Padmini (actress)

Last updated

Padmini Ramachandran
Padmini Ramachandran.jpg
Padmini in 1950

(1932-06-12)12 June 1932 [1]
Died24 September 2006(2006-09-24) (aged 74)
Other namesNatiya Peroli, Pappima, Thiruvancore Sisters
Years active1950-1972 (as a leading actress), 1947-1949,1977-1994 (as a supporting artist), 2002 (Television)
(m. 1961;died 1981)
ChildrenPremanand (b.1963)
Relatives Shobana (niece)
Ambika Sukumaran
Vineeth (nephew)
Sukumari (cousin)
Family Lalitha (sister)
Ragini (sister)
Chandra Kumar (brother)
Padmini Signature.svg

Padmini Ramachandran (12 June 1932 – 24 September 2006) [1] [2] [3] was an Indian actress and trained Bharatanatyam dancer, who acted in over 250 Indian films. [1] She acted in Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu and Russian language films. Padmini, with her elder sister Lalitha and her younger sister Ragini, were called the "Travancore sisters". [4]


Early life

Padmini was born and raised in Trivandrum (present-day Thiruvananthapuram), in what was then the princely state of Travancore (now the Indian state of Kerala) to a Malayali-speaking family. She was the second daughter of Sree Thankappan Pillai and Saraswathi Amma. [1]


At the age of 16, Padmini was cast as the dancer in the Hindi film Kalpana (1948), launching her career. [5] She acted in films consecutively for nearly 30 years in the first lease of her career. [6] Padmini starred with several of the most well-known actors in Indian film, including Sivaji Ganesan, M. G. Ramachandran, N. T. Rama Rao, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Sathyan, Prem Nazir, Rajkumar, Gemini Ganesan and S. S. Rajendran. Ezhai Padum Padu , released in 1950, was her first film in Tamil. V A Gopalakrishnan taught Padmini sisters Tamil since their mother-tongue was Malayalam. He was associated with Pakshi Raja studios. [1] Padmini Ramachandran's association with Sivaji Ganesan started with the film Panam in 1952. [5] Some of her notable Tamil films include Sampoorna Ramayanam (1958 film) (1958), Thanga Padhumai , Anbu (1953), Kaattu Roja, Thillana Mohanambal (1968), Vietnam Veedu, Edhir Paradhathu , Sri Valli (1961). Other projects include Mangayar Thilakam and Poove Poochudava (1985), Thaikku Oru Thalattu (1986), Lakshmi Vandhachu (1986) and Aayiram Kannudayaal (1986). Some of her Malayalam films include Prasanna, Snehaseema, Vivaahitha, Adhyaapika, Kumara Sambhavam (a 1969 Tamil/Malayalam bilingual), Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu (1984). Whereas Vasthuhara and Dolar marked the latter's last few films in her acting career and in Malayalam too after which, she immediately retired as an actress and hasn't appeared in any movies since. [4]

In two of her Bollywood films— Mera Naam Joker (1970), also Rishi Kapoor's debut film and Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1960), she was paired with Raj Kapoor. She did another film with Raj Kapoor – Aashiq (1962). Her other Bollywood films include Amardeep (1958), Payal (1957), Afsana (1966), Vaasna (1968), Chanda Aur Bijli (1969) and Babubhai Mistry's Mahabharat (1965). [1] Her most famous was Thillana Mohanambal - a Tamil film where she plays a dancer competing against a musician to see, whose skills are better. [4] She also acted in a 1957 Indian-Soviet film Journey Beyond Three Seas (Hindi version: Pardesi) based on the travelogues of Russian traveler Afanasy Nikitin, called A Journey Beyond the Three Seas.

