Aranmula Ponnamma (8 April 1914 – 21 February 2011) was a National Award winning Malayalam film actress known for her roles as mother of the protagonist in numerous films. She was widely described as a mother figure in Malayalam cinema.
|Died||21 February 2011 (aged 96)|
|Spouse(s)||Kochu Krishna Pillai|
|Parent(s)||Malethu Kesava Pillai|
|Awards||2006 - J.C. Daniel Award for Lifetime Achievement|
Ponnamma was born as one of five children of Malethu Kesava Pillai and Parukutty Amma in Aranmula, Pathanamthitta, Travancore. She has four siblings, Ramakrishna Pillai, Pankiyamma, Bhaskara Pillai and Thankamma. She started her career at the age of 12 as a Carnatic music vocalist. She began by singing before meetings organised by the Hindu Mahamandal on the banks of the Pampa river. At the age of 15, she was appointed as a music teacher in a primary school in Pala, before starting to teach in the senior classes. Later she joined the first batch of students at the Swati Tirunal Music Academy. After the course, she was appointed as the music teacher in Cotton Hill Girls' High School in Trivandrum.
Ponnamma's acting debut happened at the age of 29, in a play titled Bhagyalakshmi. She went on to act in plays such as Prasanna, Chechi, Jeevithayathra and Rakthabandham, before debuting in films. Her debut role was that of the mother of the character played by Miss Kumari, a prominent actress at that time, in Sasidharan (1950). The same year she did another role as a mother in the Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair starrer Amma, which was the first film of noted producer T. E. Vasudevan and also the 18th Malayalam film. In 1968, she acted in the film Viruthan Shanku directed by P. Venu, the first full-length comedy in Malayalam cinema. She was typecasted in mother roles. In her own words: "I did play a negative role in Paadunna Puzha and that of a wayward woman in Yachakan. But after that I was always cast as the mother. As the mother of two children, I was very comfortable in that role. My role model was my mother, Parukutty Amma, who had to look after her five children on her own after my father, Malethu Kesava Pillai, passed away when I was nine. In fact, in Amma, my fifth film, I was merely acting as my mother." In her career spanning over 60 years, she acted as the mother or grandmother of first generation actors like Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair, second generation actors like Prem Nazir and Sathyan and third generation actors like Mammootty, Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi.
- 1998 : Lifetime Achievement Award
|2003||Swapnam Kondu Thulabharam||Ammu's grandmother|
|Parajayathil Patharatha Karmayogi||-||Documentary|
|1997||Lelam||Revathi Thirunal thampuratti|
|1993||Maya Mayooram||Narendran's grandmother|
|1989||Oru Sayahnathinte Swapnam||Saraswathiyamma|
|1989||Aazhikkoru Muthu||Prabhakarar's mother|
|1987||Achuvettante Veedu||Achuthankutty's Mother|
|1985||Madhuvidhu Theerum Munpe|
|1985||Puzhayozhugum Vazhi||Hari's Mother|
|1985||Pathamudayam||B. G. Menon's Sister|
|1983||Enne Njan Thedunnu||Parukuttyamma|
|1982||Vazhvey Maayam||Paatti||Tamil film|
Dubbed for herself in
Malayalam dubbed verson "Premabhishekam" also
|1982||Ithum Oru Jeevitham||Madhavi|
|1981||Archana Teacher||Sukumaran's aunt|
|1981||Ira Thedunna Manushyar|
|1980||Avan Oru Ahankari|
|1980||Swantham Enna Padam||Sunil's grandmother|
|1979||Oru Ragam Pala Thalam|
|1979||Venalil Oru Mazha|
|1979||Enikku Njaan Swantham||Madhavankutty's mother|
|1979||Ivide Kattinu Sugantham||Pushkaran's grandmother|
|1978||Urakkam Varatha Rathrikal|
|1978||Njan Njan Mathram|
|1977||Vidarunna Mottukal||Gopal's mother|
|1976||Hridayam Oru Kshethram||Ramesh's mother|
|1970||Engirundho Vandhaal||Shanthavalli||Tamil film|
|1969||Mannippu||Dhanam Ammal||Tamil Film|
|1969||Vila Kuranja Manushyan|
|1968||Love In Kerala||Mother of Chandran and Shankar|
|1968||Hotel High Range||Ramesh's mother|
|1967||Kavalam Chundan||Saraswathi Kunjamma|
|1963||Kalayum Kaminiyum||Usha's mother|
|1962||Veluthambi Dalawa||Dalawa's mother|
|1961||Kandam Becha Kottu||Amina|
|1960||Poothali||Madhan Menon's sister|
|1953||Asai Magan||Tamil film|
- "Notice of Aranmula Ponnamma's death". Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2009.
- "Matriarch of Mollywood". 12 January 2007 – via www.thehindu.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "CINIDIARY - A Complete Online Malayalam Cinema News Portal". cinidiary.com.
- Correspondent), (Our. "Kerala's 'screen mother' Ponnamma dies at 96". Khaleej Times.
- Excerpt from www.thehindujobs.com Archived 21 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "Aranmula Ponnamma dies at 96". Deccan Herald. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- "Aranmula Ponnamma dies". The Indian Express. Kerala. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "Aranmula Ponnamma passes away". Kerala: "SansCinema". 21 February 2011. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.