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31 August 1945
|Other names||Rajasri, Gracy, Rajasree.T|
|Occupation||Actress, Classical dancer|
|Spouse(s)||Thota Panchajanyam (1978-1983 till his death)|
|Children||1 son (b.1979)|
Rajasree (Rajasree Thota Panchajanyam,Kusuma Kumari, Telugu: కుసుమా కుమారి, born 31 August 1945), also known as Rajasri or Rajashri, is a noted South Indian film actress from 1956 to 1979. She is particularly famous for her portrayal as princess in several folklore Telugu movies opposite N. T. Rama Rao and Tadepalli Lakshmi Kanta Rao and for acting alongside Ravichandran in the Tamil comedy films – Neeyum Naanum, Kadhalikka Neram Illai and Delhi Mappilai. Notable among Rajasri's roles in non-folklore social films in Tamil are as Nimmi in Tamil hit comedy film Kaadhalikka Neramillai , remade as Preminchi Choodu in Telugu, as movie star Bhama in Tamil film Bama Vijayam . She was credited as Gracy in the Malayalam movies she starred in her career since her debut film Bharya (1962) directed by Kunchakko. Rajasree went on to do 200 films spread across the languages – Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam (as Gracy) and Hindi from beginning of 1956 to 1979.
Telugu is a Dravidian language spoken in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and the union territories of Puducherry (Yanam) by the Telugu people. It stands alongside Hindi, English and Bengali as one of the few languages with primary official language status in more than one Indian state. There are also significant linguistic minorities in neighbouring states. It is one of six languages designated a classical language of India by the country's government.
Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, popularly known as NTR, was an Indian actor, producer, director, editor and politician who served as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for seven years over three terms. He is widely regarded as one of the best actors of Indian cinema. NTR received three National Film Awards for co-producing Thodu Dongalu (1954) and Seetharama Kalyanam (1960) under National Art Theater, Madras, and for directing Varakatnam (1970). NTR has received the erstwhile Rashtrapati Awards for his performance(s) in the films Raju Peda (1954) and Lava Kusa (1963). He garnered the Nandi Award for Best Actor for Kodalu Diddina Kapuram in 1970, and the Inaugural Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu in 1972 for Badi Panthulu.
Ravichandran was a Malaysian Indian actor who played lead hero roles in Tamil films from 1964 to 1979. He has also acted in supporting roles from 1986, and directed a few films.
Rajsree first appeared as a child artiste in the Tamil film Naga Devadhai in 1956. She worked as child artiste in films like Bhaktha Ambarisha(1959) and Mangalyam(1960) in Telugu, Aasha Sundari(1960) in Kannada, Petraval Kanda Peruvazhvu (1960)and Baktha Sabari(1960) in Tamil. She debuted as the supporting young heroine with the Malayalam film Bharya (1962). Her character was named Gracy. With the success of her debut Malayalam film, Rajsree was always credited throughout her Malayalam film career as Gracy. Some of her famous Malaylam movies include Kadalamma (1963), Rebecca (1963), Pazhassi Raja (1964), Shakuntala (1965). However, she was cast only as supporting and second lead actress in Tamil films like Sengamala Theevu (1962), Nichaya Thaamboolam (1962), Thendral Veesum (1962), Kalai Arasi(1963), Yarukku Sondham (1963), Kattu Maina (1963) in the period 1962–63. Her portrayal as the courtesean Madhavi in the film Poompuhar brought her new recognition as supporting actress in 1964. It was the film Kadhalikka Neram Illai in 1964, which made her a household name as the main lead heroine. She started receiving more Tamil films from 1964 onwards.
However, she continued to be very selective as far as her choice of doing Malayalam movies was concerned. Her notable films in Malayalam as the lead heroine include Jail (1966), Kadamattathachan (1966), Anarkali (1966), Udhyogastha (1967), Karutha Rathrikal (1967), Kadal (1968), Dial 2244 (1968), Urangatha Sundary (1969), Sree Guruvayoorappan (1972 film), Sreemurukan, Devi Kanyaakumaari (1974). She did about 30 movies in Malayalam. Her last Malayalm film was Vishwaroopam (1978).
