Meena (actress)

Meena is an Indian actress who predominantly works in the South Indian film industry. Meena debuted as a child artist in the Tamil film Nenjangal in 1982 and has later appeared in films produced by various regional industries.[1] Meena has been a superstar for over three decades by pairing up with many big stars In South India.[2]

Meena at Viscosity Dance Academy Launch.jpg
Meena at Viscosity Dance Academy launch in 2015
Meena Durairaj

Years active1982–present
(m. 2009)
ChildrenNainika vidhyasagar

She has acted in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and several Bollywood films. She is among the few actresses who have been successful in all the South Indian languages. She was one of the leading actresses of Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu cinema in the 90s.[3] She has established herself as a great performer through the decades in the South Indian film industry. In addition to acting, Meena is also a playback singer, TV judge, and occasional dubbing artiste.[4] She has won two Filmfare Awards South, four Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, two Nandi Award for Best Actress, and five Cinema Express Awards. In 1998 the government of Tamil Nadu honored her with the Kalaimamani Award for her contribution to arts and cinema.

Personal lifeEdit

Meena was born and brought up in Chennai (then Madras), Tamil Nadu. Her mother is from Kannur district of Kerala while her father is from Tamil Nadu.[5][6] Meena completed her eighth standard from Vidyodhaya School in Chennai. Her early entry into filmdom forced her to discontinue her education before matriculation. However, she passed her 10th standard with private coaching and earned a Master's in History from Madras University through the open university system in 2006. Meena is a trained Bharathanatyam dancer and speaks six languages: Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and English.

Meena married Vidyasagar, a Bangalore-based software engineer, on 12 July 2009. The couple has a daughter, Nainika (born 1 January 2011),[7][8] who made her acting debut at the age of 5 in Theri (2016) alongside actor Vijay.

Meena's birthdate has been reported inconsistently by the media. While some reported it as 16 September 1974,[9][10] others stated it to be 16 September 1976.[11][12][13]


Child artistEdit

Meena started her career in 1982 as a child artist in the film Nenjangal, featuring Sivaji Ganesan in the lead role after Ganesan saw her at a birthday party.[14] She has acted in several films along with Dr. Sivaji Ganesan as a child artist.[14] She has acted with Rajinikanth in two movies namely Engeyo Ketta Kural and Anbulla Rajinikanth as a child artist. Anbulla Rajinikanth, in which she acted as a terminally ill child who warms up to Rajinikanth —that became a major pointer in her career growth. After the success of that movie, she became a notable child artist in South Indian movies. She says of Ganesan that "I feel extremely proud to have been discovered by the legend". She appeared in over 45 films as a child.[14]

Lead female rolesEdit

Meena has been one of the top star pairing up with every big star down South .[15] She made her debut in Telugu beside Rajendra Prasad in Nava Yugam. Her career's turning point in Telugu was Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu, where she played Akkineni Nageswara Rao's granddaughter. The film was showcased among the Indian panorama section, at the 1991 International Film Festival of India. The film was made under the banner VMC Productions. She won Nandi Award for Best Actress from the Government of Andhra Pradesh for the film. Telugu film Chanti opposite actor Venkatesh was a milestone in her career and the film ran for more than 200 days. While her Tamil admission as a heroine was in Oru Pudhiya Kadhai. Meena was introduced to the Malayalam film industry by director Sibi Malayil in Sandhwanam 1991. She played Suresh Gopi's daughter in the film released in 1991. Its success made her famous which lead to roles with senior Malayalam heroes. Meena has expressed a wish to do more films in Malayalam.[14] She made her Bollywood debut opposite Chunky Pandey in the film Parda Hai Parda (1992). She appeared in her Kannada debut Putnanja, opposite Ravichandran. and she was part of many successful movies Like Swathi Muthu, Simhadriya Simha, My Autograph, etc. She has worked with Ravichandran, Vishuvardhan, Sudeep in Kannada Cinema.