Personal life

In 1961, Padmini married Ramachandran, a U.S.-based physician. [4] [1] She immediately retired from films, joined her husband in the United States, and focused on family life. [4] The couple had one son, born in 1963, who now lives in Hillsdale, New Jersey and works for Warner Brothers. [7] [5] Sixteen years after her wedding, in 1977, Padmini opened a classical dance school in New Jersey, named the Padmini School of Fine Arts. [5] Today, her school is considered one of the largest Indian classical dance institutions in America.[ citation needed ]. Actress Sukumari was the maternal first cousin of Padmini and her sisters (the Travancore sisters). Shobana, the famous dancer, is the niece of Padmini. Malayalam actress Ambika Sukumaran is her relative. Actors Vineeth and Krishna are among her relatives. Padmini died of a heart attack at the Chennai Apollo Hospital on 24 September 2006 (aged 76 at the time). She was hospitalized on the previous day when she suffered a fatal heart attack during a meeting with the then Tamil Nadu CM M. Karunanidhi. She was survived by a son, who is settled in the United States. Padmini was well known for her professional rivalry with actress Vyjayanthimala, the successful dancer-actress. [8] They performed a dance number in the Tamil film Vanjikottai Valiban ; the well-known song was "Kannum Kannum Kalanthu", which was sung by P. Leela and Jikki. In the song, they were pitted against each other. Due to their professional rivalry, the song has a cult following since the film was released. [8]





See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shobana</span> Bharatanatyam dancer

Shobana Chandrakumar Pillai is an Indian actress and Bharatanatyam dancer. She acts predominantly in Malayalam films along with Telugu and Tamil films with a few Hindi, Kannada and English films. She has won two National Film Awards, one Kerala State Film Awards, two Filmfare Awards South, with 14 Nominations for Best Actress Category in three different south Indian languages, Tamil Nadu State's Kalaimamani Award in 2011 and numerous other awards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Meena (actress)</span> Indian actress (born 1976)

Meena Durairaj, known professionally as Meena, is an Indian actress who predominantly works in the South Indian film industry as well as Hindi cinema. Meena has acted in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi films. In addition to acting, Meena is also a playback singer, TV judge, and occasional dubbing artist. She has received numerous accolades, including two Filmfare Awards South, three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, two Nandi Award for Best Actress and Cinema Express Awards. In 1998, she was honoured with the Kalaimamani Award by Government of Tamil Nadu.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gemini Ganesan</span> Indian actor

Ramasamy Ganesan, better known by his stage name Gemini Ganesan, was an Indian actor who worked mainly in Tamil cinema. He was referred to as the Kaadhal Mannan for his romantic roles in films. Ganesan was one of the "three biggest names of Tamil cinema", the other two being M. G. Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan. While Sivaji Ganesan excelled in dramatic films and M. G. Ramachandran was popular as an action hero, Gemini Ganesan was known for his romantic films. A recipient of the Padma Shri in 1971, he had also won several other awards including the Kalaimamani, the MGR Gold Medal, and the Screen Lifetime Achievement Award. He was one of the few college graduates to enter the film industry then.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Travancore sisters</span>

Travancore Sisters refers to the trio of Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini who were actresses, dancers and performers in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Kannada films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bhanupriya</span> Indian actress

Bhanupriya is an Indian actress, Kuchipudi dancer, and voice artist. In a career spanning over 4 decades, Bhanupriya has appeared in 155 feature films- predominantly in Telugu & Tamil, in addition to occasional performances in Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi films as well. She has started in a variety of roles, ranging from slapstick comedy-to-epic dramas. She has garnered three state Nandi Awards, two Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, two Filmfare Awards South and two Cinema Express Awards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Savitri (actress)</span> Indian actress

Savitri Ganesan was an Indian actress, playback singer, dancer, director, and producer known for her works primarily in Tamil and Telugu cinema. She had also worked in Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam films. She starred in more than 250 films over three decades. She was one of the highest-paid and most popular Indian actresses from the 1950s to early 70s, and is known by the epithets Mahanati and Nadigaiyar Thilagam.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vyjayanthimala</span> Indian actress, dancer & parliamentarian (born 1936)

Vyjayanthimala is a former Indian actress, dancer and parliamentarian. She is the recipient of several accolades, including two BFJA Awards and five Filmfare Awards. She made her screen debut at the age of thirteen with the Tamil film Vaazhkai (1949), and followed this with a role in the Telugu film Jeevitham (1950). Her first work in Hindi cinema was the social guidance film Bahar (1951), which she headlined, and achieved her breakthrough with the romantic film Nagin (1954).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sukumari</span> Indian film actress

