A shrill whistle by yesteryear actor M. Leelavathi stunned the audience at the Priyadarshini Mandir at Badami House here on Saturday. They were surprised that the 75-year-old actor could whistle at her age.

Recollecting her childhood and her struggle to find a foothold in the film industry, Ms. Leelavathi went down memory lane during an emotional interaction with fans on Saturday. The interaction was facilitated by the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy during “Belli Hejje”.

Ms. Leelavathi, who was accompanied by her son, said she regretted not having received an award from the Kannada film industry though she had acted in numerous films. The members of the audience, however, reassured her that someone of her stature did not need a formal award to be recognised.

When asked to share her experiences while working with the late thespian Rajkumar, with whom she had been paired with in many films, she recalled an incident in north Karnataka where one of her fans asked where her husband was. “It is unfortunate that in reality we could not lead our lives together, though we were a great screen couple,” she concluded.

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