Meena has the unique distinction of starring opposite legendary actors of different generations across various languages. She has acted with Rajinikanth, Dr. Kamal Haasan, Dr. Mohanlal, Dr. Mammootty, Chiranjeevi, Dr. Vishnuvardhan, Krishna, Balakrishna, Ravichandran, Vijayakanth, Nagarjuna, Venkatesh, Vijay, Ajith Kumar, Sathyaraj, Prabhu Deva, Sarathkumar, K. Bhagyaraj, Jayaram, Suresh Gopi, Prashanth, Harish Kumar, Kichcha Sudeep, Raviteja. She had hits with the films Nattamai film directed by K. S. Ravikumar. The film was successful and completed a 175-day run at the box office (1994). She just grabs the continuous offer and the opportunity to act in films like Avvai Shanmughi (1996) with Kamal Haasan, Porkkaalam with Murali (1997), Bharathi Kannamma (1997) with Parthiban and so on. Telugu audience remembers her for a variety of roles that called for mature acting that seemed tailor-made for her. The peppy girl who wins over her unrelenting grandfather with her endearing ways in Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu, the protected sister in Chanti, the bold housewife in Sundarakanda, the renowned poet and devotee ‘Tarigonda Vengamamba’. The combo of Victory Venkatesh and Meena is said to be one of the most successful combinations in Tollywood. They have 5 Blockbuster hits to their credit.[16] Another excellent performance in the movie Rhythm (2000). This movie makes the most impact on multiple viewings. Meena was an exceptionally brilliant performance in each scene. Strangely enough, she looks the best in this movie in terms of makeup and this movie had her in her best performance to date. While she picked up Best Actress at the Cinema Express Awards.

Meena has acted both as a child and as an adult opposite Rajinikanth. Her first hit with Rajinikanth was Yejaman, where she plays the role of Vaitheeswari, a simple village girl. She always played the quiet, serious woman. In one Interview Meena said that Rajinikanth was shocked to see her fan following in Telugu after the release of her film Chanti. When Meena and Rajinikanth were shooting for Yejaman in Andhra, she was surrounded by a huge number of fans- mostly female- which shocked Rajnikanth. In one interview in 1992 Rajinikanth himself said that Meena is a superstar in Telugu[17] In her follow-up movie with Rajini, Veera, Meena again dazzled. Romantic-comedy film. Rajinikanth, Meena and Roja (actress) in the lead role. This film was controversial for its climax but went on to become one of the highest-grossing films in 1994. But the film that brought her true recognition and fame was Muthu, one of Rajini's biggest hits. The movie was successful across Japan. Ranganayaki as the talkative, cheeky street theatre actress won the hearts of the audience. The film was directed by K. S. Ravikumar and produced by K. Balachander, and became the first Tamil film to be dubbed into Japanese, as Mutu: Odoru Maharaja.[47] [48] The film grossed a record US$1.6 million in Japan in 1998 and was responsible for creating a large Japanese fan base for Rajinikanth and Meena. Following the release of Muthu in Japan and its commercial success, Meena's popularity rose in Japan.

She has acted with pretty much all the top superstars from South Indian cinema. But, one hero that she couldn't act with was Vijay. Especially after being approached for 3 to 4 movies. She was supposed to act with him in a few films but it was missed due to the date problem. She was part of an item dance number in one of Vijay's movies Shahjahan in 2001 after the director and producer recommended it.

Meena has the highest-grossing movies as the lead heroine in Malayalam and making her most promising heroine after 30 years also.[18][circular reference]. No other heroine has that credit in the history of Indian cinema.

Recent rolesEdit

Meena's releases in 2009 were Mariyadhai with Vijayakanth, directed by Vikraman. Katha, Samvidhanam: Kunchacko with Sreenivasan.[19] She played in Telugu as Saint Vengamamba in Tarigonda Vengamamba, directed by Uday Bhaskar.[20]

In 2011, she played the role of Narain's sister in the film Thambikottai. Her role in this movie was very good and well accepted.[21][22][23]

After marriage, she paired with Ramesh Aravind in the film Hendtheera Darbar, which was a remake of Varavu Ettana Selavu Pathana

In 2012, Udaya Bhaskar made a film titled Sri Vasavi Vaibhavam Telugu devotional film. Meena playing as a Goddess in the film. This marks her re-entry to films after a long period.[24]

She has agreed to star in an ad film with Prakash Raj. The commercial is being directed by producer Siva. She had played a cameo in J.K. Bharavi's Jagadguru Adi Shankara-devotional film lastly and did justice to her roles.[25][26]