Sukumari Amma was an Indian actress best known for her works in Malayalam and Tamil films. In a career spanning more than five decades, She has appeared in more than 2500 films predominantly in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, along with few Hindi and one each in Sinhala, French, Bengali, Tulu, English and Kannada films. Sukumari began acting at the age of 10. In 2003, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions toward the arts. She won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Tamil film Namma Gramam (2010). Sukumari died on 26 March 2013 in Chennai, following a heart attack.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Filmfare Awards South</span> South Indian segment of Filmfare Awards

Filmfare Awards South is the South Indian segment of the annual Filmfare Awards, presented by the Filmfare magazine of The Times Group to honour both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in the Indian film industry encompassing four languages, namely, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. They were introduced in 1954, around the films released in 1952-53 and Filmfare Awards initially recognizing the Hindi film industry. In 1964 awards were extended in Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Marathi, around the films released in 1963. The inclusion of the Malayalam cinema in the awards came in 1967 while Kannada cinema was recognized in 1970. Each industry is given its own set of creative awards in annual ceremonies that have predominantly been held in Hyderabad and Chennai. Before 1976, the Awards ceremony was held in Mumbai along with Hindi awards. From 1976, Southern region film awards were separated from Hindi and moved to Chennai. Kamal Haasan and Uday Kiran hold the record for being the youngest to win the Best Actor award.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vineeth</span> Indian actor

Vineeth Radhakrishnan is an Indian actor, classical dancer, voice artist and choreographer who primarily works in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu language films. He has also starred in a few Kannada and Bollywood films. He has won several awards including 2 Kerala State Film Awards, Kalaimamani from Government of Tamil Nadu and Filmfare Award South.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lakshmi (actress)</span> Indian actress (born 1952)

Mahalakshmi, known professionally as Lakshmi, is an Indian actress known for her works primarily in the southern film industry, along with some Hindi films. She made her film debut through a Tamil film Sri Valli in 1961. Her debut as an actress happened with the Tamil film Jeevanaamsam in 1968. In the same year, she also debuted in Kannada and Telugu films with Goa Dalli CID 999 and Bandhavyalu, respectively.

Zareena Moidu, known by her stage name Nadia Moidu or simply Nadhiya, is an Indian actress who predominantly appears in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films. She made her debut in the 1984 Malayalam-language film Nokketha Doorathu Kannum Nattu for which she won Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam. She subsequently starred in a series of commercially successful films. After her marriage in 1988, she lived in the United States and later in the United Kingdom with her husband Shirish Godbole and two daughters before moving back to India in 2007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ragini (actress)</span> Indian actress

Ragini was an Indian actress and dancer. She was the youngest of the Travancore Sisters; Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini. She started her acting career in the mid-1950s along with her sister Padmini and has acted in movies of different Indian languages, including Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. She also starred opposite Shammi Kapoor in film Mujrim (1958). She played the role of Parvati opposite Trilok Kapoor who played Shiva in the 1962 film Shiv Parvati. The era of dance in Hindi cinema is considered to have begun with the entrance of Ragini and other South Indian actresses. Ragini died of breast cancer in 1976. She had acted in many dramas also.

<i>Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu</i> 1984 film directed by Fazil

Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu is a 1984 Indian Malayalam-language drama film written and directed by Fazil, and starring Mohanlal, Nadhiya Moidu, Padmini. The film features original songs composed by Jerry Amaldev and background score by Johnson. Nadhiya made her Malayalam and acting debut through this film. The film also marked the comeback of Padmini after a hiatus. Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu was the highest-grossing Malayalam films of the year at the box office and ran for more than 200 days in theatres. It won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value. Nadhiya won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Malayalam. The film was remade in Tamil titled Poove Poochooda Vaa (1985) by Fazil himself, and in Telugu as Muddula Manavaraalu (1986) by Jandhyala.

