M. V. Rajamma
M. V. Rajamma (10 March 1921 – 23 April 1999) was an Indian actress, producer and playback singer of Indian films mostly in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu languages from the 1930s through 1970s. She has the distinction of having acted as both heroine and mother to stalwart South Indian actors such as Dr. Rajkumar, Sivaji Ganesan, MGR and NTR. Karnataka Government established M. V. Rajamma Award in her honor.
M. V. Rajamma
|Born||10 March 1921|
Akandanahalli, Kingdom of Mysore
|Died||23 April 1999 (aged 78)|
|Occupation||Actress, film producer, playback singer|
|Spouse(s)||M. C. Veer|
Making her debut as a lead actress in the 1936 released Samsara Nauka Rajamma enjoyed an elaborate career in feature films across South India. She was the first and foremost woman producer in India and in Kannada films. She produced the film Radha Ramana in 1943 under her own home banner Vijaya Films. Her entry to the Tamil films was through the 1940 classic hit film Uthama Puthiran. She went on to star in about 60 Kannada, 80 Tamil, 20 Telugu and one Hindi films in her career spanning around four decades.
Rajamma was born in 1921 at Agandanahalli, a village in today's Bangalore Urban district, hitherto a part of Kingdom of Mysore. Her father Nanjappa, a merchant, was fond of stage and encouraged her to act. Rajamma joined the theatre group Chandrakala Nataka Mandali as a teenager and performed in plays alongside B. R. Panthulu, who she would go on to collaborate frequently on stage and in films. She did her schooling at the Arya Balika school in Bangalore till the eighth grade. She later shifted base to Chennai for doing films.
In the early 1930s, Rajamma was attracted to the stage theatre and entered the field at a time when male actors disguised themselves to play female characters. Rajamma enacted several inspiring roles in dramas such as Samsara Nauke, Gauthama Buddha and Subhadra. In 1935, when one of her stage plays Samsara Nauke was made into a film, she was cast again as the lead actress opposite to Panthulu. They went on to work together in many films for about 20 years. In 1940, she entered Tamil film industry in Chennai with the film Uthama Puthiran. From then on, she became one of the most sought after actresses across all the South Indian film industries. After her marriage, she concentrated mainly on playing motherly roles to the actors whom she had paired as a heroine earlier.
In 1943, Rajamma took her career to another level by producing the Kannada film Radha Ramana directed by Jyothish Sinha that featured herself opposite B. R. Panthulu in the lead. Acclaimed artists such as Balakrishna and G. V. Iyer were introduced through this film. It went on to perform well at the box-office which resulted in her second production venture Makkala Rajya (1960). Though the film was lauded by the critics, the box-office collections soared which made her back off from film production for a long while. However, she went on to star in many box-office blockbusters in both Kannada and Tamil film industries.
|1935||Samsara Nauka||Kannada||Debut as actor|
|1957||Manalane Mangayin Bhagyam||Tamil|
|1958||Engal Kudumbam Perisu||Tamil|
|1959||Abba Aa Hudugi||Kannada|
|1960||Kuzhandaigal Kanda Kudiyarasu||Tamil|
|1962||Padithaal Mattum Podhuma||Tamil|
|1963||Dharmam Thalai Kaakkum||Tamil|
|1970||Thedi Vandha Mappillai||Tamil|
|1972||Jaga Mecchida Maga||Kannada|
|1972||Ondu Hennina Kathe||Kannada|
|1975||Daari Tappida Maga||Kannada|
- "M. V. Rajamma, the favorite 'Amma'". Kalyanamalai. Archived from the original on 27 March 2013.
- "MV Rajamma – First Kannada Women Producer". Chitraloka. 16 August 2013.
- "Do you know the First Woman Producer of Kannada?". Reelbox.
- Bhaktavatsala, M. (29 August 1999). "The two of a pair". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 7 June 2000. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
- "MV Rajamma article". Kannada Ratna. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.