New Delhi - Thousands of tearful fans and Bollywood actors, carrying flowers and chanting prayers, gathered at Mumbai's Celebration Sports Club Wednesday to pay their last respects to iconic actress Sridevi who died in Dubai on the weekend.
The 54-year-old, known simply as Sridevi, was in Dubai for a family wedding when she died on Saturday due to accidental drowning in her hotel apartment's bath, a post-mortem report showed.
Sridevi's body reached Mumbai late Tuesday after a three-day wait as Dubai authorities completed investigations and formalities.
Her family issued a statement asking people to join them to pay respects to the "remarkable actor, beloved wife and loving mother" at the club near her home in Mumbai, NDTV news channel reported.
The funeral procession from the club to the crematorium, about 7 kilometres away, was due to begin at 2:00 pm local time (0830 GMT), the statement said.
Sridevi had been married to producer Boney Kapoor with whom she had two daughters.
She began her career as a child performer at the age of four, going on to appear in almost 300 films over five decades.
Her films were in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi. She won several awards including the Padma Shri, one of the Indian government's highest civilian honours.
Acknowledged as one of India's few female superstars who was a huge box office draw, Sridevi scored several hits in the 1980s and 1990s with Bollywood classics "Mr India," "Chandni," "ChaalBaaz" and "Sadma."dpa