<i>Vanji Kottai Valipan</i> 1958 Indian film

Vanji Kottai Valipan is a 1958 Indian Tamil-language Ruritanian romance film written by the Gemini Studios story department, consisting of K. J. Mahadevan, C. Srinivasan and Kothamangalam Subbu, while the film was directed and produced by S. S. Vasan. It stars Gemini Ganesan and Vyjayanthimala and Padmini, with P. S. Veerappa, T. K. Shanmugam, P. Kannamba, Vijayakumari, K. A. Thangavelu and M. S. Sundari Bai in supporting roles. The camera was handled by P. Ellappa and the audiography was handled by C. E. Biggs, while the editing was done by N. R. Krishna Sami. This film was remade in Hindi as Raj Tilak with the same lead actors.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kutty Padmini</span> South Indian movie actress

Kutty Padmini is an Indian actress who mainly works in Tamil cinema. She was a child star in her debut movie Ambala Anjulam (1959). She has also acted in Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi movies. She made her debut in Tamil cinema at the age of 3. She has acted with prominent personalities of Tamil cinema, including Sivaji Ganesan, M. G. Ramachandran, Gemini Ganesan, Jaishankar, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. She was the first female artist from Tamil Nadu to win the National Film Award for Best Child Artist for the movie Kuzhandaiyum Deivamum. The first Tamil child artiste to win the award was Kamal Haasan for Kalathur Kannamma.

<i>Thillana Mohanambal</i> 1968 film by A. P. Nagarajan

Thillana Mohanambal is a 1968 Indian Tamil-language musical drama film written, directed and produced by A. P. Nagarajan. The film stars Sivaji Ganesan, Padmini and T. S. Balaiah, with A. V. M. Rajan, Nagesh and Manorama in supporting roles. It tells the story of Shanmugasundaram, a nadaswaram player who falls in love with Mohanambal, a Bharatanatyam dancer who reciprocates his feelings, but unfortunate circumstances and their egoistic nature prevents them from confessing their love for one another. How they overcome their self-created obstacles and those created by the people around them forms the rest of the story.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kannum Kannum Kalanthu</span> A song from the 1958 film Vanjikottai Valiban

"Kannum Kannum Kalanthu" is a Tamil song from the 1958 film Vanjikottai Valiban, directed by S. S. Vasan. The song was composed by C. Ramchandra, and R.Vaidyanathan, lyrics penned by Kothamangalam Subbu and sung by P. Leela and Jikki. The song was remade in Hindi by C. Ramchandra "Aaja To Aaja" from Raj Tilak composed by written by P. L. Santoshi with Asha Bhosle and Sudha Malhotra rendered their voice. The song was picturised at the Gemini Studios at Chennai. The song was well received along with the dance number picturised on Vyjayanthimala and Padmini was a super success.

Ambika Sukumaran Nair is an Indian actress best known for her work in Malayalam cinema during the 1950s and 1960s. She belongs to Travancore Royal family and grand daughter of great painter Raja Ravi Varma, She is a close relative of the Travancore Sisters; Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini, and also Shobana, Vineeth, Krishna and Sukumari. Ambika also was initiated to go along that path and she debuted in Udaya Studio's film Visappinte Vili in 1952 she is also the first herion of Premnazir. In 1968, she acted as the lead actress in the first full-length comedy in Malayalam cinema Viruthan Shanku, directed by P. Venu. She acted in more than 80 movies.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Front Page : Queen of Tamil cinema no more". The Hindu . Chennai, India. 26 September 2006. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  2. Padmini Ramachandran – Indian Actress and Dancer – Obituary
  3. "Actress Padmini dead". Archived from the original on 6 July 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Friday Review Chennai : Beauty, charm, charisma". The Hindu . Chennai, India. 29 September 2006. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Entertainment / Interview : The tillana glitter is intact". The Hindu . Chennai, India. 24 September 2004. Archived from the original on 30 November 2004. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  6. "Beauty, charm, charisma". The Hindu . Chennai, India. 29 September 2006. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008.
  7. Padmini to relocate
  8. 1 2 Randor Guy (26 March 2011). "Vanjikottai Vaaliban 1958". The Hindu . Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  9. Sulochana Pattabhiraman (4 February 2001). "A role model". The Hindu . Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2011.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. "Miscellaneous / This Day That Age: dated March 17, 2010: Afro-Asian film festival". The Hindu . Chennai, India. 17 March 2010. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.