Jayalalithaa - 1948-2016

Jayalalithaa: The silver screen queen

In 1961, at the age of 13, a young Jayalalithaa made her debut in a Kannada film. Pictured is a shot from her early days in cinema.
Her Tamil debut came only in 1965, at the age of 17, in the hugely popular ‘Vennira Aadai’.
Jayalalithaa entered the Telugu film industry in the same year, starring in ‘Manushulu Mamathalu’ opposite Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
1965 was also the year she hit a milestone with ‘Ayurathil Oruvan’, opposite M.G. Ramachandran.
The Jayalalithaa-MGR pairing, which proved, so successful the first time around in ‘Ayurathil Oruvan’, was repeated many times in Tamil cinema.
Her 1966 film 'Chandrodhayam' inspired by 'Roman Holiday', opposite MGR, fetched her a Special Award from Filmfare.
1969's 'Adimai Pen', where she starred opposite MGR, too fetched her a Special Award from Filmfare. Saroja Devi was originally cast in the role, but it eventually went to Jayalalithaa.
Though she has acted in a majority of films with MGR, she was also paired with actor Sivaji Ganesan a number of times. Here, the duo are seen in an image from ‘Neethi’.
She played Sivaji Ganesan’s daughter in ‘Motor Sundaram Pillai’ in 1966 and graduated to play his leading lady in the 1968 film ‘Galatta Kalyanam’. Here, they appear in an emotional scene in ‘Savaley Samali’, a milestone film for both actors.
In ‘Pattikada Pattanama’, she plays the role of a city woman who marries a villager. The role fetched her a Filmfare Award for Best Actress-Tamil in 1972, the year in which the award was first initiated. The movie also received a national award.
In ‘Suryakanthi’, Jayalalithaa plays a homemaker who takes to working to improve her family’s social situation and ends up in an ego clash with her husband.
Jayalalithaa acted in a fair number of films in both Kannada and Telugu cinema as well. Here, she is seen in a still from ‘Sri Krishna Vijayamu’ with N.T. Rama Rao.
Once known as ‘Kavarchi Kanni’, roughly translated as ‘Glamourous Woman’, Jayalalithaa was a multifaceted actor who was just as comfortable performing dramatic scenes as she was comedy.
Her final on-screen appearance as a film’s heroine was in 1980, in ‘Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal’. Seen here is an image from ‘Bagdad Perazhagi’

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