Sushant Singh Rajput (21 January 1986 – 14 June 2020) was an Indian actor who is best known for his work in Hindi cinema. He starred in a number of commercially successful Bollywood films such as M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016), Kedarnath (2018) and Chhichhore (2019). Due to his contribution to the film industry, he received a Screen Award and was nominated for the Filmfare Awards on two occasions.
Rajput started his career after dropping out of his engineering course at the Delhi College of Engineering and entering the theatre industry in Mumbai. He moved on to feature in Hindi television serials, his debut show was the romantic drama Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil (2008), followed by the lead role in the soap opera Pavitra Rishta (2009–2011). He made his Bollywood debut in the film adaptation Kai Po Che! (2013) which became a commercial and critical success. Followed by his starring role in the romantic comedy Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) and the role of the titular detective in the action thriller Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015).
He also starred in a number of other films such as the reincarnation drama Raabta (2017), the historical drama Sonchiriya (2019) and the action thriller Drive (2019). His highest-grossing releases came with a supporting role in the satire PK (2014), and from the titular role in the sports biopic of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. For his performance in the latter, he received his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and became the winning nomination at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. Apart from acting, he was the founder of a non profit organisation and has been credited as the co-founder of a technological startup.
Rajput died by suicide at his home in Bandra, Mumbai in June 2020, aged 34. His last film, Dil Bechara (2020), was released posthumously on the streaming platform Hotstar.
He is also known as Sushi, SSR and Sush.
On 14 June 2020, Rajput, aged 34, was found dead, hanging from the ceiling fan in his home in Bandra, Mumbai. He had reportedly shown signs of clinical depression and was suffering from bipolar disorder. The Mumbai Police commenced an investigation, stating that the death was being treated as a suicide. The postmortem report stated that the cause of death was "asphyxia due to hanging," and called it a "clear case of suicide." The autopsy doctors placed time of death at 10 to 12 hours before postmortem examination on 14 June at 11:30 p.m.—meaning between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (Indian Standard Time). No foul play was found. The viscera report likewise ruled out foul play. On 25 July, Rajput's family lodged a first information report with police in Patna, where his father lives, accusing Rhea Chakraborty and five others of abetment of suicide.
On 31 July, Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a case to investigate money laundering of Rajput's money from his bank accounts by Chakraborty, her parents and associates. On 19 August 2020, the Supreme Court of India allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Indian national government's top investigating agency, to take control of the investigation and ordered the CBI to look into any future cases registered in relation to Rajput's death. Later, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) also filed a case to investigate drug peddling, based on phone chats forwarded to it by ED during its investigation.
On 8 September, Rhea Chakraborty was arrested by the NCB in a drug case linked to the investigation of the death probe. Prior to the arrest, 9 others were arrested by the NCB in the drug case including Rhea's brother, Showik Chakraborty.