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Kala Keerthi Iranganie Roxanna Meedeniya, (born 9 June 1927), popularly as Iranganie Serasinghe, is an actress in Sri Lankan cinema, theater and television. Since her debut in Rekava, Serasinghe has become recognized for playing motherly figures in various films and television serials. She is the aunt of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe.
Iranganie Roxanna Meedeniya
9 June 1927
Ruwanwella, British Ceylon
|Occupation||Teacher (Musaeus college)|
Journalist (Times, SLBC)
Film, Television and Stage actress
|Relatives||J. H. Meedeniya (grandfather) |
D. R. Wijewardena (uncle)
Francis Molamure (uncle)
Tissa Vitharana (brother-in-law)
Ranil Wickramasinghe (cousin son)
|Awards||Kala Keerthi, Sri Lankan of the year|
Early life and educationEdit
She was born on 9 June 1927 in Mudungomuwa, Ruwanwella, Sri Lanka to Joseph Hercules Meedeniya, Rate Mahatmaya of Ratnapura and Violet Ellawela. Her paternal grandfather was J. H. Meedeniya Adigar was elected unopposed to the Ruwanwella seat in the State Council and her uncles included D. R. Wijewardena and Sir Francis Molamure. Her mother was the sister of Nanda Ellawala's father who was a Member of Parliament for Ratnapura. She had three siblings, Indrani Meedeniya, Kamani Vitharana who married Professor Tissa Vitharana and Mahinda Meedeniya.
Her early touches with nature later led her to become an environmental activist. While attending Bishop's College she played in several end-of-term plays; at Girls' High School, Kandy whilst pursuing a HSC; Meedeniya took a leading role in Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. Against her father a Rate Mahatthaya's wishes, Meedeniya entered the University of Ceylon in 1947 with the support of her cousins. He died in her first year away at a time when Marxist ideas were the norm. She immersed herself in the Ceylon theater scene while there under the guidance of Professor E. F. C. Ludowyk; she also became a proficient dancer with lessons from Chitrasena.
He was the first student to study drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and The Bristol Old Vic Theate School under the guidance of Professor Ludowyk. She eventually graduated with an Arts degree and traveled to London with letters of recommendation from Ludowyk following a marriage to Professor Dissanayake (they divorced some time later). There with the help of actresses Flora Robson and Sybil Thorndike, Meedeniya attended Bristol Old Vic Theatre School for a year and the London School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art for two years.
She was first married to a contemporary student at the university and later became a specialist dentist, Professor S. B. Dissanayake. That marriage did not last long. She was then married to fellow actor Winston Serasinghe, during playing English stage plays. There was a 17 year age gap between the two. Winston had appeared in Rekava and some other productions with her. The couple had two sons: Ravi & Ranjit. Her son Ravi died by an accident at the age of 31. Her husband Winston died in 1999.
Returning to Sri Lanka, Meedeniya met up with Ludowyk and Austrian Jew director Neuman Jubal and got back into theater. The Lionel Wendt Art Centre theater portion of the center opened on 12 December 1953 with the production of Maxim Gorky's "The Lower Depths", starring Iranganie Serasinghe and produced by Neuman Jubal. Doing mainly English roles at first, she started playing in Sinhala theater in Henry Jayasena's Apata Puthe Magak Nethe and followed with roles in Damma Jagoda's Sinhala version of A Streetcar Named Desire, Ves Muhunu, and Porisadaya. The following years saw Meedeniya in constantly changing settings–teaching briefly at Musaeus College, working for The Times of Ceylon after returning from London, doing a stint at the SLBC and handling a post in the tourist trade working as a junior executive and guide of Walkers Tours and Travels (Pvt)Ltd. Accordingly, Serasinghe is the first Sri Lankan actress to have received an academic training in acting.
Meedeniya started her career in cinema in Lester James Peries "Be Safe or Be Sorry" for the Government Film Unit. Peries subsequently cast her in his debut feature film Rekava as a mother, 'Kathirinahamy'. In 1956, she won the Deepashikha Award for Best Actress for her debut performance in the film. With the new surname, Iranganie Serasinghe achieved fame as an actress appearing in many of Peries' early works. Later she won the Sarasaviya Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film Sagarayak Meda in 1982. Her next notable chracter came through the film Sudu Sewaneli directed by Sunil Ariyaratne where she played the character of a poor old mother. In 2000, she won the Presidential Award for Best Supporting Actress for this role.
Prior to entering the film industry, she was the editor-in-chief of the Times of Ceylon. As a revolutionary political figure, Iranganie was a communist militant at university. As a result, Peter Kehnemann, Bernard Zoysa, and Doric de Souza became active in politics at a time when Colvin R. De Silva has repeatedly invited her to contest a seat from the Lanka Sama Samaja Party.
