Fathima Babu is a South Indian actress, former newsreader and socialite based out of Chennai who hails from Puducherry. Born in a Muslim family, Fathima began her public career as a newsreader for more than 25 years with DD Podhigai, the Tamil version of Doordarshan news, and later worked for Jaya TV. She later converted to Hinduism for her husband. She subsequently moved on to work in television serials, films and theatre performances, operating in the Tamil and Malayalam languages.
26 December 1963
Fathima became a newsreader with DD Podhigai, the Tamil version of Doordarshan, in the late 1980s. In 1989, she briefly went missing causing much speculation as to her disappearance. Several years later, Fathima clarified that during the period she was missing, she was filming for a television serial known as Chithirapaavai and did not want to breach Doordarshan's rule of news anchors not being able to work in serials.
Fathima made her film debut through K. Balachander's feminist film Kalki (1996), where she starred alongside an ensemble cast of Shruti, Rahman, Prakash Raj, Geetha, and Renuka. The film garnered positive reviews, with a film critic noting that Fathima "has an impressive debut, performing with confidence". Fathima moved on to play supporting roles in films, often portraying the mother of the lead characters.
Fathima started her own drama production group, Fab's Theatre, which performs shows in Chennai. She was initially introduced to theatre by K. Balachander, who often helped her work on and develop scripts. The group has made shows such as Sethu Vandirikkaen and Thaarama Tallyaa directed by Fathima, which opened in February 2016. She was also briefly involved in politics, and campaigned for the AIADMK on behalf of Jayalalithaa, and eventually took up a role as a spokesperson of the party. After Jayalalithaa's death, Fathima joined O. Paneerselvam's team, before ultimately distancing herself from politics. In 2019, she appeared in the reality television show Bigg Boss Tamil 3 on Star Vijay, and was the first contestant to be eliminated.
A widely gossiped urban folklore in Tamil Nadu was that DMK leader M K Stalin had abducted Fathima Babu, who was a Doordarshan Kendra news reader, when his father M. Karunanidhi was Chief Minister in the late 1980s, as she went missing in 1989. Later, she finally denied such an incident ever took place.
She explained, "In those days, I was acting in a television serial Chithirapaavai. Back then Doordarshan had this policy wherein news readers of its bulletins can"t simultaneously cast news and act in serials. Therefore, I was not reading news". Further she said, "On days we had night shifts, the Doordarshan would organise a taxi to drop us back home. So there was no scope for this abduction at all."
|V. I. P.||Priya's mother|
|Thulli Thirintha Kaalam||Visalam|
|Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen||Vasanthi|
|Kalyana Galatta||Commissioner's wife|
|1999||Ninaivirukkum Varai||Sandhya's mother|
|Nee Varuvai Ena||Subramani's mother|
|Unnaruge Naan Irundhal||Jamindar's wife|
|Unnai Kodu Ennai Tharuven||Indu's mother|
|Parthen Rasithen||Pinky Raja|
|2001||Minnale||Shanti, Reena's mother|
|Paarvai Ondre Podhume||Visalakshi|
|Manadhai Thirudivittai||Shruti's mother|
|Aahaa Ethanai Azhagu|
|Thithikudhe||Venu's adopted mother|
|Thathi Thavadhu Manasu|
|Devathaiyai Kanden||Uma's mother|
|En Uyirinum Melana||Kamakshi|
|18 Vayasu Puyale||Seetha|
|2008||Kuselan||Sister Maria||Simultaneously shot in Telugu as Kathanayakudu|
|Saroja||Car passenger||Special appearance|
|Thithikkum Ilamai||Defense lawyer|
|Naanum En Jamunavum|
|Chithirayil Nilachoru||Church mother|
|2014||Azhagiya Pandipuram||Madhavan's mother|
|Nee Naan Nizhal||Rohit's mother|
|2001||Raavanaprabhu||Mundakkal Sekharan's wife|
|2007||Ali Bhai||Ambu Bhai's wife|
|2009||My Big Father||Alby's mother|
|2010||Oru Naal Varum||School Principal|
|Alexander the Great||Sumithra|
|2011||Kottarathil Kutty Bhootham|
|The King & the Commissioner||Justice Eliyamma Pettikaran|
|Josettante Hero||Sajan's mother|
|Gramam||Karthyayani||Simultaneously shot in Tamil as Namma Gramam|
|1 by Two||Ammukkuty Amma|
|Asha Black||Rohit's mother||Simultaneously shot in Tamil as Nee Naan Nizhal|
|2013||Ponniyin Selvan||Nandhini||Yes||No||Kalki Krishnamurthy|||
|2014||Koodi Vaazhnthal (Short Play)||N/A||No||Yes||Aashiq Babu|
|2014||Seethai Mark Seeyakaithool (Short Play)||Subbamma||Yes||Yes||Sundara Ramasamy|
|2014||Aan Dharmam (Short Play)||Paanjali||Yes||Yes||Jayanthan|
|2014||Thappattam (Short Play)||N/A||No||Yes||Vaseekaran|
|2014||Naan Avan Illai (Short Play)||N/A||No||Yes||Chelli Sreenivasan|
|2015||Sethu Vandhirukken||Vanaja||Yes||Yes||K. Balachander|||
|2016||Thaarama Tallyaa||Radha||Yes||Yes||Chitralaya Sriram|||
|2019||Valayil Sikkiya Meen||Yes||No|
|2004–2005||Kadamattathu Kathanar||Nicolas's Mother||Asianet||Malayalam|
|2006||Swami Ayyappan||Unnikrishnan's mother||Asianet||Malayalam|
|2006–2008||Raja Rajeshwari||Lakshmi Amma||Sun TV||Tamil|
|2008–2010||Thangamana Purushan||Lion Janaki||Kalaignar TV||Tamil|
|2017–present||Yaaradi Nee Mohini||Neelambari||Zee Tamil||Tamil|
|2018||Makkal||Saraswathi||Mazhavil Manorama||Malayalam||Replaced by Shobha Mohan|
|Aranmanai Kili||Judge Kaveri||Vijay TV||Tamil|
|Genes||Guest||Zee Tamil||Tamil||One episode|
|2019||Bigg Boss Tamil 3||Contestant||Vijay TV||Tamil||Evicted on Day 14|
- "Fathima Babu native place and other details". Asianet News.
- "Complaint on Kollywood Actress Fathima Babu".
- "Fathima Babu converting her religion for her husband".
- "Fathima Babu rare photo goes viral". Asianet News.
- "Stalin did not abduct me: TV news reader sets record straight after 30 years".
- Kumar, Veera (26 April 2018). "மு.க.ஸ்டாலின் வதந்தி பற்றி இத்தனை வருடங்கள் கழித்து பாத்திமா பாபு வாய் திறக்க காரணம் என்ன?". Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- Subramanian, V. (18 February 2016). "An account of family ties". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- Krishnamachari, Suganthy (2 April 2015). "Lacked in originality". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- Sharanya CR (11 July 2019). "I wanted people to see and know the real me: Fathima Babu". Times of India. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- Charukesi (13 June 2013). "Kalki classic for your ears!". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- "Team Yaaradi Nee Mohini celebrates 600 episodes milestone; see pics". Times of india.
- "Bigg Boss Tamil 3: Fathima Babu to get evicted from the house?". Times of India.