Saroja Ramamrutham (Tamil:சரோஜா ராமாமிருதம் 28 January 1931 – 14 October 2019), better known by her screen name Baby Saroja, was an Indian actress who was known for her roles as a child actor in Tamil films of the late 1930s. She was known as the "Shirley Temple of India" due to her popularity.
Screenshot from 1937 Tamil film Balayogini
28 January 1931
|Died||14 October 2019(aged 88)|
She hailed from a family of artists who were among the pioneers of Tamil cinema. Saroja was the niece of popular Indian film director K. Subrahmanyam. Her parents K. Viswanathan (brother of K. Subrahmanyam) and Alamelu Viswanathan were also film artists. Both of them featured in the film Kamadhenu with the screen names K. B. Vatsal and Vatsala respectively.
Saroja started acting in films when she was only 6 years of age. Her acting in the 1937 hit Balayogini became a sensation. The lullaby Kanne paapaa was a hit. That year, some parents named their new born girl child as Saroja. The fame she got in Balayogini enabled her to act in a second film, Thyaga Bhoomi which was also a hit. She danced to a song sung by her mother, a Tamil adaptation by Papanasam Sivan, of Krishna Nee Begane. The Hindu, in a review of the film in 1939, wrote: “Acting honours go to Baby Saroja (no more a baby, but a cheery vivacious girl) who is at home acting or dancing. Her actions are expressive and her movements spontaneous.” Two years later, in 1941, she starred in Kamadhenu
Not just an actorEdit
Baby Saroja learnt to play the veena under Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer.
After moving to Mumbai (formerly Bombay), she went on to master Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement.
At 70, she trained under S. Rajam in painting.
She featured in three Tamil films.
Saroja Ramamrutham died on 14 October 2019 due to old age health complications. She was 88.
- Saranya Chakrapani (16 October 2019). "Girl who was named Shirley Temple of India". Times of India. Archived from the original on 16 October 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
- Vishwanathan, Lakshmi (10 July 2013). "'Shirley Temple of India'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Baby Saroja, child star of yesteryear, dies at 88". The Hindu. 15 October 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 18 October 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
- Baby Saroja on IMDb
- Rao, Subha J. (29 April 2009). "Memories of Madras: Beachside Story". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 17 April 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- on YouTube - A song sung by Baby Saroja in Balayogini
- on YouTube - Another song from Balayogini
- on YouTube - Baby Saroja dance in Thyagabhoomi