Meghana Sunder Raj (3 May 1990) is an Indian actress who primarily works in Malayalam and Kannada films along with a few Telugu and Tamil films. She made her acting debut in the 2009 Telugu film Bendu Apparao R.M.P. She has won Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Iruvudellava Bittu, a 2018 Kannada film.
Meghana Sunder Raj
3 May 1990
|Alma mater||Christ University|
(m. 2018; died 2020)
|Relatives||Dhruv Sarja (brother-in-law)|
Arjun Sarja (uncle)
Aishwarya Arjun (sister-in-law)
Meghana Raj was born on 3 May 1990 as the only daughter to film actors Sundar Raj and Pramila Joshai. Her father Sundar has acted in more than 180 films, predominantly in Kannada language, while her mother Pramila Joshai is a noted Kannada film actress and film producer. She completed her schooling from Baldwin Girls' High School and holds Bachelor's degree in psychology at Christ University, Bangalore.
2009–11: Debut, breakthrough and setbackEdit
Meghana Raj debuted as a theatre artist, when she was a child, acting alongside her father Sunder Raj in the play Jokumaraswamy. During the audio launch function of the Tamil film Poi in February 2006, she was invited by its director K. Balachander to pursue an acting career, starring in one of his forthcoming films. Accepting his offer, she was given the lead female role in the Tamil film Krishnaleelai, a Balachander production, directed by Selvan. However, despite continuing shooting throughout 2008, which was completed in early 2009, the film got stuck in production hell, and its release got delayed for various reasons.
Even before the release of that film, she commenced shooting for a Telugu film Bendu Apparao R.M.P, which would eventually be her first feature film release. She played the character of a school teacher in the comedy entertainer, starring Allari Naresh and Kamna Jethmalani as well, which released in October 2009 and went on to become highly successful at the box office. She debuted in the Kannada films by enacting the female lead role in Punda, a remake of the 2007 Tamil film Polladhavan. Meghana's next release was her debut Tamil film, the Boopathy Pandian-directed Kaadhal Solla Vandhen, while she also signed up her first Malayalam project, the horror film Yakshiyum Njanum under Vinayan's direction, which was released in August 2010. Although the film was just an average grosser, its glamorous and sensual songs on Meghana was a hit among the youth and made her an instant favorite among the youth. During that time she also acted in two more projects, Nanda Nanditha, which is a remake of the 2008 Kannada film Nanda Loves Nanditha and the Tamil film Kalla Siripazhaga.
2011–13: Beautiful and commercial successEdit
After a series of flops for most of 2011 where she was seen repeatedly cast merely as a glamour actress, Meghana reverted to winning ways with the Malayalam film Beautiful which was released in the first week of December. The film was a success both commercially and critically and critics widely regarded it as one of the best Malayalam movies of 2011. Meghana's portrayal of Anjali, a home nurse in the film won her very good reviews. Since getting noticed with Beautiful, Meghana got a lot of Malayalam films offers and for a brief period of time was the most sought out actress in Malayalam.
It was during this time when Meghana started to undergo a total physique revamp by going through a strict diet and exercise regime. She made this decision partly because she was getting constantly ignored in Kannada films (her mother tongue) and the reason told was she was fat.
Her 2012 Malayalam film Namukku Parkkan did a decent business at the box office. Subsequent films Mullamottum Munthiricharum, Banking Hours 10 to 4, Maad Dad, Madirasi and Red Wine failed to perform. However, her next film Memories opposite Prithviraj Sukumaran opened to overwhelmingly positive reviews and was a box office success.
2013–15: Second wind in Sandalwood and continuing successEdit
After a gap of almost four years, Meghana Raj returned to Kannada films in late 2013 with the successful film Raja Huli, She followed it with another hit, Bahuparak; her performances in both films were well appreciated. Meghana's next Kannada movie Aatagara was released in late August 2015 to both critical and commercial acclaim and thus achieving a hat-trick of hits in Sandalwood. She is currently concentrating more on Kannada films as she has lot of offers from Sandalwood at the moment. Her next film Vamshodharaka got mixed to negative reviews and thus failed at the box office.
2016 onwards: Dull phase at the box officeEdit
Post 2016 Meghana Raj's releases such as Hallelooya, Lakshmana, Bhujanga and Allama all turned out to be non-performers at the box office. She has committed few more Kannada and Malayalam films as of now. Meghana was recently chosen to portray princess Bhanumati in the Kannada magnum opus Kurukshetra.