After a brief hiatus, Meena returned to Malayalam cinema and will be seen playing the role of wife to Mohanlal in Drishyam (2013). Directed by Jeethu Joseph, she will be portraying the role of a mother of two daughters, of which the elder is pursuing her plus two. The actress will also be seen in Pramod Payyanur's Balyakalasakhi alongside Mammootty. The actress would be playing Drishyam's remake in Telugu with Venkatesh.[27] Meena will playing a leading role in Allari Naresh's upcoming movie Mama Manchu Alludu Kanchu.[28][29]

Other workEdit

Music composingEdit

Meena has been a playback singer for some albums with actor Manoj. Meena has composed music and sung and recorded two pop albums, 16 Vayathinile, and Kadhalism, which she began recording in 2001 with actor Vikram.[30][31] Meena has been a playback singer in the music of D. Imman in the movie sena and the song is "indru intha kalayil en nenjil echo aachu", a super hit song.


Meena dubbed for Cheran's movie Pokkisham. Meena has rendered voice for Padmapriya Janakiraman.[32]

Personal lifeEdit

Meena married Vidyasagar, a Bangalore-based software engineer, on 12 July 2009 at Arya Vysya Samaj Kalyana Mandapam.[1] The couple later visited Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Andhra Pradesh. The couple came back to Chennai to hold a reception at Mayor Ramanathan Chettiar Hall, in which all leading southern Indian actors participated. The couple has a daughter Nainika who made her acting debut at the age of 5 in the film Theri (2016).[33]

Awards and honoursEdit

Year Award Award Category Awarded Work
1992 Nandi Award for Best Actress Nandi Award for Best Actress Seetharamayya Gari Manavaralu[34]
1992 Nandi Award for Best Actress Nandi Award for Best Actress Rajeswari Kalyanam[35]
1993 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress Ejamaan
1994 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress Sethupathi IPS
1994 Cinema Express Awards Cinema Express Award for Best Actress – Tamil Nattamai
1995 Cinema Express Awards Cinema Express Award for Best Actress – Tamil Muthu
1996 Cinema Express Awards Cinema Express Award for Best Actress – Tamil Avvai Shanmugi
1996 Dinakaran Film Awards Dinakaran Film Awards for Best Actress Avvai Shanmugi
1997 Cinema Express Awards Cinema Express Award for Best Actress – Tamil Bharathi Kannamma
1997 Filmfare Awards South Best Tamil Actress Bharathi Kannamma
1997 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress Porkkaalam
1998 Tamil Nadu Government Honour Kalaimamani Art - Contributions to Tamil film Industry
2000 Cinema Express Awards Cinema Express Award for Best Actress – Tamil Rhythm
2002 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress Ivan
2003 Filmfare Awards South Best Kannada Actress Swathi Muthu[36]
2009 Ugadi Puraskar awards
TSR TV9 awards
Best Telugu Actress
Special jury award
Tarikonda Venkamamba[37][38]
2013 Asianet Film Awards
Vayalar Awards
Best Character Actress
Vayalar Film Award for Best Actress
2014 TSR-TV9 Film Awards Special Jury Award for Best Actress Drushyam[40]


  Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Movie title Role Language Notes
1982 Nenjangal Kidnapped child Tamil Child artiste (debut)
Enkeyo Ketta Kural Daughter to Rajinikanth Tamil Child artiste
Parvaiyin Marupakkam Daughter to the Priest Tamil Child artiste
Theerpugal Thiruththapadalam Daughter to Sivakumar Tamil Child artiste
1983 Thandikkapatta Niyayangal Playful child Tamil Child artiste
Sumangali Doll-selling girl Tamil Child artiste
Siripuram Monagadu Baby Meena Telugu Child artiste
1984 Thiruppam Baby Meena Tamil Child artiste
Illalu Priyuralu Baby Meena Telugu Child artiste
Yaadgar Baby Meena Hindi Child Artist
Bava Maradallu Baby Meena Telugu Child artiste
Kode Trachu Telugu Child artiste
Anbulla Rajinikanth Rosy Tamil Child artiste
Oru Kochukatha Aarum Parayatha Katha Rajani Malayalam Child artiste
Manasariyathe Minimol Malayalam Child artiste
1985 Panneer Nadhigal Tamil Child artiste
Uyire Unakkaga Nadhiya as a child Tamil Child artiste
Rendu Rella Aaru Baby Meena Telugu Child artiste
Khooni Baby Meena Telugu Child artiste
1986 Sirivennela Baby Meena Telugu Child artiste
Lakshmi Vanthachu Playful child Tamil Child artiste
1990 Kartavyam Karuna Telugu
Navayugam Sumathi Telugu Debut as heroine
Prajala Manishi Telugu
Oru Pudhiya Kadhai Maha Tamil
1991 Seetharamayya Gari Manavaralu Seetha Telugu
En Rasavin Manasile Cholaiamma Tamil
Indra Bhavanam Telugu
Idhaya Oonjal Chithra Tamil
Idhaya Vaasal Vaani Tamil
Jagannatakam Jhansi Telugu
Sandhwanam Rajalakshmi Malayalam
Chengalva Pudanda Telugu
1992 Chanti Nandini Telugu
Parda Hai Parda Maya Hindi
Allari Pilla Nandini Telugu
Allari Mogudu Neelambari Telugu
Sundarakanda Nanchari Telugu
President Gari Pellam Swapna Telugu
Pellam Chepte Vinali Geetha Telugu
Bangaru Maama Kasthuri Telugu
Moratodu Naa Mogudu Telugu
Aswamedham Dr. Bharati Telugu
1993 Muta Mesthri Buchamma Telugu
Yejaman Vaitheeswari Vaanavaraayan Tamil
Abbaigaru Sudha Telugu
Allari Alludu Sandhya Telugu
Rajeswari Kalyanam Rajeshwari Telugu
Konguchatu Krishnadu Telugu
1994 Sethupathi IPS Chandramathi Tamil
Veera Devayanai Tamil
Thai Maaman Meena Tamil
Rajakumaran Selvi Tamil
Nattamai Meena Tamil
Punya Bhoomi Naa Desam Swathi Telugu
Anga Rakshakudu Meenu Telugu
Bhale Pellam Bharathi Telugu
Bobbili Simham Venkatalakshmi Telugu
1995 Maaman Magal Priya Tamil
Oru Oorla Oru Rajakumari Lakshmi Prabha Tamil
Marumagan Manjula Tamil
Coolie Vimala Tamil
Seral Irumboraiyin Tamil Kadhal Tamil
Nadodi Mannan Meenakshi,
Muthu Ranganayaki Tamil
Aalu Magalu Telugu
Chilakapachcha Kaapuram Radha Telugu
Putnanja Rose Kannada
1996 Sengottai Meena Tamil
Avvai Shanmugi Janaki Tamil
1997 Vallal Annam Tamil
Mommaga Kannada
Cheluva Meena Kannada
Porkkaalam Maragatham Tamil
Pasamulla Pandiyare Vellayamma Tamil
Bharathi Kannamma Kannamma Tamil
Varnapakittu Sandra,
Muddula Mogudu Sirisha Telugu
Panjaram Telugu
1998 Ulavuthurai Meena Tamil
Naam Iruvar Nammaku Iruvar Indu Tamil
Kusruthi Kuruppu Meera Malayalam
Gillikajjalu Satya bhama Telugu
Suryavamsam Swapna Telugu
Harichandra Nandhini Tamil
1999 Sneham Kosam Prabhavati Telugu
Periyanna Shenbagam Tamil
Iraniyan Ponni Tamil
Anandha Poongatre Meenakshi Tamil
Olympiyan Anthony Adam Angel Malayalam
Friends Padmini Malayalam
Krishna Babu Rama Telugu
Bobbili Vamsham Telugu
Velugu Needalu Telugu
Unnaruge Naan Irundhal Mahalakshimi (Maha) Tamil
Manam Virumbuthe Unnai Priya Tamil
2000 Vanathai Pola Gowri Muthu Tamil
Pape Naa Pranam Priya Telugu
Palayathu Amman Palayathu Amman Tamil
Vetri Kodi Kattu Valli Muthuraman Tamil
Doubles Meena Tamil
Rhythm Chitra Tamil
Maayi Bhuvaneswari Tamil
Dreams Nirmala Mathan Malayalam
Maa Annayya Wife Telugu
Thenali Meena (Herself) Tamil Special Appearance
Anbudan Shanthi Tamil Guest appearance
2001 Rishi Indu Tamil
Citizen Sevali Tamil
Sri Manjunatha Goddess Parvathi Kannada
Rakshasa Rajav Meera Malayalam
Ammayi Kosam Anjali Telugu
Shahjahan Meena Tamil Special appearance
Grama Devathe Angala Parameswari Kannada
2002 Angala Parameswari Angala Parameswari Amman Tamil
Dhaya Thulasi Tamil
Simhadriya Simha Kannada
Devan Uma Tamil
Ivan Meena Kumari Tamil
Namma Veetu Kalyanam Meena Tamil
Padai Veetu Amman Padai Veetu Amman,
Muthu Maariamman
Villain Thangam Tamil
2003 Paarai Mallika Tamil
Swathi Muthu Lalitha Kannada
Mr. Brahmachari Ganga Malayalam
Simhachalam Simhachalam's wife Telugu
Game for Love Kannada
2004 Shock Malini Tamil
Puttintiki Ra Chelli Wife Telugu
Anbu Sagotharan Tamil
Bharath Simha Reddy Telugu
Swamy Telugu
Gowdru Parvati Kannada Guest appearance
Aalukkoru Aasai Eshwari Tamil
Natturajavu Maya Malayalam
2005 Mahasadhvi Mallamma Mallamma Kannada
Kannamma Kannamma Tamil
Udayananu Tharam Madhumathi Udayabhanu Malayalam
Chandrolsavam Indulekha Malayalam
2006 My Autograph Divya Kannada
Karutha Pakshikal Suvarnna Malayalam
2007 Kadha Parayumbol Sridevi Balan Malayalam
Black Cat Meenakshi Malayalam
2008 Kuselan Sridevi Balakrishnan Tamil
Kathanayakudu Sreedevi Telugu
Magic Lamp Anupama Malayalam
Manidhan Tamil
2009 Mariyadhai Radha Tamil
Katha, Samvidhanam: Kunchacko Ann Mary Malayalam
Vengamamba Saint Vengamamba Telugu
2010 Dasanna Malli Telugu
Hendtheer Darbar Radha Kannada
2011 Thambikottai Shanmugapriya Tamil
2012 Sri Vasavi Vaibhavam Telugu
2013 Sri Jagadguru Aadi Sankara Gangadevi Telugu
Drishyam Rani George Malayalam
2014 Balyakalasakhi Majeed's mother Malayalam
Drushyam Jyothi Telugu
2015 Mama Manchu Alludu Kanchu Suryakantham Telugu
2017 Katha veendum Parayumbol Sridevi Balan Malayalam
Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol Annyamma Malayalam
2018 Saakshyam Viswa's mother Telugu
2020 Shylock Lakshmi Ayyanar Malayalam
2021 Drishyam 2 Rani George Malayalam [41]
Annaatthe   TBA Tamil Completed[42]
Drushyam 2   Jyothi Telugu Post production
Rowdy Baby   TBA Tamil Filming
2022 Bro Daddy   TBA Malayalam Filming


