K. R. Vijaya

Deivanayaki better known by her stage name K. R. Vijaya is an Indian actress who has featured in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada films. She started her career in 1963 and has been acting for almost six decades in South Indian cinema. The actress has worked with almost all the stalwarts of South Indian cinema and has played many key roles.[1]

K. R. Vijaya

Other namesPunnagai Arasi
Years active1963-1966
Sudarshan Velayuthan
(m. 1966; died 2016)
ChildrenHemalatha (b.1967)
RelativesK. R. Savithri
K.R. Vatsala

Early lifeEdit

Vijaya was born as Deivanayaki, eldest children to Ramachandra Nair and Kalyani at Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Dominion of India. Her father was in the army and her mother was a housewife. She has a younger brother, Narayanan and four younger sisters, K. R. Vatsala, K. R. Savithri, Sashikala and Radha. She had her primary education at Government Higher Secondary School, Adyar, Chennai.[2] Her father wanted her to become an actress since he was himself acting in M. R. Radha's drama troupe at the time after retiring from army. She made her film debut with Karpagam in 1963. She was the first ever actress to own a private jet.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

She married a businessman, Sudarshan Velayuthan Nair in 1966. Her husband was the CEO of Sudarshan trading company and a movie producer. The couple have a daughter Hemalatha (born 1967).[4] Velayuthan Nair died on 26 March 2016, aged 82.[3][5]


Vijaya's first break itself was as a heroine in her debut film Karpagam (1963). Her notable films include Idhaya Kamalam (1965), Odayil Ninnu(1965), Saraswathi Sabatham (1966), Selvam (1966), Nenjirukkum Varai (1967), Iru Malargal (1967), Namma Veettu Deivam (1970), Dheerga Sumangali (1974), Thangappathakkam (1974), Thirisoolam (1979) and Ithiri Poove Chuvannapoove (1984).

She was called as "Punnagai Arasi" (Queen of the smiles - in Tamil) by her fans at a function held in Trichy.[6] Vijaya was always the first choice of directors to portray the roles of Hindu goddesses due to her looks which was similar to conventional depictions. Apart from her essaying the role of Goddess Shakti in Mel Maruvathoor Arpudhangal (1986), she essayed the Mariamman avatar in the film Mahasakthi Mariamman (1986) and Kandhan Karunai (1967).[7] K R Vijaya reminisces about her first director "who gave her life" K. S. Gopalakrishnan who also directed her in her 100th film Nathayil Muthu (1973). Apart from acting in many films, she has also acted in Raja Rajeswari and Kudumbam, two teleserials, that were telecast on television in both India and Sri Lanka.[citation needed]

Vijaya returned to a mythological role in Sri Rama Rajyam (2011). K.R Vijaya also played Kausalya for the first time in Bapu's mythological extravaganza.[8] She has acted in over 500 films.[7]


Satyabama College
  • 2009 - Doctorate
Nandi Awards[9]
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Kerala State Film Awards
Kerala Film Critics Association Awards
  • 2013: Chalachitra Rathnam Award
Janmabhoomi Television Awards
  • 2018: Best Character Actress - Sathyam Sivam Sundaram
Other Awards
  • 2013: Nagi Reddy Memorial Awards
  • 2017: Congress Managalir Awards
  • 2019: Nakshathira Sathanaiyalar 2019


Television serialsEdit

Year Title Channel Language Notes
Adhiparasakthi Rajshri Tamil Tamil as Devi
Pettamma Doordarshan Malayalam as Ambalika
Oorvashi Gemini TV Telugu
2000 Daivathin Makkal Surya TV Malayalam
2000–2003 Mangai Sun TV Tamil as Mangai
2001–2007 Vikramadithian
2004 Anandham Special Appearance
2005–2007 Raja Rajeswari
2006 Sthree 2 Asianet Malayalam
2008–2009 Namma Kudumbam Kalaignar TV Tamil
2008–2009 Shree Krishna Leela Asianet Malayalam as Kurooramma
2009 Shree Mahabhagavatham
2010–2012 Devimahathmyam Asianet as Devakiyamma
2010–2011 Adi Parasakthi Star Vijay Tamil
2011 Shabarimala Shri Dharmashashtha Asianet Malayalam
2012–2016 Bhairavi Aavigalukku Priyamanaval Sun TV Tamil as Chintamani
2016–2018 Sathyam Sivam Sundaram Amrita TV Malayalam as Valliamma
2020 Ithikkarapakki Surya TV as pakki's umma
2021 Anbe Vaa Sun TV Tamil as Ulganayagi (Special Appearance)
2021-2022 Kanakanmani Surya TV Malayalam as Puthanmadathil Kadambariyamma
2023- present Madhanakamarajan YouTube Malayalam as Indràpuri muthassi


  1. ^ "Senior Actress K.R Vijaya: Open Heart with RK- Promo | ap7am".
  2. ^ "യവനികയിലെ മണവാട്ടി". mangalam.com. Archived from the original on 6 December 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b Vandhana (24 September 2017). "'Back Then, There Was No Pressure To Maintain Our Waistlines': Interview With KR Vijaya". Silverscreen.in. Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  4. ^ The Illustrated Weekly of India. Published for the proprietors, Bennett, Coleman & Company, Limited, at the Times of India Press. 1988. Archived from the original on 12 October 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  5. ^ S. N. Sadasivan (2000). A Social History of India. APH Publishing. pp. 679–682. ISBN 978-81-7648-170-0.
  6. ^ "Kalyanamalai Magazine - Serial story, Thiraichuvai - Potpourri of titbits about Tamil cinema, K. R. Vijaya".
  7. ^ a b "Women's Day: From Ramya Krishnan to Nayanthara, actresses with divine presence on reel".
  8. ^ "Screen goddess - The Hindu". The Hindu. 19 November 2011.
  9. ^ "నంది అవార్డు విజేతల పరంపర (1964–2008)" [A series of Nandi Award Winners (1964–2008)] (PDF). Information & Public Relations of Andhra Pradesh (in Telugu). 13 March 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Reed, Sir Stanley (5 February 1980). "The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who". Bennett, Coleman & Company – via Google Books.

External linksEdit