Jayamala (born 28 February 1955[citation needed]) is an Indian actress and politician. She served as the Minister for Women and Child Development and Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens in the Government of Karnataka, by virtue of being a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council.[1] She served as the female president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce between 2008 and 2010.[2][3] Her popular Kannada films include Premada Kanike, Shankar Guru, Antha and Chandi Chamundi among several others. She has produced and acted in the award-winning Thaayi Saheba.

Jayamala in 2020
Ex-Minister for Women and Child Development and Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens, Government of Karnataka Leader of the Upper House, Karnataka Legislative Council
In office
June 2018 – June 2019
Preceded byUmashree
Minister for Kannada and Culture, and Information and Public Relations, Government of Karnataka
In office
6 June 2018 – June 2019
Preceded byUmashree
Member of the Karnataka Legislative Council
In office
24 June 2014 – 23 June 2020
President, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce
In office
29 June 2008 – May 2010
Succeeded byBasant Kumar Patil
Personal details
Born (1955-09-16) 16 September 1955 (age 67)
Political partyIndian National Congress
(m. 1985; div. 1988)

H.M. Ramachandra
(m. 1990)
ChildrenSoundarya Prabhakar (b.1986)
  • Actress
  • politician

Personal lifeEdit

Jayamala was born to a Tulu speaking family in Mangalore. Her father G. Omaiah was an agriculturist and mother Kamalamma, a homemaker. She has six sisters and a brother. They moved to Chikmagalur in 1963 after being displaced due to the harbour work in Panambur.[4]

She was first married to Kannada Film actor Tiger Prabhakar. and the couple has a daughter Soundarya, a popular actress in her own right. After her divorce [5][6] she married cinematographer H. M. Ramachandra.[4][7]

Film careerEdit

Jayamala has acted in several movies mainly in Kannada. Jayamala was the most glamorous heroine of Kannada cinema during the early 1980s. She started her career as a Rajkumar heroine and after a string of successful movies with him went on to star opposite all the top heroes of Sandalwood,[citation needed] With Anant Nag, she has acted in romantic movies as Janma Janmada Anubandha and Premave Baalina Belaku. With Vishnuvardhan, she starred in multi-starrer pot-boilers like Hanthakana Sanchu, Naga Kala Bhairava and Sididedda Sahodara. Her pairing with Ambareesh, started with the cult classic Antha where she played the tragic role of a cabaret dancer who is his sister and then went on to become his heroine in several movies like Ajith, Prema Matsara and Khadeema Kallaru. Her pairing with Shankar Nag in many movies also proved successful, including the heroine-oriented Chandi Chamundi that made her a household name as an action heroine.

Her last successful pairing was with Prabhakar, (who incidentally had played her brother in Chandi Chamundi) whom she married in 1985 after which she quit films. Interestingly Jayamala and top heroine Aarathi costarred in nine films with Jayamala's glamour quotient complementing Aarathi's simple-girl appeal.

Her first production venture Thaayi Saheba was directed by Girish Kasaravalli and won a National award. Jayamala received a special jury award for her performance in the film.[8] Jayamala created history of sorts when she became the only actress in the Indian film industry to be conferred a doctorate for writing a thesis. Her thesis was on the rehabilitation of rural woman in Karnataka and required her to tour Karnataka and also scrutinise several documents. The Doctorate was conferred by the Bangalore University on 18 January 2008 and presented by former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.


She was at the center of a controversy when she claimed that she touched the Lord Ayyappa idol in Sabarimala during the shooting of Tamil movie titled 'Nambinar Keduvathillai'. Women from the age 10–50 are banned from entering Sabarimala temple. It created a furor in India and led to ideological warfare in Indian media and courts. It was Mr V Rajendran[9][10] who is currently the Kerala state committee member of Bharatiya Janata Party who filed the petition against her in Ranni court. Jayamala has said she regretted her action, but clarified that she was pushed into the shrine by a crowd of devotees. Rajendran insisted that it is impossible to touch as the shrine is located far inside the Garbhagriha. The Supreme Priest of Sabarimala Kantararu Maheshwararu had dismissed the actress's statement as a figment of her imagination.[11][12][13][14][15]


