Mumbai | "Dhoom" director Sanjay Gadhvi died on Sunday morning at his residence here, his elder daughter Sanjina said. He was 56.
Gadhvi, who was three days shy of his 57th birthday, is best known for helming two blockbuster hits in the Yash Raj Films' "Dhoom" franchise -- "Dhoom" (2004) and "Dhoom 2" (2006).
According to Gadhvi's daughter, the director was "perfectly healthy".
"He passed away at 9.30 am this morning at his residence. We are not sure what it is, but it is most likely a heart attack. He wasn't unwell, he was perfectly healthy," Sanjina told PTI.
Gadhvi made his directorial debut in 2000 with "Tere Liye", which he followed up with 2002's "Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai", his first project with Yash Raj Films (YRF).
In a statement shared on X, the studio said the "magic Gadhvi created on screen will be cherished forever". "May his soul rest in peace. #SanjayGadhvi," it further read.
Gadhvi gained prominence with his third directorial, the stylish action thriller "Dhoom", which made motorbiking a rage among Indian youth in the early 2000s.
The 2002 film followed the story of a cat and mouse game between a gang of motorbike robbers, led by Kabir (John Abraham), and Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan), a Mumbai cop who teams up with Ali (Uday Chopra), a motorbike dealer to stop them. It also starred Esha Deol and Rimi Sen.
The success of "Dhoom" spawned a film franchise.
Gadhvi also directed its superhit sequel "Dhoom 2". The 2006 film starred Abhishek, Chopra, Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Bipasha Basu.
Abhishek said he was shocked beyond belief by the filmmaker's sudden demise.
"Sanju, when I spoke to you last week and we were reminiscing about our shoots and memories I would never have imagined even in my craziest dreams that I would have to write a post like this. I’m shocked beyond belief," the actor wrote on Instagram alongside a photo he took of Gadhvi while they were filming the climax of "Dhoom 2" in South Africa.
"You had faith in me, even when I didn’t. You gave me my first ever hit! I can never ever forget that or be able express what it meant to me. I will cherish your friendship always. Rest in peace my brother," Abhishek added.
Bipasha shared a picture of Gadhvi on Instagram Stories and wrote, “Rip my friend Om Shanti @sanjaygadhvi4 Gone too soon.” The third installment of "Dhoom" franchise was directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya. The 2013 movie featured Bachchan, Chopra, Aamir Khan, and Katrina Kaif.
Shibasish Sarkar , president, Producers Guild of India wrote on X: "It's shocking.... Sanjay is no more!! Pray to God for his soul to rest in peace and give all the strength to his family." Kunal Kohli, director of "Hum Tum" and "Fanaa", was one of the first film personalities to condole Gadhvi's demise on social media.
"This is beyond shocking. #SanjayGadhvi RIP never thought I’d have to write your obituary. Shared an office for many years at YRF, lunch dubbas, discussions. Will miss you my friend. This is too hard to accept," Kohli wrote in an X post.
Tusshar Kapoor said Gadhvi was a "trailblazing director".
"RIP #Sanjaygadhvi ….gone too soon! A trailblazing director of the blockbuster #Dhoom franchise!" he posted.
Gadhvi's other film credits are "Kidnap" (2008), "Ajab Gazabb Love" (2012) and "Operation Parindey", his last directorial which was released in 2020.
Besides Sanjini, Gadhvi is survived by his wife and another daughter