Asha Kelunni Nair (born 8 July 1966), better known by her stage name Revathi, is an Indian actress and director, known for her works predominantly in Tamil and Malayalam cinema - in addition to Telugu, Hindi and Kannada films.[3][4] She has won several accolades, including the National Film Awards in three different categories, and six Filmfare Awards South.[5] She has also won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Bhoothakaalam (2022).[6]

Revathi at the screening of Masaala at PVR Phoenix (1) (cropped).jpg
Asha Kelunni Nair

(1966-07-08) 8 July 1966 (age 56)
Cochin, Kerala, India
  • Actress
  • film director
  • social worker
Years active1983–present
(m. 1986; div. 2013)
RelativesGeetha Vijayan (cousin)
Niranjana Anoop (niece) [2]
AwardsFull List
HonoursKalaimamani (1993)

Early lifeEdit

Revathi was born as Asha Kelunni Nair in Cochin (present-day Kochi) to Malank Kelunni Nair, a major in the Indian Army, who hails from Palakkad, and Lalitha Kelunni.[7]

When she was in school, she took part in a fashion show. Group photos were taken during the show and a photo was chosen to be the cover of a popular Tamil magazine. This happened to be her photo, which was seen by the director Bharathiraja, who at that time was on the lookout for a new heroine for his latest venture, Mann Vasanai.[8][9]


She made her acting debut with the Tamil film Mann Vasanai in 1983.[10] The film was a silver jubilee hit and she was rewarded with a Filmfare Special Award – South.[11] She then made her Malayalam film debut with the movie titled Kattathe Kilikkoodu in 1983. This film too hit the gold at the box office and was among her biggest hits of the 1980s. .[12][13] She was introduced to Telugu film industry with 1984 films, Seethamma Pelli by director Bapu and Manasa Veena.[14][9] The later movie was dubbed into Malayalam, with the name Thennal Thedunna Poovu.[citation needed] Revathy went on to play a blind, rape-survivor Seetha in Tamil in Mahendran’s Kai Kodukkum Kai (1984) opposite Rajinikanth.[15][16] Revathy went on to play Seetha in Pudhumai Penn (1984) directed by Bharathiraja. The same year she also did Vaidehi Kathirunthal, directed by R. Sundarrajan.

She was versatile in her choice of roles and often played strong, relatable women characters. Her big break, the one that put her name high on the charts, was her portrayal of Divya, a very spirited and headstrong girl who transforms into a woman through the course of the movie, in Mani Ratnam’s Mouna Ragam (1986).[17]

She was cast opposite Kamal Haasan in Punnagai Mannan in 1986. Revathi won several accolades for her role in the film.[18] The film too was a huge hit and established her as one of the most sought after actress of Tamil film industry. She finally won her first Best Actress Award for her splendid performance in the Malayalam film Kakkothikkavile Appooppan Thaadikal in 1988. She won her Best Actress Award for Tamil film industry with the film titled Kizhakku Vaasal in 1990. She gave hits after hits and gave one of her finest performance in Priyadarshan’s Malayalam film Kilukkam (1991). In 1991, she had made her debut in Hindi with Suresh Krissna’s Love, co-starring Salman Khan. She then won a National Film Award under the category of Best Supporting Actress for her Tamil film Thevar Magan in 1992. She was at the peak of her career in the early 1990s. She also gave occasional appearance in Telugu and Kannada films as well. Revathy again won the Filmfare Award in Balu Mahendra’s Marupadiyum (1993). The golden run lasted until the end of the 1990s, after appearing in some of her most well-regarded films in that decade Anjali (1990), Thevar Magan (1992), Magalir Mattum (1994) were already behind her. She has also won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize for Thalaimurai in 1998.[19]

In addition to acting, Revathi has directed two features (Mitr, My Friend and Phir Milenge) and contributed an episode each to the anthology films Kerala Cafe and the unreleased Mumbai Cutting.