It was the Tamil comic classic, `Kaadhalikka Neramillai,' that catapulted Rajasree to national fame. She quoted in an interview "When I got a call from such a big banner as Chitralaya asking me to be present at the studio the next morning, I couldn't believe my ears. Many artistes had been considered for the role, I had heard. The song, `Anubavam Pudhumai,' was the sequence that was shot first. They liked it and I did the film,". Rajasree went on to play the same role in Telugu with Akkini Nageswara Rao and in Hindi with Shashi Kapoor — she was the only one to repeat the role in the remakes. She quoted in interview "I remember Nagesh pulling my leg often shouting out `Dhigilazhagi' whenever I was on the sets,". Hence both during the shooting of Bama Vijayam and everytime she met actor Nagesh, he would always call her as Dhiglazhagi as in the film, a thief refers to her by that name.
Shashi Kapoor was an Indian actor and film producer. Recipient of several accolades, including four National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards, Kapoor predominantly worked in Hindi films. He also featured in a number of English-language films produced by Merchant-Ivory. For his contributions to film, the Government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan in 2011, and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2014.
Nagesh (born Cheyur Krishna Nageshwaran; was an Indian film actor, mostly remembered for his roles as a comedian during the 1960s. He is regarded as one of the most prolific comedians in Tamil cinema. He acted in over 1,000 films from 1958 to 2008, performing in a variety of roles as comedian, lead roles, supporting actor and antagonist. He has also acted in Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and Kannada films. Nagesh's style of comedy was largely inspired by Hollywood actor Jerry Lewis. Similarities between Nagesh and Lewis earned Nagesh the sobriquet the "Jerry Lewis of India". He was also a fantastic dancer. The song "Kanni Nathiyoram" in the movie Neerkumizhi shows some of his comic dance skills.
It was decided by Sridhar to remake the Kadhallikaa Neram Illai in Hindi as Pyar Kiye Jaa and he retained only Rajasree from the original. Her debut Hindi film was a major box office hit in 1966. This led to her receiving films in Hindi as well. However none of her 4 films in Hindi became a hit except for her debut Hindi film.
She made her heroine debut in Telugu films with Constable Kuthuru (1962) opposite Kanta Rao but previously she has been already introduced as a child artist in Nagula Chavithi (1956). She was cast as the heroine of N.T.Rama Rao in films like Aggi Barata(1966), Pidugu Ramudu(1966), Aggi Veerudu(1969), Chitti Chellelu (1969).Her pairing opposite actor Kanta Rao was box office success. The pair Rajasree-Kanta Rao worked in Pakkalo Ballem (1965), Bangaru Timmaraju (1964), Saptaswaralu (1969), Pratigyna Palana (1966), Vijaya Simha(1965), Aggidora (1967), Bhoolokamlo Yamolokam (1966), Devudichchina Bharta (1968), Veera Pooja (1968), Ranabheri (1968), Aggimeeda Guggilam (1968), Oke Kutumbham (1970), Merupu Veerudu (1970), Maa Manchi Akkayya (1970), Prema Jeevulu, Bhale Ettu Chivaraku Chittu (1970), Raite Raju (1970).They worked in another 10 movies where they were not paired opposite each other.She did about 76 films in Telugu. Her last film in Telugu was Andame Anandham (1977).
Her debut film in Kannada was Kantheredu Nodu (1961). The Kannada film Thejaswini, produced by M.Pandaribai, made Rajasree a popular in Kannada film circle. She played second lead supporting roles in Kannada films like Swarna Gowri, Rathna Manjari, Karuneye Kutumbada Kannu, Chandra Kumara. She regularly starred in mythological period films like Santha Thukaram (1963), Shivarathri Mahathme, Shivagange Mahathme with either Rajkumar (actor) or Udaykumar or both in the lead roles. After achieving success in Tamil with Kadhalikka Neram Illai, she decided to do only lead heroine roles even in Kannada from 1964. Her Kannada films as lead heroine include Chandavalliya Thota, Satya Harishchandra (1965 Kannada film), Bala Nagamma (1966 film), Bhale Basava, Mr. Rajkumar (1970), Jwala Mohini, CID 72, C.I.D. Rajanna. She was part of the cast in 14 films in Kannada with Rajkumar (actor) in the lead role. She did 30 films in Kannada with her last movie being Devadhasi (1978).
