16 August 1939
|Years active||1957–1988; 2017|
Kanchana was born as Vasundhra Devi on 16 August 1939.
Her father suffered business losses, and she went to work as an air hostess to support her family, when she was discovered by a friend of film director C. V. Sridhar on a plane where he was a passenger, who later suggested her to him. Sridhar gave her the lead role in his film Kaadhalikka Neramillai in 1963 and changed her name to Kanchana, since there was already another actress named Vasundhara Devi, mother of actress Vyjayanthimala. Kanchana acted in over 150 films – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi, with a successful acting career.
She had a very successful career in Tamil films especially between 1964 and 1977 as lead heroine. Her critically acclaimed films include Kaadhalikka Neramillai, Thedi Vantha Thirumagal, Parakkum Paavai, Kodimalar, Adhey Kangal, Bama Vijayam, Naalum Therindavan, Thangai, Thulabaram, Ponnu Mappilai, Shanti Nilayam, Chella Penn, Uthiravindri Ulle Vaa, Vilaiyaattu Pillai, Sivanda Mann, Nyayam Ketkirom, Avalukendru Oru Manam, and Engalakkum Kaadhal Varum. She retired from films in the early 1980s. In 2005, she was presented with the MGR award and in 2007 the ANR Swarna Kankanam award.
In Tamil, her pairing with Ravichandran was the most famous with all their films - Adhey Kangal, Kadhalikka Neram Illai, Utharavindri Ullevaa, Kadhal Jyoti, Thedivandha Thirumagal and Naalum Therindavan being hits. She acted in some films with R. Muthuraman including Kaadhalikka Neramillai, Kodimalar, Thulabharam (Tamil version), Thangai, Bama Vijayam and Avalukendru Oru Manam. She also acted with Sivaji Ganesan in Sivandha Mann, which was a blockbuster hit along with Vilayattu Pillai and Avan Oru Sarithiram. She did two films with MGR - Naan Yen Pirandhen and Parakkum Paavai as the second lead heroine of the film. Apart from that, she was paired with many Tamil heroes like A. V. M. Rajan, S. S. Rajendran, Gemini Ganesan , Jaishankar, Ravichandran and Sivakumar in Tamil. Her last film as lead heroine in Tamil was Avan Oru Sarithiram in and Babruvahana in Kannada, both in 1977.
Her performances in the movies Pavitra Bandham, Manchivaadu were well appreciated and recognised. She played Uttara in the film Veerabhimanyu. The following year she acted in the Annapurna Pictures' film Aatma Gowravam with veteran director K. Viswanath.
The actress later won back her properties in T. Nagar, Chennai of around 6 grounds, with the Court ruling against her parents. It was learnt that one day her father took signature of Kanchana on a white paper and without her knowledge converted total assets on his name. After a long legal battle she won and regained her wealth.
|1957||Manaalane Mangaiyin Baakkiyam||Naaga Kanni||Credited as "Vasundhara"|
|1964||Kaadhalikka Neramillai||Kanchana||Debut film|
|1966||Motor Sundaram Pillai||Kamala|
|1966||Thedi Vantha Thirumagal||Susheela|
|1970||Noorandu Kaalam Vazgha||Leela|
|1970||Kadhal Jothi||Dr. Suguna|
|1971||Avalukendru Oru Manam||Meena|
|1971||Uttharavindri Ulle Vaa||Janaki|
|1972||Naan Yen Pirandhen||Radha|
|1975||Engalakkum Kaadhal Varum|
|1977||Avan Oru Sarithiram||Kalpana|
|1979||Ninaivil Oru Malar|
|1979||Jaya Nee Jayichutte|
|1981||Lorry Driver Rajakannu||Ramu's wife|
|1982||Pagadai Panirendu||Anand's mother|
|1987||Kizhakku Africavil Sheela||Kumudha|
|1957||Suvarna Sundari||Naaga Kanya|
|1960||Bhatti Vikramarka||Goddess Kaalika|
|1966||Navarathri||Patient (cameo appearance)|
|1969||Natakala Rayudu||Geetha Devi|
|1971||Andam Kosam Pandem||Malathi|
|1972||Manchi Rojulu Vachchaayi||Geetha|
|1973||Bhakta Tukaram||Bahina bai|
|1973||Devudu Chesina Manushulu||Geetha|
|1977||Daana Veera Soora Karna||Subhadra|
|1981||Gadasari Attaha Sosagara Kodalu|
|1984||Shrimad Virat Veerabrahmendra Swami Charitra||govindamma|
|1985||Shri Datta Darshanam|
|2017||Arjun Reddy||Arjun's grandmother|
|1981||Bhagyavantha||wife of K. S. Ashwath|
|1982||Nyaya Ellide||mother of Shankar nag|
|1982||Prachanda Kulla||Rama's mother|
|1983||Bhakta Prahlada||Mother of Rajkumar|
|1984||Samayada Gombe||Mother of Rajkumar|
|1986||Madhuve Madu Tamashe Nodu|
|1988||Devatha Manushya||Sister of Rajkumar|
|1974||Jeevikkan Marannupoya Sthree|
|1984||Sreekrishna Parunthu||Kumaran's mother|
|1985||Njaan Piranna Naattil||Nandini|
|1957||Suvarna Sundari||Naag Kanya||Credited as "Vasundhra"|
|1968||Teen Bahuraniyan||Remake of Bhama Vijayam|
|1970||Samaj Ko Badal Dalo||Remake of Thulabaaram|
|1974||Prem Nagar||Dancer||Remake of same name in Telugu|
- [dead link]
- "Kanchana". Malayalachalachitram.com.
- "Sport And Pastime Vol.18(may-august)1964". Archive.org. 24 November 1964. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
- Chowdhary, Y. Sunita (18 August 2012). "'Nothing is permanent'". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
- "Star then, a stoic now". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 10 March 2006. Archived from the original on 25 June 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2008.
- "Yesteryear diva looks back". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 27 September 2007. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2008.
- "Yesteryear heroine wins property, donates to TTD". The New Indian Express. Chennai, India. 10 October 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Idle Brain. Idle Brain. Retrieved on 9 June 2012.
- "TTD not to sell land donated by yesteryear actress". Zee News. Chennai, India. 6 November 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Yesteryears dream girl has a dream today - IBNLive". IBN Live. Chennai, India. 26 February 2012. Archived from the original on 23 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.