Santha Kumari

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Santha Kumari
Shanthakumari (1949)
Vellala Subbamma

17 May 1920
Died16 January 2006 (aged 85)
Years active1936-1979
Spouse P. Pullayya

Santha Kumari (born Vellaala Subbamma; 17 May 1920 – 16 January 2006) was an Indian musical artist and actress. She was married to the Telugu film director and producer P. Pullayya.


Early years

Vellaala Subbamma was born in Proddatur town, (Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh) to Sreenivasa Rao and Pedda Narasamma. Her father was an actor and her mother was a classical music singer. Santhakumari learned classical music and violin under the guidance of Professor P. Sambamurthy and was a classmate of D. K. Pattammal. She joined a drama troupe and was an AIR artiste by the age of sixteen. She came to Madras (now Chennai) to pursue a career in music. She found employment in Vidyodaya School for a remuneration of Rs 2 per month. She sang along with music director S. Rajeswara Rao for AIR.

Film career

P. V. Das, producer and director of Mayabazaar (also known as Sasirekhaa Parinayam) was scouting for a young girl to play Sasirekha. He saw Subbamma at a music concert. At the time, she was teaching music at Vidyodaya School, Madras. Das liked her mellifluous voice and innocence, essential qualities to portray Sasirekha's character. Her parents were against her joining films. They wanted to see her as classical singer. Subbamma was adamant and resorted to hunger strike. On the fourth day they relented. Das changed her name as Santhakumari. The film released in 1936. [1]

In the following year she was a member of the cast of Sarangadhara , a film that was directed by P. Pullayya, whom she met and married in the same year.

The couple used the name of PadmaSree Pictures, named after their daughter Padma, for some of their movies and had success with films such as Jayabheri (1959), Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam (1960), and Preminchi Choodu (1965). Santhakumari acted in most of the movies that were made by her husband, including Shavukaru (1950), Ardhangi (1955), Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam (1960), Santhi Nivasam (1960), and Ramudu Bheemudu (1964).

In 1947, the couple started the Ragini Pictures banner with Bheemavarapu Narasimha Rao and Bhakta Jana. They made 22 films on both PadmaSree and Ragini banners put together.

She played many lead and supporting roles, with around 250 appearances in total. [2]

Awards and recognition

For her contributions to Telugu Cinema, Santha Kumari was awarded the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award in 1998.


This is partial filmography of Santha Kumari. Kindly help expanding it.

1936Sasirekha Parinayam Telugu ActressSasirekha
1937 Sarangadhara TeluguActress and playback singerChitrangi
1938Bhakta JayadevaTeluguActress
1939BalajiTeluguActress and playback singerConsort of Venkateswara
1941 Dharmapatni TeluguActress and playback singer
Parvati KalyanamTeluguActress
1943 Krishna Prema TeluguActress and playback singerRadha
1945 Mayalokam TeluguActress and playback singer
1948 Bhaktha Jana Tamil Actress
1949 Gunasundari Katha TeluguActressRupasundari
1950 Shavukaru TeluguActress and playback singerSanthi
1952 Daasi TeluguActressParvathamma
1953 Velaikari Magal TamilActressParvathamma
1953 Ponni TamilActress
1955 Ardhangi TeluguActress and playback singer
1955 Pennin Perumai TamilActress
1957 Sarangadhara TeluguActressQueen Rathnangi
1958 Sarangadhara TamilActressQueen Rathnangi
1958 Bommai Kalyanam TamilActressThangam
1958Bommala PelliTeluguActress
1959 Jayabheri TeluguActressAnnapoorna
1959 Kalaivanan TamilActressAnnapoorna
1960 Sri Venkateswara Mahatmyam TeluguActressVakula
1960 Vidivelli TamilActressChandru's Mother
1962Siri SampadaluTeluguActress
1962 Policekaran Magal TamilActress
1964 Ramudu Bheemudu TeluguActress
1965 Preminchi Choodu TeluguActress
1967Prana MithruluTeluguActressJagadamba
1970 Akka Chellelu TeluguActressMother of Judge Ramachandra Rao
1970Talla PellammaTeluguActress
1971 Prem Nagar TeluguActress
1971 Pavitra Hrudayalu TeluguActress
1972 Koduku Kodalu TeluguActress
1972 Vasantha Maligai TamilActressAnand and Vijay's mother
1975 Piriyavidai TamilActress and singer

See also

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  1. M. L., Narasimham (26 December 2010). "Mayabazaar (1936)". The Hindu .
  2. Find Tamil Actress P. Santha Kumari Videos, P. Santha Kumari Movies, P. Santha Kumari Pictures and Filmography |