Kannada filmsEdit

Year Film Hero Notes
1974 Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu None Debut in supporting role[16]
1975 Daari Tappida Maga Dr. Raj Kumar
1975 Thrimurthy Dr. Raj Kumar
1976 Yaaru Hitavaru Ramgopal
1976 Badavara Bandhu Dr. Raj Kumar
1976 Premada Kanike Dr. Raj Kumar
1977 Babruvahana Dr. Raj Kumar
1977 Giri Kanye Dr. Raj Kumar
1978 Shankar Guru Dr. Raj Kumar
1979 Khandavideko Mamsavideko Suresh Heblikar
1979 Savalige Saval Jai Jagdish
1979 Madhu Chandra Shankar Nag
1980 Hanthakana Sanchu Vishnuvardhan
1980 Janma Janmada Anubandha Anant Nag
1980 Akhanda Brahmacharigalu None
1980 Kappu Kola Ashok
1981 Antha None Special appearance as Ambarish's sister/cabaret dancer
1981 Bhagyada Belaku Manu
1981 Bhaari Bharjari Bete Shankar Nag
1981 Muniyana Madari Jai Jagdish
1981 Naga Kala Bhairava Vishnuvardhan
1981 Sangeetha Lokesh, Manu
1981 Number 5 Ekka Srinath
1982 Ajith Ambarish
1982 Khadeema Kallaru Ambarish
1982 Prema Matsara Ambarish, Ramakrishna, Manu
1982 Raga Thala Newcomer Prithviraj
1982 Shankar Sundar Ambarish
1982 Pedda Gedda Dwarkish
1983 Chandi Chamundi Shankar Nag, Prabhakar
1983 Geluvu Nannade Ambarish, Prabhakar
1983 Hosa Theerpu Ambarish
1983 Nyaya Gedditu Prabhakar
1983 Prema Yuddha Prabhakar
1983 Sididedda Sahodara Vishnuvardhan
1983 Thirugu Baana Ambarish Guest Appearance
1984 Bedaru Bombe Shankar Nag
1984 Benki Birugali Vishnuvardhan
1984 Gandu Bherunda Shankar Nag
1984 Hosa Ithihaasa Prabhakar
1984 Huliyada Kala Prabhakar
1984 Jiddu Prabhakar
1984 Nagabekamma Nagabeku Shankar Nag
1984 Onti Dhwani Ambarish
1984 Premave Balina Belaku Anant Nag
1984 Raktha Thilaka Shankar Nag
1985 Pralaya Rudra Prabhakar
1995 Gadibidi Aliya Srinath
1996 Geluvina Saradara Srinath
1996 Nirbandha Anant Nag
1997 Thaayi Saheba Girish Kasaravalli National Film Special Jury Award
Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Kannada[17]
2004 Rowdy Aliya Ashok
2008 Navashakthi Vaibhava


  1. Oru Kodiyil Iru Malargal (1976)
  2. Jamboo (1980)
  3. Bhama Rukmani (1980)
  4. Andru Muthal Indru Varai (1981)
  5. Kadavulin Theerpu (1981)
  6. Kalthoon (1981)
  7. Asthivaram (1982)
  8. Kann Sivanthaal Mann Sivakkum (1983) as Valli
  9. Thalaimagan (1983)
  10. Kuvaa Kuvaa Vaaththukkal (1984)
  11. Pozhuthu Vidinchachu (1984)
  12. Padikkadha Pannaiyar (1985)
  13. Nambinar Keduvathillai (1986)
  14. En Pondatti Nallava (1995) as Mayilu

Malayalam: Credited as JayanthiEdit

  1. Devalokam (Unreleased)
  2. Makara Vilakku (1980)
  3. Oridathoru Phayalvaan (1981) as Chakkara
  4. Sindoora Sandhyakku Mounam (1982)
  5. Kadamba (1983)
  6. Rishi (1992)


  1. Rakshasudu (1986)
  2. Bhale Ramudu (1966)


  1. ^ "Four members to be nominated to Karnataka Council after poll results". The Hindu. 2 May 2014. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Jayamala elected KFCC president". The Hindu. 29 June 2008. Archived from the original on 12 October 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Basanth Patil is new chief of KFCC". Deccan Herald. 9 May 2010. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 October 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "This fighter finally met his match | Bengaluru News - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 25 July 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  6. ^ "WebHost4Life | Web Hosting, Unix Hosting, E-Mail, Web Design". www.webhost4life.com. Archived from the original on 18 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Jayamala Jr set for debut? - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 12 October 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Thaayi Saheba Awards: List of Awards won by Kannada movie Thaayi Saheba". Archived from the original on 18 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020 – via timesofindia.indiatimes.com.
  9. ^ "Sabarimala cinema shoot involving actresses forced rigid curbs on women". OnManorama. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Bharatiya Janata Party". Archived from the original on 2 October 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  11. ^ "India actress 'defiles' shrine". 3 July 2006. Archived from the original on 15 June 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2007 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  12. ^ "News18.com: CNN-News18 Breaking News India, Latest News Headlines, Live News Updates". News18. 15 June 2020. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Deccan Herald". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 10 June 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Actress' confession sparks Sabarimala row". Rediff. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  15. ^ Jayamala in a song on YouTube
  16. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Filmfare (South) awards presented". The Tribune. 26 April 1999. Archived from the original on 27 March 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2017.