Jayalalithaa - 1948-2016

Jayalalithaa - early life and times

A file photo of Jayalalithaa  

Jayalalithaa was born on February 24, 1948, at Melkote in Mandya district of  Karnataka to Jayaram, a lawyer, and Vedavalli in a Tamil Iyengar family.

At birth, she was named Komalavalli, and was renamed Jayalalithaa at the age of 1. Her father Jayaram passed away when she was 2. She had a brother, who was named Jayakumar.

After her father’s death in 1950, her mother moved to Bengaluru. Jayalalithaa had to shuffle between the houses of her grandparents in Mysuru and that of her aunt in Bengaluru.


Years later, in a television interview, she reminisced how, as a child, she missed living with her mother.

After her aunt Padmavalli’s marriage, Jayalalithaa moved to Chennai with her mother, and joined the Sacred Heart School, Church Park. She took lessons in Carnatic music and dance.

She learnt Bharatanatyam under the tutelage of K.J. Sarasa. Her ‘arangetram’ in Mylapore was presided over by actor Sivaji Ganesan. The chief guest urged her to join the film industry.

A poster of 'Vennira Aadai'

A poster of 'Vennira Aadai'  

Her first film in a lead role was ‘Vennira Aadai’ in 1965, directed by C.V. Sridhar. Her Telugu debut was in ‘Manushulu Mamathalu’, opposite Akkineni Nageswara Rao.


A scene from 'Izzat'

A scene from 'Izzat'  


Apart from acting in a Hindi film ('Izzat') with Dharmendra in 1968, she starred in 28 hit films with M.G. Ramachandran from 1965 to 1973.


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Printable version | Feb 22, 2021 12:43:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Jayalalithaa-early-life-and-times/article16762835.ece1

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