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India Mourns as Young Bollywood actress Jiah Khan commits suicide by hanging herself in India

Bollywood actress Jiah Khan found dead in Mumbai

Boman Irani, who acted with Jiah Khan in her last film Houseful, told BBC Asian Network she was "quiet, reticent... charming"

Bollywood actress Jiah Khan has been found dead at her apartment in the Indian city of Mumbai, police say.

Khan's mother found her body hanging at her home, police told the BBC. No suicide note has been found, they said.

A post-mortem examination is to be carried out to establish the cause of death and police say they are seeking information from her neighbours.

The 25-year-old actress made her debut in 2007 with Amitabh Bachchan. She also acted with Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar.

"Nafisa Khan, who is known as Jiah Khan, was found hanging by her mother at around 22:45 India time [17:15GMT] ) at her residence on the first floor of Sagar Sangeet [apartment]," deputy commissioner of police Chhering Dorje said.

"Her body has been taken to the hospital where a post-mortem will be conducted to find the cause of her death," he added.

Jiah Khan was born in New York and grew up in London before moving to Mumbai for a career in Bollywood.

She acted in Nishabd, starring Bachchan, and the psychological thriller, Ghajini, which had Aamir Khan in the lead role.

Her last film was in the 2010 comedy Housefull, in which she played a supporting role.

'Too young to go'

Her death caused shock within the film industry.

"Never ever seen a debutant actress with more spunk and more spirit than Jiah when I was directing her in Nishabd," filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma wrote on Twitter.

Bachchan also took to Twitter to react on his colleague's death: "WHAT ...!!! Jiah Khan? What has happened? Is this correct? Unbelievable!!!" 

Wrote fellow actress Dia Mirza: "RIP Nafisa (Jiah) Khan. You were too young and beautiful…"

Filmmaker-choreographer Farah Khan tweeted: "Can't register that Jiah is no more... Worked with her in Housefull and she was so beautiful and such a good soul. Too young to go Jiah."

Jiah Khan's "official" website says she was born in New York and brought up in London. It says she went to New York to study acting.

She also featured in an advert for the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).

Jiah Khan: Once Bollywood's brightest young thing

Jiah Khan: Once Bollywood's brightest young thing
When Jiah Khan made her Bollywood debut, aged 18, the stars seemed her destiny. Her first co-star was no less a person than Amitabh Bachchan, in the controversial Nishabd, directed by Ram Gopal Varma. But after making a splash with her first film, Jiah Khan faded away be degrees. She died in her Mumbai home on June 3, reportedly having committed suicide. She was 25.

Jiah Khan, real name Nafisa, was born in London on February 20, 1988. Her mother, Rabiya Amin, was a little-known actress in 1980s Bollywood, best remembered for appearing in Tahir Hussain's Dulha Bikta Nahin. Young Nafisa studied film and literature in London and then moved to New York to attend the famed Lee Strasberg Academy of Dramatic Arts. She quit her acting course after landing a Bollywood role.

Now called Jiah Khan, her first film was meant to be Mahesh Bhatt's Tumsa Nahin Dekha (2004). Then just 16, Jiah backed out of the role of a strip dancer, feeling it was too mature for her, and was replaced by Dia Mirza. She was then cast in Ram Gopal Varma's Nishabd which released in 2007. The Lolita-esque story was reportedly inspired by both Kevin Spacey film American Beauty and Rajesh Khanna's Anokha Rishta. The no-holds-barred Nishabd starred Jiah as a seductive teen who falls in love with her best friend's father, played by Amitabh Bachchan. The film shocked critics and cine-goers with its provocative content but Jiah herself was widely praised for her confidence, screen presence and appeal. She was nominated for a Filmfare Best Debut award and became known as Bollywood's next big thing.

However, the roles were few and far between. Her next film was the superhit Ghajini (2008), starring Aamir Khan and Asin. Jiah played medical student Sunita who investigates and then befriends a mysterious businessman with amnesia. Jiah's third film was 2010 blockbuster Housefull, in which she played the third female lead with Deepika Padukone and Lara Dutta.

Jiah was also cast opposite Shahid Kapoor in Chance Pe Dance and shot a large portion of the film before being replaced by Genelia D'Souza. However, she was signed for a two-film deal by UTV Motion Pictures and a three-film deal by Ghajini producer Madhu Mantena. She had also signed a Hollywood film, according to her website.

Jiah had lately changed her name back to Nafisa Khan and lived in Mumbai with her mother Rabiya. She was a committed PETA campaigner and helped get glass-coated manja banned during kite-flying festivals. Jiah had also recorded six pop songs and sang playback for the song Take Lite from Nishabd. She described herself on her Twitter feed as "actor, poet, singer, musician and dreamer" and spoke of seeing "life through my rose coloured glasses."

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