- Irangani as Told to Kumar de Silva - by Kumar de Silva
- අයිරාංගනී - Sinhala version by same author.
|1966||Delovak Athara||Nissanka's mother|
|1967||The Yellow Dress|
|1969||Romeo Juliet Kathawak|||
|1974||The God King||Varuni|
|1982||Deveni Gamana||Saman's mother|
|1984||Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom||Village Woman|
|1985||Adara Kathawa)||Kanthi's mother|
|1996||Loku Duwa||Punna's Mother|||
|2001||Poronduwa||Mrs. Rambukwella |
|2001||Kinihiriya Mal||Sylvia Madam|
|2002||Mansion by the Lake||Aunt Catherine|
|2003||Sakman Maluwa||Tissa;s mother|
|2005||Pawana Ralu Viya||Mrs. Weerasinghe|
|2005||Sudu Kalu Saha Alu||Nogo Nonna|
|2005||Water||Mother in Law|
|2007||Nisala Gira||Radha's mother-in-law|
|2007||Samaara||Indu's paternal granny|||
|2008||Heart FM||Shakya's granny|
|2008||Rosa Kale||Akalanka's granny|
|2013||It’s a Matter of Love||Chathuri's granny|
|2014||Kalpanthe Sihinayak||Menu's elder mother|
|2017||Paha Samath||Vinura's granny|
|2018||Kalu Hima||Chunda's granny|
|2019||Sulanga Apa Ragena Yavi||Granny|
|TBD||Gaadi||Bulathgama Disawe's mother|
|1990–1995||Doo Daruwo (දූ දරුවෝ)||Dulsey/Sudu aachchi|
|1988||Village by the Sea-Gamperaliya|
|1997||Ammai Thaththai (අම්මයි තාත්තයි)|
|2006||Mage Kaviya Mata Denna|||
|2018||Thaththa||Prison officer's step mother|
|2020||Sihini||A rich bed-ridden old lady - isolated by her children|
- "Irangani As Told to Kumar de Silva", Kumar de Silva, Samaranayake Publishers, 2013
- "Lankadeepa Online". www.lankadeepa.lk.
- "The Sunday Times News and Comments". www.sundaytimes.lk.
- "A Shining Star striving to protect Planet Earth". Daily News(Sri Lanka). 23 May 2007. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
- "Beloved mother of Sinhala cinema: Irangani Serasinghe". Silumina. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
- "Iranganie Serasinghe: Mischievous young girl who turned a brilliant actress". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 29 April 2006. Archived from the original on 16 March 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
- "Love the world ... the world will return and love you infinitely". Silumina. Retrieved 2021-06-05.
- "Fascinating facet of genuine original art". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). 16 December 2007.
- "Ada Derana Sri Lankan of the Year 2017 - award winners". www.adaderana.lk.
- "Award-winning artiste Malaka Dewapriya decries censorship". dailymirror. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
- "Soaring in the waves". dailynews. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
- "සිනමාවේ අද්විතීය මාතාව අයිරාංගනීගේ ජීවිත කතාව එළි දකී". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- "Iranganie Serasinghe". IMDb.
- "Romeo Juliet Kathawak". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
- "Dadayama: The hunt that was a hunt". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
- "Loku Duwa appears on Rupavahini". Sunday Times. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
- "'Poronduwa':Ratnam on correct track again". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
- "Kinihiriya Mal - කිනිහිරියා මල්". Sinhala Cinema Database. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Sanjaya enters cinema with 'Samara'". Sunday Times. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
- "ඉට්ස් අ මැටර් ඔෆ් ලව්". Sarasaviya. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
- "Tear falling cinema about a village boy". Sarasaviya. Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
- "කළුහිම". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- "A fresh wind for cinema". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
- "තේජා පූර්ව ප්රචාරය අරඹයි". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
- "Tale of Guththila becomes a cinema". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
- "'Smarana Samapthi' brings out a hidden past". Sunday times. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
- "'Suseta Mayam' : Story of two girls in an asylum". Sunday times. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
- "Depicts social differences". Sunday Times. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
- "'Vihanga Geethaya': A tale of triangular love". Sunday times. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
- "'Jeewithayata Idadenna' : Love, smiles and tears". Sunday Times. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
- "A voyage from here to eternity". Sunday times. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
- "'Dangayanta Pamanai': For mischivous only". Sunday Times. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
- "'Mage Kaviya Mata Denna' : Mano's filmic dream". Sunday Times. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
- "'Veeduru Mal': Depicts a topsy-turvy tale". Sunday Times. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
- "'Heidi'comes to TV". Sunday Times. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- ""Weten Eha", a tale of neighbours". Sunday Times. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- "'Sudu Hansayo', Discusses problems in marriage". Sunday Times. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "'Doratu Rakinno' opens for public". Sunday Times. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- "'Duwaru' to make a difference". Sunday Times. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- Iranganie Serasinghe's SLMDb
- Iranganie Serasinghe's Biography in Sinhala Cinema Database
- Iranganie Serasinghe at IMDb
- Iranganie Serasinghe – personal website
- National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka – official website
- Irangani Serasinghe's childhood photographs
- රංගන විජිතයේ කිරුළු පළන් ආදරණීය මිත්තණිය අයිරාංගනී සේරසිංහ කියයි
- යථාර්ථවාදී රංගනයක පුරෝගාමී නිළිය
- අපතේ ගිය ඇගේ රූපණ ප්රතිභාව