In-Depth

Six decades of Manorama

Actor, comedian and singer Manorama, affectionately referred to as ‘Aachi’, whose performance matched and sometimes bettered the lead actors of her movies, died of multiple organ failure in Chennai on Saturday, October 10, 2015.

She was 78 and is survived by her son and singer-actor Boopathy.

We take a brief look at her illustrious career and numerous co-stars.

'Aachi', the Legend

Affectionately referred to as ‘Aachi’, actor Manorama's performance matched and sometimes bettered the lead actors of her movies.

Manorama with Cho Ramaswamy in 'Onne Onnu Kanne Kannu'. The song that established her as a singer, 'Vaa vadhyaare ootanda', was sung with Cho.

Manorama shares screen space with Nagesh and Sowcar Janaki in 'Ethir Neechal'. Nagesh is said to have once remarked that Manorama could eat him for lunch.

Thengai Srinivasan's 'Madras Tamil' had only one match - Manorama could out-talk him when it came down to it. Here, a still from 'Kaasethan Kadavulada'.

But perhaps her breakout role was as the unforgettable Karuppayee-turned Jil Jil Ramamani turned Rojarani of 'Thillana Mohanambal'. In fact, Cho is said to have remarked that Manorama was the "female Sivaji Ganesan".

With the next gen - Manorama with Kamal Haasan in 'Michael Madana Kama Rajan'.

Who's the superstar? - Manorama with Rajinikanth in 'Billa'.

Manorama with M.G.R. in 'Anbe Vaa'.

Manorama with Jayalalithaa in 'Kandan Karunai'.

NTR was one of three Chief Ministers Manorama acted with.

>Fact File

  • One of Manorama's biggest achievements, was, perhaps, combing well with all of the lead comedians across five different generations.
  • M.R.Radha, Nagesh, Thengai Srinivasan, Janagaraj, Pandia Rajan, Goundamani and Senthil, Vivek and Vadivelu - she has worked with them all.
  • She has acted with three legendary actors who would all go on to become Chief Ministers - M.G.Ramachandran, Jayalalithaa and N.T.Rama Rao. She has also appeared in plays written by two former Chief Ministers - C.N. Annadurai and M. Karunanidhi.
  • She went on to sing under every music director even as she was leaving her mark in the film industry as a comedian. For A.R. Rahman, she sang 'Madrasai Suthi Paarka Poren' for the film May Matham.
  • She was caught in a rare controversy when she campaigned against actor Rajinikanth in support of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the 1996 elections.

She has also shared screen space with popular 90's comedians Goundamani and Senthil in several films. Seen here in a picture from 'Chinna Gounder', where she also acted with Vijayakant.

'Madrasa Suthi Paaka Poren' - the iconic song in May Madham sung by Manorama for A.R.Rahman.

She played a pivotal character in the Telugu blockbuster 'Arundhati', sharing screen space with Anushka Shetty.

She is also one of those rare actors who has acted with current film stars. Here, with Suriya in an image from 'Perazhagan'.



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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 7:42:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/specials/in-depth/six-decades-of-manorama/article7749771.ece

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