of the American romantic drama film, The Fault in Our Stars, which is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by John Green.
- In 2015, reportedly, Sushant was publicly slapped by his ex-girlfriend Ankita Lokhande outside Yashraj Studios in Andheri. According to sources, the incident happened when the actress called Sushant outside the studio and checked his phone and it was then that she shouted a “Thank You” and slapped him. India Today
- He was also rumoured to have been secretly married to Ankita Lokhande in 2015 because Lokhande’s parents were not happy over her decision to live-in with Sushant, and they had been pressurizing her to get married instead. Reportedly, the couple had tied the knot in Ujjain and later moved in together in Mumbai. Indian Express
- In 2017, Sushant was nominated in the category of Best Actor Award at IIFA. However, he did not win the award and the award went to Shahid Kapoor for the film Udta Punjab. Just a few minutes later, after Shahid received the award, Sushant tweeted: “@iifa hahahaha.” He received a backlash on social media for his tweet. NDTV
- In February 2018, there was a midnight brawl between Sushant and his group of fans at his Bandra home. Reportedly, Sushant was driving his car when a group of his fans started chasing him. Then, Sushant straight-away drove to his apartment in Mumbai, but the fans reached there too and insisting on him for selfies, to this, Sushant and his watchman started abusing them. Later, the infuriated fans hit his watchman. Amar Ujala
- In August 2018, Sushant Singh Rajput attracted controversy for apparently making his Dil Bechara co-star, Sanjana Sanghi, uncomfortable by his flirtatious behaviour and sexually harassing her on the sets of the film. However, the actor later refuted all the rumours and also shared his chat screenshots with Sanjana. Sanjana also took to Twitter and dismissed the ‘baseless and unfounded stories’ that were doing the rounds on the internet. She wrote,
I’d like to clarify that no such incident took place with me. Let’s put an end to these conjectures.”
- After the reports of his flirtatious behaviour with Sanjana surfaced on social media, Sushant lost his verified tick on Twitter. In the wake of #MeToo movement and as a mark of protest, Twitter immediately removed Sushant’s verified badge. However, he later cleared that the verification tick had not been there for a long time. The Times of India
- Indian Television Academy Awards for Most Popular Actor (Male) in 2010 for “Pavitra Rishta”
- Screen Award for Best Male Debut for the film “Kai Po Che” (2014)
- Producers Guild Film Award for Best Male Debut for “Kai Po Che” (2014)
- Screen Award for Best Actor (Critics) for the film “M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story” (2017)
- Best Actor for M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (2017)
Sushant had Maserati Quattroporte and a Range Rover. He also owned a BMW K1300R bike.
On 14 June 2020, Rajput was found hanging at his Bandra home. Reportedly, he committed suicide after suffering from depression for the last six months. His body was found hanging in a room of his Bandra flat on the Sunday morning after the door to his room was broken. India Today Later, his post-mortem report, which was conducted at Dr RN Cooper Municipal General Hospital in Mumbai, confirmed that the actor died due to asphyxia. Reportedly, he was undergoing treatment for depression at Mumbai’s Hinduja. The Economic Times According to sources, the actor had spoken to his sister on the telephone around 9 am and about an hour later, he had a glass of juice with his tablets. Around 11:30 am when his cook knocked his door to confirm the menu, there was no response. Later, the door was open with a duplicate key. He was cremated at Mumbai’s Pawan Hans crematorium around 4:30 pm on Monday, 15 June 2020. The Economic Times
In the wake of Rajput’s alleged suicide, various online campaigns surfaced demanding a CBI investigation into the matter. These campaigns were fuelled by many conspiracy theories. Amid the investigations by the Maharashtra Police into the matter, a separate FIR was filed by Rajput’s father in Bihar, and Bihar Police started a separate investigation in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case; leading to a row between the Maharashtra Police and Bihar Police when a senior police officer of Bihar Police, Vinay Tiwari, who had gone to Mumbai to investigate the case, was sent to quarantine by the Maharashtra Police. In August 2020, the centre told the Supreme Court that it had accepted the Bihar government’s recommendation for a CBI probe into the actor’s death. Later, the CBI filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, common friend Samuel Miranda, and three others. In a statement, the CBI said,
CBI has registered a case related to the death of Sushant Singh Rajput on the request of Bihar government and further notification from GoI and taken over the investigation of the case, earlier registered at police station Rajiv Nagar, Patna vide FIR no.241/2020 dated 25-7-2020. The case was registered against six accused and others.” The Economic Times
On 19 August 2020, while giving the judgement on a plea filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty to transfer an FIR of abetment to suicide registered against her in connection with Sushant’s death from Patna to Mumbai, a Single Judge Bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into Sushant’s death in Mumbai. The Hindu
Sushant Singh Rajput’s alleged suicide also revealed the harsh realities of the glamour world. Many Bollywood celebs including Kangana Ranaut and Abhinav Kashyap blamed the nepotism in Bollywood for Sushant Singh’s sudden demise.
