The father of Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, Dr Ashok Chopra, died on Monday morning, Chopra’s secretary has confirmed to tabloid!.
He was critically ill with liver cancer, and had been admitted at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.
“He passed away at 12.30 p.m. today [Monday]. He was undergoing cancer treatment,” hospital COO Ram Narain told IANS.
Ashok was admitted to the hospital 17 days ago, Narain said, adding that he was undergoing cancer treatment for the past few years but this time he was at the terminal stage.
The cremation ceremony will take place at 6pm Mumbai time on Monday. Chopra’s Don co-star Shah Rukh Khan is reportedly due to attend.
A doctor, he retired from the Indian Army in 1997 as a lieutenant colonel and is survived by his wife Madhu, also a former army doctor, daughter Chopra and son Siddharth.
Chopra, who was due to shoot for her Mary Kom biopic, put off her shooting to be with her father at the hospital.
“Priyanka was religiously attending each and every rehearsal. She doesn’t talk about her father’s illness with anyone. Nothing in her outward behaviour suggests anything irregular in her life. Only her close friends know what she is going through,” a source from the Mary Kom film crew was quoted as saying in news reports.
Ashok was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. The actress and her father were close, with the actress calling herself “Daddy’s little girl”. Those words were tattooed on her wrist. In the last few days, Chopra took to twitter to express her anguish. Several pictures featuring her dad were posted as she prayed for strength.
A few minutes after the news was confirmed, Chopra’s Bollywood colleagues such as Bipasha Basu took to twitter to express their condolences. “Strength to u @priyankachopra n ur family,” tweeted Basu.