Sudden success, massive failures, or heartbreaks. There are several reasons for which many Bollywood celebrities took to alcohol. Some of them indulged in binge drinking and later became alcoholic while others became habitual drinkers. Many successfully battled the problem and emerged better, while others ended their lives out of frustration.
Here are nine Bollywood celebrities who have battled alcoholism at various stages of their career.
1. Guru Dutt
Perhaps nothing comes close to the real life tragic story of Guru Dutt who tasted success and failure in equal measure. He discovered and mentored actress Waheeda Rahman and the two fell in love with each other. The actor-director was already married to hugely popular singer Geeta Dutt. The Guru Dutt-Waheeda Rahman affair was doomed right from the beginning and has, over the years, become stuff of Bollywood legends. Dutt, a casual drinker, became an alcoholic after his breakup with Waheeda. He soon committed suicide by an overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol.
2. Meena Kumari
She was one of the most successful and respected actresses of the sixties, before she started losing it all to alcohol. In matters of the heart, she knew no restrains. Meena Kumari, then an already established star, mentored a young and struggling Dharmendra. They shared the frame for the first time in Purnima (1965) and were a pair. Cracks soon appeared in their relationship and Meena Kumari took to drinking. She died of liver cirrhosis on 31 March 1972 at the age of 39. Her real life events became the reason behind her nickname: Tragedy Queen.
3. Sanjeev Kumar
Unarguably one of the best actors in the history of Bollwood, Sanjeev Kumar’s life, in many ways, had several personal tragedies like Meena Kumari. He was in love with Hema Malini, who never responded to his feelings. Notwithstanding his superbly sensitive performances in films like Koshish (1972) and Aandhi (1975), Sanjeev Kumar was one of those rare Bollywood celebrities, who was a shell of a person in real life, and drowned his sorrows in alcohol. But he never allowed that to affect his career. He died of a massive heart attack on 6 November 1985. He was 47.