After a 10-year relationship with fellow Kannada actor Chiranjeevi Sarja, Meghana got engaged to him on 22 October 2017. They got married on 2 May 2018. Sarja died on 7 June 2020 from cardiac arrest when they were expecting their first child. Their son was born on 22 October 2020.
|2009||Bendu Apparao R.M.P||Gayatri||Telugu|
|2010||Punda||Megha||Kannada||Suvarna Film Award for Best Debut Actress in Kannada|
|Kaadhal Solla Vandhen||Sandhya Panchacharam||Tamil|
|Raghuvinte Swantham Rasiya||Rasiya||Malayalam|
|Beautiful||Anjali/Annie||Malayalam||The Kochi Times Film Award for Promising Newcomer |
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Malayalam
|Ponnu Kondoru Aalroopam||Malayalam|
|Banking Hours 10 to 4||Revathy||Malayalam|
|Red Wine||Ann Mary||Malayalam|
|Up & Down - Mukalil Oralundu||Deepa||Malayalam|
|Good Bad & Ugly||Kavya||Malayalam|
|2014||Bahuparak||Sneha / Preethi||Kannada|
|100 Degree Celsius||Revathy||Malayalam||Also playback singer for song "Pacha Manja"|
|2016||Hallelooya||Dr. Meera Menon||Malayalam|
|Noorondu Nenapu||Shruthi Aras||Kannada|
|Iruvudellava Bittu||Poorvi||Kannada||Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress|
Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Kannada
Nominated – Filmibeat Award for Best Actress – Kannada
|2021||Selfie Mummy Google Daddy||TBA||Kannada||Post-production|
|2014||Simple Preeti||Bahuparak||Kannada||Co -sang with Srinagar Kitty|
|2014||Pacha Manja||100 Degree Celsius||Malayalam|
|2019||What a Beautifullu Hudugi||Sinnga||Kannada||Co-sang with Naveen Sajju|
|2020||Allondhu Neeli Bhanu||Shivarjuna||Kannada||Co-sang with Sanjith Hegde|
Awards and nominationsEdit
- 2011: The Kochi Times Film Award for Promising Newcomer - Beautiful
- 2011: Suvarna Film Award for Best Debut Actress in Kannada - Punda
- 2012: Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Malayalam - Beautiful
- 2018: Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress - Iruvudellava Bittu
- 2019: Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Kannada - Iruvudellava Bittu
- 2019: Nominated – Filmibeat Award for Best Actress – Kannada - Iruvudellava Bittu
Meghana's official Facebook page has received more than 2.5 million likes. She was ranked No.19 in the Kochi Times 'Most desirable Woman 2015' poll. Meghana Raj was also ranked No.10 in the Bangalore Times 'Most desirable Women 2015' poll.
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- "I am obsessed with workouts". Indiatimes.com. TOI. Archived from the original on 18 December 2018.
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- Yash’s ‘Raja Huli’ Takes Box Office by Storm Archived 4 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Ibtimes.co.in (2013-11-30). Retrieved on 2016-03-30.
- Meghana Raj gets into the skin of a dancer for a period film Archived 5 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Sify.com. Retrieved on 2016-03-30.
- Updated, Veena N. (2015-08-28) 'Aatagara' Movie Review: A Promising And Striking Thriller! Archived 2 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Filmibeat. Retrieved on 2016-03-30.
- Meghana Raj roped in for Kurukshetra Archived 28 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine. www.newindianexpress.com (2017-11-25). Retrieved on 2017-11-27.
- "Chiranjeevi and Meghana Raj got engaged". Deccan Herald. 22 October 2017. Archived from the original on 11 October 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Kannada Actors Meghana Raj And Chiranjeevi Sarja Get Married". NDTV. 3 May 2018. Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Kannada actor Chiranjeevi Sarja passes away at 39". oneindia.com. 7 June 2020. Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
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- "Chiranjeevi Sarja and Meghana Raj were eagerly awaiting an addition to their family when tragedy struck". OnManorama. Archived from the original on 18 August 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
- "Happy Memories: Chiranjeevi Sarja's Love Story With Wife Meghna Raj In Pictures". thehansindia. Archived from the original on 8 June 2020. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
- "Chirranjeevi Sarja's wife Meghana Raj blessed with baby boy". Indian Express.
- "Meghana Raj and son test positive for coronavirus". Indian Express.
- "The Kochi Times Film Awards 2011". 23 June 2012. Archived from the original on 23 June 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
- "Ravichandran and Anoop's Lakshmana first look poster – Photos". International Business Times, India Edition. Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- "Meghana Raj Official Facebook". Archived from the original on 16 December 2019.
- "Kochi Times most desirable woman 2015". Times of India. Archived from the original on 30 April 2016.
- "Bangalore Times Most Desirable Women 2015". Archived from the original on 20 July 2018.