Sophiya Haque (1971-2013)
It is with great sadness that we can confirm that Sophiya Haque passed away last night, on 16th January 2013, at the age of 41.
Her loving partner David White confirmed that Sophiya had been diagnosed with a form of cancer just several weeks ago, and died suddenly but peacefully in her sleep last night. Sophiya had been appearing in Privates on Parade as part of the Michael Grandage season in the West End.
Managing Director Stuart Piper writes, "Sophiya was one of the most inspirational people I ever met. She was the kind of person you always want to spend time with: full of light, warmth, compassion, care and with an infectiously wicked sense of humour and I loved every minute of working with her. On stage, it was like you were watching her in close up even if you were sat at the back of the stalls such was her star presence and charisma. I am so desperately sad that she has been lost to the world at such a tragically young age, but feel blessed to have known her. Our whole team miss her greatly".
Agent Oliver Thomson writes, "I would like to say that Sophiya Haque was a wonderful actress, a wonderful client but so much more than that a wonderful friend. She was adored by everyone she worked with and will be deeply missed".
Michael Grandage and executive producer James Bierman added: “We are devastated by Sophiya’s sudden passing. She was a true force of nature and her glorious performance as Sylvia is one that will be remembered with great joy. A spirited lady, she lived life to the full, and her presence in the theatre will be sorely missed. The company would like to dedicate the remaining performances to her memory.”
Sophiya began her dance training whilst still in her nappies with Mary Forrester in her hometown of Portsmouth before training full time at The Arts Educational School London. Her evenings were spent writing and recording new songs with her band Akasa which led to a record deal with Warner Bros in 88’. With the success of her music video One Night In My Life directed by the legendary Jack Cardiff, Sophiya was snapped up by the bosses at MTV Asia. Over the next 7 years her presenting career gave her the title of the ‘First Lady’ of music television, with her daily shows reaching 53 countries. After her move to Bombay in ’97, Bollywood came calling and Sophiya lent her dance talents to the likes of Sanjay Dutt, Abhishek Bachan, Salman Khan, Mani Ratnam. Saroj Khan and Farah Khan to name but a few; her personal favourite - The Rising with Aamir Khan. Sophiya’s acting debut came in the form of a lead role in the film Snip.
Sophiya returned to the UK in 2002 to begin a two year run of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams at The Apollo Victoria as Rani Goddess Of Love. Her next role was as the Jannoo Rani which she created for the West End musical The Far Pavilions directed by Gale Edwards at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Since then, Sophiya remained in the UK; working in film, TV and Radio, most notably as Puja in the Angelina Jolie flick Wanted, as barmaid Poppy Morales in ITV’s Coronation Street and as a DJ for The BBC Asian Network. On stage she played Soraya in Wah Wah Girls for Kneehigh/Theatre Royal Stratford East/Sadlers Wells, Shindie in Rifco Art's Britain's Got Bhangra, Asha in Ghandi & Coconuts at the Arcola and The Vagina Monologues at the Southbank Centre. Sophiya was also delighted to have been musical stager and assistant director on the new musical Rue Magique at The Kings Head Theatre.
Most recently had completed filming the regular character of Senkhara in the hit Nikelodeon TV series House of Anubis and as Sarala in the feature Jadoo. Her last performance in Privates on Parade was shortly before Christmas in the West End.