Singanalluru Puttaswamy Mutturaju, known mononymously by his stage name Rajkumar was an Indian actor and singer in the Kannada cinema. Widely acclaimed as one of the finest actors in the history of Indian cinema, he is considered a cultural icon and holds a matinée idol status in the Kannada diaspora, among whom he is popularly adulated as Nata Saarvabhouma, Bangarada Manushya, Vara Nata and Rajanna. He was honoured by Padma Bhushan Award in 1983.
Udaykumar was an Indian film actor and producer in Kannada cinema, who is renowned for his quality films. He was exceptional in making movies that which were unusual and odd from other films. He was conferred with titles like 'Pavanasutha, Kalakesari, Nata Samrat, Kalasarvabhouma, Gandugali, Kalabheeshma, Naadabhata. Uday Kumar, along with Kalyan Kumar and Rajkumar, were called as "Kumara Thrayaru" of the Kannada cinema.
She went to do comedy films as the lead heroine in Tamil to capitalize on her comic abilities like Bama Vijayam(1967), Anubavi Raja Anubavi (1967), Anubavam Pudhumai (1967), Neeyum Naanum (1968), Delhi Mapillai (1968). These films have developed classic cult status over the years. She then went on to get the second lead heroine roles in films with M.G.Ramachandran in the lead like Thaikku Thalaimagan (1967), Kudiyirundha Koyil (1968), Adimai Penn (1969), Pattikaattu Ponnaiya (1973), Netru Indru Naalai (1974) and Naalai Namadhe (1975). Her other notable films in Tamil include Kallum Kaniyagum, suspense thriller Selva Magal (1967), Siritha Mugam (1968), Patham Pasali (1970), Poi Sollathae (1971), Pattondru Ketten (1971), Yanai Valartha Vanampadi Magan, Amudha (1975), Veeduvarai Uravu (1976). Her last film in Tamil was Iravu 12 Mani (1978). She did more than 60 films in Tamil.
When she received MGR award in 2004 she quoted: "I've done three films with the CM J.Jayalalitha, and I've also acted with her mother Sandhya as her daughter."
Rajasree hails from a village in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh. Her mother tongue is Telugu. She was born with a sister and her father was a railway station master. Rajasree was ten years old when she came to Chennai. Rajasree's husband died suddenly when her child was just four. Yet the actress has kept up her promise to him to this day! "Many ask me why I can't do television now? But I'm reluctant," she says. However, she has not severed ties with the film world. "I still have many friends from the industry. Saroja Devi calls up whenever she's in town. In 2004 Sharada, Vanisri, Jayapradha, Sachu, Padmini, Rajasulochana and I met over lunch. In fact it was Sachu who first called me up and told me about the award," she says. Rajasree spends her time in meditation and being a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, people can often spot her at Sundaram, their Chennai centre. But today she is a picture of contentment, leading a relaxed life and taking care of her old sister. In 2012, she along with her friends Saroja Devi, Kanchana, Jamuna, P.Susheela, Anjali Devi, Rajasulochana, Sowcar Janaki, Sechu, Cho Ramaswamy, Jamuna, Vijayakumari met Jayalalithaa at personal reseidence Veda Nilayam of Jayalalithaa.
Eluru is a city and the district headquarters of West Godavari district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the 14 municipal corporations in the state and the mandal headquarters of Eluru mandal in the Eluru revenue division. The city is on the Tammileru river. The city is well known for its wool-pile carpets and hand woven products.. As of 2011 Census of India, the city had a population of 217,876. Its history dates back to the second century CE.
