Actress and dancer Zohra Sehgal, who charmed in Bollywood films and beyond, dies at 102

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: July 11, 2014 - 3:15 AM

NEW DELHI — Actress and dancer Zohra Sehgal, who charmed viewers with her impish grin and twinkling eyes, has died of heart failure in New Delhi at age 102.

Sehgal had been hospitalized with pneumonia earlier in the week and passed away Thursday evening. She will be cremated later Friday.

Condolence messages poured in for the performer.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described her as "prolific and full of life," in a message on Twitter.

"What a journey and what an immensely loveable costar," Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan tweeted.

Sehgal started out in the 1930s as a dancer. She performed with a troupe led by Uday Shankar, the pioneer of modern Indian dance. Her travels around the world with the group were unusual for an Indian woman of her generation.

In the 1940s she joined a theater group in Mumbai and eventually started acting in films. Even though she performed cameo parts, she always made her presence felt. She was part of Bollywood blockbusters like "Hum Dil Chuke Sanam," or "I Have Given My Heart," and "Kal Ho Naa Ho," or "Whether Tomorrow Comes or Not."

She also acted in films like "Bend It Like Beckham," and "Bhajji on the Beach," made by British-Indian filmmaker Gurinder Chaddha.

Her last film was the Bollywood saga "Saawariya," or "Beloved," in 2007.

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