Saturday, 6 September 2014

Jiah Khan

Nafisa Rizvi Khan (also known as Jiah Khan, 20 February 1988 - 3 June2013) was a British American actress, model and singer whoappeared in Hindi films. She made her film debut in the2007 Ram Gopal Verma film Nishabd for which she was nominatedfor Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She was later noted forportraying a modern, independent woman in Ghajini which was thehighest-grossing Bollywood film of 2008. Her performance in thelatter earned her significant acclaim. She last appeared in SajidKhan's romantic comedy Housefull, which was the fifthhighest-grossing Bollywood film of 2010. Khan had catapultedherself into the Bollywood 100 Crore Club with Ghajini andHousefull.

On 3 June 2013, she was found dead in her flat in the Sagar Sangeetbuilding in Juhu, Mumbai after apparently hangingherself.

Early life

Khan was born into a Muslim family in New York City.She was the daughter of Ali Rizvi Khan, an Indian American andRabiya Amin, a Hindi film actress in the 1980s from Agra,Uttar Pradesh. Khan grew up in London where shecompleted her Edexcel O and A Level with five As, beforemoving to Mumbai to pursue a career in Bollywood. Shehas two sisters Kavita and Karishma. She was inspired to enterBollywood after watching Ram Gopal Verma's former protegeUrmila Matondkar's movie Rangeela at the age ofsix.

Khan was a trained opera singer and had recorded six pop tracks by thetime she was 16. Khan studied at the Lee StrasbergTheatre and Film Institute in Manhattan, though she quit uponreceiving a movie offer. She learnt the dance forms ofsalsa, belly dancing, kathak, lambada, jazz,samba and reggae.


Khan at the launch of Nokia APP in 2010.

In 2004, at the age of 16, Khan was signed to act in MukeshBhatt's Tumsa Nahin Dekha but backed out when both she and thedirector felt the role was too mature for her; she was immediatelyreplaced by Dia Mirza. Two years later, in 2007, at the age of18, Khan made her debut in Ram Gopal Verma'scontroversial romantic thriller Nishabd, as Jiah, whereshe acted opposite Amitabh Bachchan. Despite the provocativecontent in the film, it performed poorly at the box office, and earnedmixed reviews from critics. Nonetheless, Khan received amostly positive reception for her performance, with critics noting herconfidence, attitude, and sex appeal. Raja Sen praised herportrayal of Jia, a seductive, free-spirited teenager, calling herperformance "nuanced" and "impressive". Taran Adarshagrees, saying that "Newcomer Jiah Khan is supremely confident. Loadedwith attitude and sex appeal, the newcomer carries off her part withflourish. Her scenes with Bachchan are superb!" RajeevMasand adds that she is "perfectly cast" for the film. Shewas also nominated for a Filmfare Best Female DebutAward, however lost to Deepika Padukone.Khan with Shazahn Padamsee, Shailendra Singh, AbhishekKapoor and Sophie Choudry at DJ Magazine launch.

The following year, she appeared alongside Aamir Khan andAsin in A.R. Murugadoss's psychological thrillerGhajini, the Hindi remake of its namesake. She playedSunita, a medical student who investigates the history of SanjaySinghania, portrayed by Aamir Khan. The film gathered muchappreciation from critics, and went on to become the highestgrossing Bollywood film of 2008, as well as earn the all-timeblockbuster status. Khan's performance attracted mixedreviews, with critics agreeing that her role was "sketchy".Despite this, Sukanya Verma compliments her performance, commentingthat Khan "continues to strike as an exquisite and expressiveactress."

Khan made her last film appearance in a supporting role as Devika K.Samtani, the ex-wife of Akshay Kumar's character, in SajidKhan's Housefull also alongside Riteish Deshmukh,Deepika Padukone and Lara Dutta in 2010. Housefull wasthe second time she appeared in the highest grossing Bollywoodfilm of the year.

In the months before her death, she had signed three South Indianfilms and one Hindi film Aap Ka Saaya (Hindi version ofTamil film Yaaradi Nee Mohini).


Khan reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself from aCeiling Fan at around 11:45 pm in a bedroom of her Juhuresidence in Mumbai on Monday, 3 June 2013, when her motherRabiya and sister Kavita were not at home.Khan at London in 2009.

Her body was taken to the casualty morgue at the JJ Hospital inByculla, for a forensic examination and autopsy. Herbody was then brought back to her residence around 7:00 am onWednesday, 5 June 2013, following the post-mortem.

On the same day her Namaz-e-janaza took place at Sonapur KabarWalla Masjid and she was buried at Juhu Muslim cemetery afterDhuhr prayer as per Islamic rites. Bollywood actors inattendance included Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao, RiteishDeshmukh, Siddharth Mallya, Sophie Choudry, UrvashiDholakia, Prem Chopra, Ranjeet, Deepak Parashar,Sanjay Khan and Nagma in attendance. Bollywoodstars reacted with shock at her death.

On 7 June 2013, a six-page suicide note was found by hersister. The note is reported to indicate that she hadplanned to end her life. A transcript was released by Khan's familywhich included mention of a recent abortion.

On 8 June 2013, Khan's condolence meeting was held at Vile ParleMedical Club to pray for Jiah. Bollywood actors in attendance includedAamir Khan, Deepika Padukone, Randhir Kapoor,Prateik Babbar, Sanjay Kapoor, Shweta Pandit,Kiran Rao, Urvashi Dholakia, Ranjeet, DeepakParashar, Sanjay Khan and Nagma.

Suraj Pancholi, who was allegedly in a live-in relationship withKhan, was taken into custody in association with her suicide on 10June 2013. The Bombay High Court granted him bail on 2July 2013. Her death case is being probed by CentralBureau of Investigation (CBI). On 3 July 2014, Bombay HighCourt ordered CBI probe into Jiah Khan suicide case. JiahKhan's suicide case transferred to CBI by High Court


An upcoming episode of the TV series Yeh Hai Aashiqui will beloosely based on Jiah Khan's suicide, with Mihika Verma andRithvik Dhanjani playing the central characters.

Khan was posthumously honoured as Bollywood's hidden success story,having starred in two Bollywood Crore Club films and also havinga critically acclaimed debut with Amitabh Bachchan in Nishabd

Galleries of Jiah Khan

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