Andhra Pradesh is one of the 29 states of India. Situated in the south-east of the country, it is the seventh-largest state in India, covering an area of 162,970 km2 (62,920 sq mi). As per the 2011 census, it is the tenth-most populous state, with 49,386,799 inhabitants. The largest city in Andhra Pradesh is Visakhapatnam. Telugu, one of the classical languages of India, is the major and official language of Andhra Pradesh.
Chennai is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, it is the biggest cultural, economic and educational centre of south India. According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth-most populous city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city together with the adjoining regions constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world. Chennai is among the most-visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked the 43rd-most visited city in the world for the year 2015. The Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India. Chennai attracts 45 percent of health tourists visiting India, and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists. As such, it is termed "India's health capital". As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Chennai confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems.
Yesteryear actress Rajasree was honoured with the MGR Award in 2004.
Tamil Nadu State Government Awards
In order of languages in which she acted the most to least number of films.
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
|1978||Iravu 12 Mani||Ravichandran|
|1976||Veeduvarai Uravu||Jaiganesh , Sujatha|
|1975||Amudha||Ravichandran , R. Muthuraman , C. R. Vijayakumari||Anbarasi|
|Naalai Namadhe||M. G. Ramachandran , Latha , Vennira Aadai Nirmala||Kamala|
|1974||Akkarai Pachai||Jaishankar , Ravichandran , Lakshmi , Savitri|
|Netru Indru Naalai||M. G. Ramachandran , Manjula Vijayakumar , Latha||Amudha|
|Pathu Matha Bandham||Bhanumathi Ramakrishna , A. V. M. Rajan , R. Muthuraman , B. Saroja Devi , Vennira Aadai Nirmala||Mallika|
|1973||Pattikaattu Ponnaiya||M. G. Ramachandran , Jayalalithaa||Megala|
|School Master||Gemini Ganesan , Sreekanth , Sowcar Janaki|
|1972||Ellai Kodu||Gemini Ganesan , Ravichandran , C. R. Vijayakumari||Bhavani|
|1971||Yanai Valartha Vanampadi Magan||Gemini Ganesan , C. L. Anandan , T. K. Balachandran , Vijayanirmala||Kamini|
|Aathi Parasakthi||Gemini Ganesan , R. Muthuraman , Jayalalithaa , Padmini , Vanisri||Lakshmi Devi|
|Pattondru Ketten||A. V. M. Rajan , Ravichandran , Kanchana , K. R. Indira Devi|
|Poi Sollathae||Ravichandran , Nagesh|
|Needhi Dhevan||Jaishankar , Vennira Aadai Nirmala|
|1970||Patham Pasali||Gemini Ganesan , Vijayalalitha||Radha|
|Sorgam||Sivaji Ganesan , R. Muthuraman , K. R. Vijaya||Anjana|
|Namma Veettu Deivam||R. Muthuraman , K. R. Vijaya|
|1969||Kumara Sambhavam||Gemini Ganesan , Padmini , Srividya||Urvasi|
|Singapore Seeman||Ravichandran , M. R. Radha , Subhasri|
|Maya Theevu Ragasiyam||N. T. Rama Rao , Vijayalalitha|