Hindi audiences have savoured Revathi in Margarita with a Straw (2014) and 2 States (2014). In Tamil, Pa Paandi (2017); Jackpot (2019) and in Malayalam Virus (2019).[20]

She was seen in the bilingual Telugu and Hindi film Major (2022), where she portrayed Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan's mother, Dhanalakshmi.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

Revathi married cinematographer and director Suresh Chandra Menon in 1986. The couple didn't have any children. However, following differences between them, they started living separately from 2002 and were granted divorce on 23 April 2013[22] by Chennai Additional Family Court.[23]

In 2018, she revealed that she has a five-year old biological daughter named Mahee through In Vitro Fertilisation.[24]

In the mediaEdit

Revathi is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, having studied since the age of seven and performed her arangetram in Chennai in 1979.[25] She has been considered one of the all-time top actresses of Tamil cinema and South Indian cinema. She was one of the most successful leading actresses of South Indian cinema. Revathi was the only South Indian actress of 80s and 90s to win the Filmfare best actress award in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, including three consecutive wins in Tamil. Apart from films, Revathi has been involved in a variety of social organisations, the most notable being the Banyan, Ability foundation, Tanker foundation and Vidyasagar, and has also served as a member of several film festivals including the Chennai International Film Festival and the International Film Festival of India.[26]



  1. ^ "Court grants divorce to actor Revathi". The Times of India. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Films, a family affair!". Deccan Chronicle. 29 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Happy Birthday Revathi: Interesting facts about the actress". The Times of India. 8 July 2021.
  4. ^ "From demure to daring, actor Revathy's multi-faceted film career". 8 January 2018.
  5. ^ "40th National Film Awards – 1993" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals – 1993. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  6. ^ "It took her 40 years to reach me, I want to dedicate the state award to myself: Revathi". Onmanorama. 25 September 2022. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  7. ^ "Happy Birthday Revathi: Interesting facts about the actress". The Times of India. 8 July 2021.
  8. ^ Saravanan, T. (9 January 2011). "Always in reckoning". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  9. ^ a b Shekar, Anjana (8 January 2018). "From demure to daring, actor Revathy's multi-faceted film career". The News Minute. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  10. ^ Ramesh, Neeraja (16 August 2019). "Make way for women of substance on screen". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 19 October 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Demure-daring-actor-revathy-s-multi-faceted-film-career". The News minute. 8 January 2018.
  12. ^ Aravind, C. V. (20 February 2017). "Nedumudi Venu: Malayalam cinema's man for all seasons". The News Minute. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  13. ^ Kurup, Aradhya (17 November 2019). "'Kattathe Kilikkoode': Bharathan's film is a commentary on the yin and yang of marriage". The News Minute. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  14. ^ Saravanan, T. (9 January 2011). "Always in reckoning". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  15. ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (2 April 2019). "Tribute: J Mahendran, Who Began His Directing Career With The Rajinikanth-starring 'Mullum Malarum'". Film Companion. Archived from the original on 22 August 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  16. ^ "கன்னடத்தில் இருந்து தமிழுக்கு வந்த கை கொடுக்கும் கை". Maalai Malar (in Tamil). 29 November 2007. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  17. ^ "From demure to daring, actor Revathy's multi-faceted film career". 8 January 2018.
  18. ^ "32 years of 'Punnagai Mannan': Why the Kamal Haasan film is still in our hearts".
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 April 2003. Retrieved 20 October 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Revathi's in the movie. Enough said".
  21. ^ "Major movie review: Adivi Sesh's homage to the 26/11 hero is flawed but effective". The Indian Express. 2 June 2022. Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  22. ^ Actress Revathi Divorced – Find what you like – tikkview
  23. ^ Deccan Chronicle
  24. ^ "சோதனை குழாய் மூலம் குழந்தை பெற்றேன்.. மனம் திறந்த நடிகை ரேவதி..!". Puthiya Thalaimurai.
  25. ^ Harsha Koda ( "". Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  26. ^ "59th National Film Awards for the Year 2011 Announced". Press Information Bureau (PIB), India. Retrieved 7 March 2012.

External linksEdit