- Food: Rajmah Chawal, Aloo Paranthas, Chicken, Lobsters, Prawns, Pani Puri
- Beverages: Tea with lots of sugar, Lime Juice
- Actors: James Dean, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, Shah Rukh Khan, Daniel Day-Lewis
- Actresses: Isha Sherwani, Tabu, Jennifer Lawrence
- Film Directors: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Raj Kumar Hirani, Anand Gandhi
- Colour: Black
- Travel Destinations: Norway, New Zealand
- Sport: Tennis
- Cricketer: Sourav Ganguly
- In August 2020, Ekta Kapoor shared on her Facebook account the first scene of Sushant.
View this post on Instagram
Lots of people were asking me about Sushant’s first scene… this was the first scene we shot with him. This was his 1st scene on Television which went on-air in a show called ‘Kis Des Mein Hai Mera Dil’. He was the 2nd lead in that show, but we knew he was meant for greater things and he went and did just that. Lots of love, peace and prayers for this beautiful, beautiful piece of light and shining soul.
- Sushant’s first dance partner in Bollywood was Aishwarya Rai at the 2005 Filmfare Awards. While talking about it, he said,
I was always star struck. The first time I danced with Ash, I was just analysing and seeing her beauty and I was supposed to lift her. I lifted her and she said ‘Please don’t drop me, Sushant.’ I couldn’t believe that she was talking to me.” The Times of India
- In the Bollywood film Bunty Aur Babli (2005), he danced in a song standing behind Abhishek Bachchan. The Times of India
- According to Sushant’s cousin, Neeraj Kumar Bablu who is an MLA from Bihar, Sushant too had political ambitions. While talking about it, Bablu said,
- Sushant was a trained dancer and he had started his career as a background dancer in films. While talking about it, he said,
- He followed a non-vegetarian diet. In an interview, he said,
- Following the death of Sushant, the police investigated many people from Bollywood, including Sanjay Leela Bhansali who revealed that he had offered four films to the late actor, including Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, Bajirao Mastani, and Padmaavat, but Sushant declined because he was contract-bound with YRF. India Today
- Initially, Shahid Kapoor was chosen for the lead role in the film, Shuddh Desi Romance, but the role went to Sushant due to some unknown reasons. Pinkvilla
- It took Rajput almost one and a half years to prepare himself for the role of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He practiced the helicopter shot for “M. S. Dhoni: The Untold Story” 225 times a day, for several days, to get the perfect outcome.
- Reportedly, Sushant had also planned to portray twelve real-life people from India, including, Rabindranath Tagore, Chanakya, and A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.
- Shushant Singh had danced with Ashley Lobo’s troupe, learned martial arts from Allan Amin, and assisted Mohit Suri during the making of “Raaz 2;” before making a career as an actor.
- He lived at a flat on Hill Road, Bandra, Mumbai.
- Instead of going to a gym, Rajput preferred to practice ballet.