|Adimai Penn||M. G. Ramachandran , Jayalalithaa||Princess Muthazhagi|
|Poova Thalaiya||Gemini Ganesan , Jaishankar , Vennira Aadai Nirmala||Raji|
|Ulagam Ivvalaudhan||Nagesh , Manorama|
|1968||Kudiyirundha Koyil||M. G. Ramachandran , Jayalalithaa||Asha|
|Siritha Mugam||Gemini Ganesan , Jaishankar , Vijayanirmala|
|Delhi Mapillai||Ravichandran , Cho Ramaswamy , Sachu||Gandhimathi|
|Neeyum Naanum||Ravichandran , Nagesh|
|Kallum Kaniyagum||T. M. Soundararajan , A. L. Raghavan, Nagesh , M. N. Rajam||Geetha|
|1967||Selva Magal||Jaishankar , Sreekanth , Major Sundararajan , Nagesh||Saradha|
|Anubavam Pudhumai||R. Muthuraman , T. R. Ramachandran||Vanitha|
|Anubavi Raja Anubavi||R. Muthuraman , Nagesh , Jayabharathi||Rajamani|
|Aporvaa Piravigal||N. T. Rama Rao , Jayalalithaa , Vanisri|
|Bama Vijayam||R. Muthuraman , Nagesh , Major Sundarrajan , Sreekanth , Sowcar Janaki , Kanchana , Jayanthi||Bama|
|Thaikku Thalaimagan||M. G. Ramachandran , S. V. Ranga Rao , Nagesh , Jayalalithaa , Sowcar Janaki||Nalini|
|1966||Kaaveri Mannan||N. T. Rama Rao , Vanisri|
|1965||Neela Vanam||Sivaji Ganesan , Nagesh , Devika||Vimala|
|Vazhikaathi||S. S. Rajendran , Prem Nazir , C. R. Vijayakumari|
|Iru Thuruvam||Sivaji Ganesan , R. Muthuraman , Padmini||Kamala|
|Poomalai||S. S. Rajendran , Anjali Devi , C. R. Vijayakumari||Nalina|
|1964||Kalai Kovil||S. V. Subbiah, R. Muthuraman , Nagesh , Chandrakantha, Jayanthi||Saroja|
|Amma Engey||R. Muthuraman|
|Veeraadhi Veeran||N. T. Rama Rao , Krishna Kumari||Roja|
|Magaley Un Samathu||C. L. Anandan , M. R. Radha , Gemini Chandrakantha||Alli|
|Nal Varavu||R. Muthuraman , Ravichandran , Puspalatha|
|Ramadasu||Chittor V. Nagaiah , P. Kannamba|
|Nanum Manidhandhaan||R. Muthuraman , C. L. Anandan, Chandrakantha|
|Poompuhar||S. S. Rajendran , C. R. Vijayakumari , Nagesh||Madhavi|
|Kaadhalikka Neramillai||Ravichandran , R. Muthuraman , Kanchana||Nirmala/Nimmi|
|1963||Kaattumaina||Prem Nazir , C. L. Anandan , Sheela , Vijayalalitha|
|Yarukku Sontham||Kalyan Kumar , Devika , Pusphalatha||Mallika|
|Manthiri Kumaran||Kantha Rao , Anuradha, Jayanthi||Rani|
|Kalai Arasi||M. G. Ramachandran , Bhanumathi Ramakrishna||Princess Rajani|
|Kubera Theevu||C. L. Anandan , Devika||Vasanthi|
|1962||Nichaya Thaamboolam||Sivaji Ganesan , Jamuna , P. Kannamba||Sarala|
|Sengamala Theevu||M. R. Radha , C. L. Anandan , Pusphalatha||Kanni|
|Thendral Veesum||M. R. Radha , Kalyan Kumar , Prem Nazir , Krishna Kumari|
|Dakshayagnam||N. T. Rama Rao , S. V. Ranga Rao , Devika||Rohini|
|1961||Panam Panthiyile||S. S. Rajendran , M. R. Radha , C. R. Vijayakumari||Santha|
|1960||Baktha Sabari||S. A. Asokan , Pandari Bai , L. Vijayalakshmi|
|Petraval Kanda Peruvazhvu||Prem Nazir|
|1956||Naga Devathai||R. Nagendra Rao , Jamuna , Sowcar Janaki||Child Artist (Debut in Tamil)|
|1964||Pazhassi Raja||Ammu Thampuratty|
|1971||Aana Valarthiya Vanampadiyude Makan|
|1966||Pyar Kiye Jaa||Nirmala/ Nimmi||Hindi Debut as Rajasree of South|
(Remake of Kadhalikka Neramillai)
|1968||Payal Ki Jhankar||Kala|
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