Sennalkudi Narayana Lakshmi (1927 – 20 February 2012) was an Indian actress, who appeared in supporting roles, often playing roles of a mother or grandmother in films. A recipient of the state government's Kalaimamani and Kalaiselvam awards, Lakshmi acted in more than 1,500 films and 6,000 dramas.
S. N. Lakshmi
Sennalkudi Narayana Lakshmi
|Died||February 20, 2012 (aged 84–85)|
Lakshmi was born to Narayana Thevar as the thirteenth child and left home aged 11 because her six older brothers did not give her the attention she wanted. Her family had to move from their village town of Sennalkudi to Virudhunagar after their father had died and her mother worked at a small hotel and also at the temple to keep the family afloat. Her neighbour, a dancer, helped Lakshmi join a drama troupe and she quickly picked up the steps she was taught and travelled with them from place to place. When the actors reached Raja Mannargudi they left her with a family which put her on a train to Madras and bade farewell. When she was wondering alone, help came in the form of a lorry driver's wife who noticed her and showed her the way to Gemini Studios, which opened its doors to the destitute. It took eight years for her family to find her.
She soon joined the studio staff at a salary of Rs. 150 and then rented a house with four other young girls and hired a cook. Before her film career began, Lakshmi had years of theatre experience, with more than 2,000 plays to her credit. From Ganandesikar's and N. S. Krishnan's theatre troupes to S. V. Sahasranamam's Seva Stage and K. Balachander's Ragini Recreations, Lakshmi trained under stalwarts. Lakshmi acted as a man in many all-woman plays, doing stunts and acrobatics and even fought a leopard as an extra in the MGR film, Baghdad Thirudan. In 1959, she bought her first home in Royapettah on Pachaiappan Nayakkan Road. Three years later, she bought her first car, a Morris Eight.
She started as a group dancer in Chandralekha. Plays and one-scene appearances in films continued until N. S. Krishnan gave her a pivotal role in Nalla Thangai and then her real breakthrough came through Muktha Srinivasan's maiden venture Thamarai Kulam followed by Engal Kula Devi and Naalu Veli Nilam. Nagesh then recommended her to K. Balachander to star in Server Sundaram, after he had been impressed with her performance in the theatre show of the same name, and the film's success prompted more offers for the actress.
Kamal Haasan called her to feature in Thevar Magan while she was taking a break in Puttaparthi and from then until Virumaandi, Lakshmi has been a part of nearly all of Kamal Haasan productions and such was his confidence in her ability that he would ask the assistants to give her the dialogue and move away, confident that she would handle it on her own.
Lakshmi has mentioned that "marriage didn't appeal to her", and that her brothers' grandchildren and their kids are now regulars at her house.
Until the early 2000s, Lakshmi would move around town by driving but was forced to give it up after she broke her leg. On Sunday mornings she would visit Sai Kripa, a free medical centre in Chennai and help the staff.
S. N. Lakshmi died in Chennai on 20 February 2012, aged 85. She had a cardiac arrest in the early hours of 20 February, following which she was rushed to a hospital. However, doctors declared her dead. Her body was kept at her Saligramam residence where film personalities made tributes. Her cremation took place in her native town of Virudhunagar.
|1955||Nalla Thangai||English Teacher|
|1959||Engal Kula Devi|
|1959||Naalu Veli Nilam|
|1964||Server Sundaram||Sundaram's mother|
|1964||Dheiva Thaai||Megala's grandmother|
|1964||Karuppu Panam||Sattanatha's first wife|
|1965||Kaakum Karangal||Shankar's mother|
|1967||Anubavi Raja Anubavi||Manikkam's mother|
|1968||Lakshmi Kalyanam||Rajadurai's mother|
|1968||Thirumal Perumai||Dancer's mother|
|1968||Thaer Thiruvizha||Parvathi Ammal|
|1968||Thamarai Nenjam||Narayanan's Mother|
|1968||Ragasiya Police 115||Kamatchi|
|1969||Iru Kodugal||Janaki's aunt|
|1970||Raman Ethanai Ramanadi||Raman's grandmother|
|1970||Maattukara Velan||Raghu's mother|
|1970||En Annan||Murali's mother|
|1970||Kaaviya Thalaivi||Suresh's mother|
|1972||Naan Yen Pirandhen||Chinnamma|
|1973||Vandhaale Magaraasi||Lakshmi's Mother|
|1973||Komatha En Kulamatha||Arun's mother|
|1975||Ninaithadhai Mudippavan||Mohan's mother|
|1977||Indru Pol Endrum Vaazhga||Maya's mother|
|1985||Kanni Rasi||Lakshmipathi's mother|
|1988||Ennai Vittu Pogaathe|
|1988||Therkathi Kallan||Kallan's mother|
|1990||Michael Madana Kama Rajan||Tripurasundari's grandmother|
|1990||Salem Vishnu||Vishnu's mother|
|1992||Thanga Manasukkaran||Chellakili's grandmother|
|1992||Villu Pattukaran||Kalimuthu's mother|
|1996||Aruva Velu||Velu's grandmother|
|1996||Minor Mappillai||Ramu's grandmother|
|1998||Ninaithen Vandhai||Savithri's grandmother|
|1999||Suriya Paarvai||Lakshmi's mother|
|Ninaikkatha Naalillai||Arun's grandmother|
|Poovellam Un Vasam|
|2006||Kalvanin Kadhali||Haritha's grandmother|
|2011||Mahaan Kanakku||Orphanage Caretaker|
|2000||Balachandarin Chinnathirai||Raj TV|
|2001 - 2003||Alaigal||Chandrasekhar,Rajasekhar and Savithri's mother||Sun TV|
|2003 - 2007||Sorgam|
|2007 - 2009||Vaira Nejam||Sakthi's Grandmother||Kalaignar TV|
|2007 - 2008||Namma Kudumbam||Raja's grandmother||Kalaignar TV|
|2009 - 2012||Thendral||Thulasi's Grandmother||Sun TV|
|2010 - 2012||Mundhanai Mudichu||Kandhaswamy's mother||Sun TV|
|2011 - 2012||Saravanan Meenatchi||Meenakshi's Grandmother||STAR Vijay|
- "Veteran Tamil actor S N Lakshmi dies at 85". The Times of India. TNN. 21 February 2012. Archived from the original on 14 July 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- Raman, Mohan V. (20 February 2012). "An actor par excellence". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
- "Friday Review Chennai : Courage goaded her on ..." The Hindu. 28 May 2010. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- "Metro Plus Chennai : 'Plays were crowd pullers'". The Hindu. 2 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 March 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- "Actress S N Lakshmi passes away". Deccan Herald. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
- "Veteran actress SN Lakshmi passes away". IndiaGlitz. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- Meera Srinivasan (21 February 2012). "Veteran actor Lakshmi dies". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 September 2013.