Sridevi — the full story

Malayalam was her springboard for stardom

In the opening sequence of the 1971 film, Poompatta, you would see this wide-eyed little girl in a frock, her hair tied behind with a ribbon, playing a prank on her mother.

The little girl, Sridevi, went on to capture the attention of an entire nation, becoming one of the most admired actresses of all time in Indian cinema. She also won quite a few awards, but her first was for Poompatta – the State Award for the best child artiste. In her formative years, Sridevi had appeared in several Malayalam films including Kuttavum Shikshayum, Aalinganam, Thulavarsham, Sathyavan Savithri, Angeekaram and Aa Nimisham; a couple of decades later she would return to do Devaragam.

Sheela was the heroine of Aa Nimisham. “That was the only film I did with her, but we were close all along and were in fact neighbours in Chennai,” Sheela told The Hindu. “My house at Poes Garden is near hers and she used to stay there whenever she visited Chennai.”

She said she had high regard for Sridevi as an actor. “She was stunningly beautiful, was a wonderful dancer, and extremely talented,” she said. “I loved her in Hindi films like Mr. India – that film ought to have been titled Miss India – and Chandni.”

“She was very friendly. I last met her at a function in Chennai three months ago. Soon after she began acting in Hindi films, her mother asked her to cut her hair, which was long and thick. I had to console the deeply upset Sridevi who just would not stop weeping.”

Though it was after Sadma that she started to get noticed in Hindi, her first film in that language was directed by a Malayali director K.S. Sethumadhavan. The film was Julie. “The young Sridevi was my neighbour at T. Nagar in Chennai,” said Sethumadhavan. “I felt she would be the right girl to play Lakshmi’s younger sister. She had also played an important role in Kuttavum Shikshayum, which I had produced. Yes, I would have loved to work with her more, but she had become too big a star.”

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 3:14:34 AM |

In This Package
Family, friends, fans bid farewell to Sridevi
Dubai probe ends, Sridevi’s body reaches Mumbai
Mortal remains of Sridevi arrive in Mumbai
Sridevi drowned in bathtub of hotel room in Dubai
The song-n-dance about her
Down memory lane with the divas who ruled Bollywood
Ms. India: on Sridevi's pan-India appeal
Celebrities inside, fans outside
Teary-eyed fans await their beloved star
Dubai Police awaits ‘clearance’, return of Sridevi’s mortal remains may be delayed
Sridevi: Star for all seasons
Sridevi, the diva always
Updates | Sridevi drowned in bathtub following loss of consciousness, says Dubai Police
No two views: ‘Mayil’ was one of a kind
Bollywood mourns the loss of its ‘Chandni’
‘She was very vulnerable’
‘We became best of friends’
Superstar Sridevi: the woman who rewrote the game
Farewell Sridevi, you will be missed
Officials finalise plan to bring back Sridevi’s mortal remains
Kannada film industry mourns death of iconic actor Sridevi
Sridevi in Telugu films: farewell Sridevi, you will be missed
Trivia Talk: The Sridevi you may not have known
Ilaiyaraja recounts moments of ‘Moondram Pirai’
Sridevi - an actor across generations
A photographer remembers Sridevi, the true professional
Sridevi in Tamil filmdom: the child artiste who made it big
Sridevi in an image from her first Tamil film in a leading role, 'Moondru Mudichu'
Sridevi: a picture of divine grace
Sridevi in 'Chaal Baaz'
Obituary | Superstar Sridevi: the woman who rewrote the game
Fans gather outside Sridevi’s house, mortal remains to arrive in Mumbai tonight
You are reading
Malayalam was her springboard for stardom
Sridevi and Sudhir in 'Thulavarsham'
Sridevi and the Malayalam film industry: nurturing young talent
Next Story