Year Title Role Language Channel Notes
1990 Anbulla Amma (co-starring with actress Manorama) Shyamala Tamil Doordarshan TV serial
2005 Housefull Show Host Tamil Jaya TV TV show
2006-2008 Lakshmi Lakshmi Tamil Sun TV TV serial
2007 Mastana Mastana season 1 Judge Tamil Sun TV Dance show
2009 Kalyanam Meera/Sujatha Tamil Sun TV TV serial
Tarikonda Venkamamba Tarikonda Venkamamba Telugu SVBC TV TV serial
Boys VS Girls season 2 Judge Tamil Vijay TV Dance show
2011 Jodi Number One Season 5 Special Judge Tamil Vijay TV
2012 Nee Kongu Bangaram Ganu Host Telugu MAA TV TV show
Veera Judge Telugu ETV Dance show
Super Kudumbam Judge Tamil Sun TV TV show
Anubandhalu Sharada Telugu Gemini TV TV serial
2013 Bharthakkanmarude Sradhakku Judge Malayalam Asianet TV show
2014 Super Kutumbam Judge Telugu Gemini TV Dance show
2015 Manada Mayilada season 10 Judge Tamil Kalaignar TV
2016 Dance Dance Special Judge Kannada Star Suvarna
2016 Dance Jodi Dance Special Judge Tamil Zee Tamil
2017 Junior Senior Judge Tamil Zee Tamil Reality show
2017 Ningalkkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran Contestant Malayalam Asianet Game show
2019 Lolluppa Judge Tamil Sun TV TV Programme
Extra Jabardasth Judge Telugu ETV
Karoline Kamakshi Kamakshi Tamil Zee5 Web series
2021 Top Singer Guest Judge Malayalam Flowers TV Music Reality Show


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External linksEdit