- He had a huge love for cars and Bugatti Veyron was his dream car.
- Sushant was a loyal customer to the famous Italian luxury fashion brand Ermenegildo Zegna.
- Reportedly, his closest friends from the film industry were Mukesh Chabbra, Kriti Sanon, and Rohini Iyer.
- Sushant was the first choice to play the lead role in the Bollywood film, Fitoor, but he rejected the film due to his busy schedule.
- Sushant was offered a role in the film “Paani” by the director Shekhar Kapur. Reportedly, he rejected 12 films because of Paani but the film was later shelved.
- He was an avid animal lover and often shared his pictures with dogs on his Instagram account. He had a pet dog, Fudge.
- Sushant told during an interview that he had come to Mumbai with 3 major dreams; first, to feature in a Yash Raj Film, second, to do a Pepsi ad commercial, and third, to feature on the cover of Filmfare Magazine. He further told that he had achieved them all.
- Since childhood, he had an intense desire to become a pilot, and in 2018, Sushant bought an expensive, Boeing 737 Fixed Base Flight Simulator to fulfil his childhood desire.
- In May 2018, he turned entrepreneur with the launch of Innsaei Ventures. At its launch, Sushant said,
- In May 2019, Sushant visited his ancestral home in Bihar after almost 17 years. Sushant, who had lost his mother at the age of 16, went there to fulfill his late mother’s wish. He performed an old ritual of Mundan at a temple in Khagaria. Although he did not shave off his complete hair, he completed the ritual by trimming off a strand.
- He was so fascinated by celestial bodies, stars, and planets that he had bought a super expensive and one of the most advanced telescopes in the world, Meade 14 LX600.
- He went ahead a step to satiate his fascination for outer space and became the first Indian to buy a piece of land on Moon. The lunar area that Sushant had bought is called the ‘Mare Muscoviense’ or the ‘Sea of Muscovy.’ Reportedly, he had bought the lunar property from the ‘International Lunar Lands Registry.’
- Reportedly, he had also completed a certified instructor’s course to get selected for the 2024 space mission.
- With the programmes like Sushant4Education, the actor was actively involved with the development of scientific temper in kids. Mumbai Mirror
- In May 2018, NITI Aayog signed him to collaborate and support NITI’s flagship initiative, the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP). Business Standard
- To immortality the presence of her mother in his life, he had gotten inked a tattoo on his back in her memory. After a lot of thought, the actor finally came up with a design with the help of his sister, Priyanka. The man behind the design was the tattoo artist Sameer Patange who has also tattooed many Bollywood celebs, such as Sanjay Dutt, Sushmita Sen, and Kangana Ranaut. The tattoo symbolized five elements. While talking about the tattoo, Sushant said,
The tatoo is a symbolic representation of five elements. My mother and I are in the centre, implying it is a bond that not even time can defy. The five elements are widely accepted symbols. However, the idea of using my mother and me as elements was thought of by my sister and me.” Hindustan Times
- Sushant had a habit of writing down his wishes. Till 2019, he had made a list of 50 wishes that he wished to accomplish in his life. The list included wishes like “Learn how to Fly a Plane,” “Train for IronMan triathlon,” “Play a Cricket Match left-handed,” “Learn Morse Code,” “Help kids learn about Space,” “Play tennis with a Champion,” and “Do a Four Clap Push-Up.”
- He loved to frame quotes, and he had his own website, selfmusing.com, where he used to post his quotes.
- According to the Mumbai Police, Sushant had googled “painless death” and the name of his former manager Disha Salian, who died on 8 June 2020, and a mental illness (bipolar disorder) in his final days; and, in his last few hours, he had done searches on his own name. NDTV
- According to his family members, Sushant Singh Rajput’s childhood home, located at Patna’s Rajeev Nagar on road number six, would be turned into a memorial. The family has also decided to set-up a foundation, Sushant’s Singh Rajput Foundation (SSRF), to support budding talents in the fields of cinema, sports, and science. Hindustan Times