Malashri (born Sri Durga; 10 August 1973) is an Indian film actress. She has predominantly worked in Kannada movies and was the topmost heroine in the 1990s. She has also worked in Tamil and Telugu cinema. Malashri was popular for playing diverse roles in women-centric movies many of which were highly successful at the box-office. She was popularly called Kanasina Rani ("Dream Girl") in the media.
10 August 1973
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India
|Spouse(s)||Ramu (died 2021) |
Malashri made her debut as a heroine with the Kannada film Nanjundi Kalyana (1989). Her portrayal of a haughty, shrewish woman won her accolades and heralded her as a top actress of Kannada Cinema. She established herself as the topmost heroine in Kannada cinema with films like Gajapathi Garvabhanga (1989), Policena Hendthi (1990), Kitturina Huli (1990), Rani Maharani (1990), Hrudaya Haadithu (1991), for which she won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress, Ramachaari (1991), Belli Kalungura (1992), Solillada Saradara (1993) and Gadibidi Aliya (1995).
In 2015 she won her first Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress for her action-oriented role in Ganga. In 1992, 19 movies starring her in lead roles were released. With that, she broke the 24 year old record of highest releases in lead roles in Kannada in a single year surpassing Rajkumar who had 16 releases in 1968.
Malashri began her career as a child artiste and appeared in 34 films in Tamil and Telugu and she played the role of a boy in 26 of them. In a talk show, Majaa Talkies, she said that as a child, she was a fan of actor Amitabh Bachchan and would dress up like him, which prompted directors to cast her as a boy, in 1979 films like Imayam and Neela Malargal.
Writer and lyricist Chi. Udaya Shankar introduced Malashri to the Rajkumar family when they were on the look out for a fresh face opposite their son Raghavendra Rajkumar who was gearing to make his debut. Parvathamma Rajkumar decided to cast her in Nanjundi Kalyana (1989) and rechristened her from Durga to Malashri. Malashri went on to act in two other films with Vajreshwari Combines, Gajapathi Garvabhanga opposite Raghavendra again, and Mruthyunjaya with Shiva Rajkumar.
In 1990 Malashri took on the famous double role in Rani Maharani (immortalized by Sridevi in Chaalbaaz) and won a huge fan following with her powerhouse performance. Her next film Hrudaya Haadithu where she played a young woman inflicted with a heart problem won her acclaim from the masses and critics alike as well as the Filmfare Best actress award for 1991. As she churned out hit after hit even the stalwart V. Ravichandran, who till then believed only in importing heroines from other states, cashed in on her popularity by casting her in Ramachaari (a remake of Tamil Hit Chinna Thambi). The move paid off, enabling him to come out of the financial crisis he faced due to the debacle of Shanti Kranti.
In later part of the 90s, Malashri had a string of less successful films like Prema Khaidi, Snehada Kadalalli, Megha Mandara, Arishina Kumkuma, and Solillada Saradara. She took brief hiatus after marriage and made comeback in the new millennium with "angry woman" roles in Chamundi (2000), Kannadada Kiran Bedi (2009), Shakti (2012), Veera (2013) and Ganga (2015).
Malashri was born and brought up in Chennai (Chennai). She shot to fame with Nanjundi Kalyana in 1989 but her personal life hit an all-time low the same year when her mother died in a road accident. She was in a relationship with actor Sunil, her co-star of many films. But in 1994 they met with a car accident and while Malashree suffered multiple injuries, Sunil died on the spot. It was rumoured that they had been planning to get married. She was married to film producer Ramu and they had a daughter together, Ananya (b. 2001). Her sister Subhashri was also an actress, who appeared in South Indian films. Her husband Ramu died on 26 April 2021 due to Covid.
|1979||Imayam||Tamil||Credited as Baby Durga|
|Chinna Chinna Aasaigal||Tamil||Credited as Rasika|
|1990||Prema Khaidi||Neelima||Telugu||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu|
|Raja Kempu Roja||Geetha||Kannada|
|Aatha Naan Pass Ayittaen||Tamil|
|Rani Maharani||Suma / Rani||Kannada||Dual roles|
|1991||Hrudaya Haadithu||Asha||Kannada||Filmfare Award for Best Actress|
|S. P. Bhargavi||Bhargavi||Kannada|
|Rowdy & MLA||Kannada|
|Halli Rambhe Belli Bombe||Kannada|
|Hatamari Hennu Kiladi Gandu||Kannada|
|Halli Krishna Delhi Radha||Radha||Kannada|
|Mana Mecchida Sose||Kannada|
|Belliyappa Bangarappa||Herself||Kannada||Guest appearance|
|1993||Hendthi Helidare Kelabeku||Mala||Kannada|
|1996||Sahasa Veerudu Sagara Kanya||Ganga||Telugu|
|Goonda Matthu Police||Kannada|
|2009||Kannadada Kiran Bedi||Kiran Bedi / Bellary Bhagyalakshmi||Kannada|
|2015||Ganga||Ganga||Kannada||Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress|
|2016||John Jani Janardhan||Kannada||Special appearance|
|2017||Uppu Huli Khara||Kannada|
- Other awards
- "Kannada film producer Ramu dies of COVID-19 in Bengaluru". NewsMinute. 27 April 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
- "The name is star, super star". The Times of India. 11 November 2008. Archived from the original on 13 May 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Karnataka State Film Awards, 2015: Full List". Archived from the original on 18 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- "I played a boy in 26 films: Malashri". The Times of India. 29 March 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
- Malashri (17 August 2015). Majaa Takies - 17th October 2015 - ಮಜಾ ಟಾಕೀಸ್ - Full Episode (in Kannada). Colors Kannada. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- "Combat queen". The Hindu. 17 April 2009. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- "Malashree's comeback effort". Rediff. 5 May 2000. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- "Kannada Actress Malashree Profile". karnatakaspider. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- "IT'S MOTHER MALASHREE". chitraloka.com. Archived from the original on 3 March 2001. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
- "Kannada film producer Ramu dies due to Covid-19". The Times of India. 26 April 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
- "Action queen returns with a new role". The Indian Express. 28 September 2013. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
- Archived 2017-02-08 at archive.today
- "Land for Telugu institute: Somanna". The New Indian Express. 5 June 2012. Archived from the original on 16 November 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.