Srividya (24 July 1953 – 19 October 2006), also known as Sreevidya, was an Indian actress best known for her work predominantly in Malayalam and Tamil films, along with few Telugu, Kannada and Hindi films. In a career spanning for 40 years, she had acted in more than 800 films. In the latter part of her career, she concentrated on Malayalam films. In addition to acting, Srividya occasionally worked as a playback singer as well as carnatic singer. She was also a well trained Bharathanatyam dancer. She was best known for restraint and subtlety in portrayal of varied emotions. She used her own voice for dubbing almost in all movies in all languages. She died in 2006 after battling metastatic breast cancer.
|Born||24 July 1953|
Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India
|Died||19 October 2006 (aged 53)|
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
|Years active||1966 – 2006|
(m. 1978; div. 1980)
Srividya was born on 24 July 1953 in Madras, Tamil Nadu into a Tamil family. Tamil film comedian Krishnamurthy and Carnatic classical singer M. L. Vasanthakumari were her parents. She had a brother, Sankararaman. Her father had to stop acting in the year when she was born because of a disease which affected his facial muscles. Her family fell into financial crisis. Her mother worked long hours to meet the family's financial needs. Srividya once reportedly said that her mother didn't even have time to breastfeed her. Srividya debuted in acting at a very early age. When her parents faced problems due to financial difficulties, Srividya's youth was blighted. She got a marriage proposal from a scientist based in the U.S., but the marriage did not materialize due to financial problems faced by her family.
Srividya started her career as a child artist in the 1967 Tamil film Thiruvarutchelvar alongside legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan. Later she entered Malayalam films with a dance scene in Kumara Sambhavam (1969), directed by P. Subramaniam and in Telugu film Tata Manavadu (1972) directed by Dasari Narayana Rao. However, her first major role was that of a college student falling in love with her professor in the 1971 Tamil film Nootrukku Nooru, directed by K. Balachander. Her first film as heroine was Delhi to Madras (1972) in which she was paired opposite Jaishankar. In the mid-1970s, she became busy in the Tamil film industry. She acted in films such as Velli Vizha, Sollathaan Ninaikkiren and Apoorva Raagangal, all directed by K. Balachander. She was Rajinikanth's first heroine in Apoorva Raagangal (1975).
She started acting in Malayalam in 1969. Her first movie was Chattambikkavala directed by N. Sankaran Nair, in which she acted as the heroine opposite to Sathyan. She gained public attention in Chenda (1973), directed by A. Vincent. Among the south Indian language movies she acted in, the maximum number of movies was in Malayalam (1969 to 2003).
Her role as Amba mythological character from the mythological story (adapted film) from the Mahabarath, Amba Ambika Ambalika (1976), has been appreciated.
Srividya was a playback singer as well. She first sang for films in the Tamil film Amaran and then for Malayalam film Ayalathe Sundari. She later sang in several films, such as Oru Painkilikkadha, Njangalude Kochu Doctor, Rathilayam and Nakshathratharattu.
She was an expert classical vocalist as well. She used to sing in functions such as the Soorya Festival. She was mainly trained by her mother, who was one among the female trinity in Carnatic music, along with M. S. Subbulakshmi and D. K. Pattammal.
Srividya has acted in many films including Annai Velankanni, Unarchigal and Apoorva Raagangal with Kamal Haasan. Srividya fell in love with Kamal Haasan, but he was courting Vani Ganapathy at that time, and was forced to abandon her love after she got to know about their marriage. During this period she fell in love with film director Bharathan who made many films with her as the female lead. But they couldn't continue the relationship and eventually Bharathan married KPAC Lalitha. Later she fell in love with George Thomas, an assistant director in her Malayalam film Teekkanal. She married him on 19 January 1978 despite opposition from her family. As George wished, she was baptised before the marriage. She wanted to stay as a housewife, but had to return to acting, when George forced her to, citing financial issues. She soon realised that she made a wrong decision in marrying him. Her life became miserable and the marriage ended in divorce in 1980. After her divorce she continued acting in movies (mainly Malayalam). She had to fight seek legal action against George Thomas as he had snatched all her properties, even her prizes, from her. Hence, the divorce with George Thomas was followed by a prolonged legal battle to settle financial issues between the two. The case went up to the Supreme Court of India, where she won in the final verdict. After the case was closed, she left Chennai and settled in Thiruvananthapuram.
In 2003, she underwent a biopsy test following physical problems and was diagnosed positive for metastatic breast cancer. She underwent treatment for three years. Two months before her death on 17 August 2006, Srividya had executed a will and entrusted K. B. Ganesh Kumar, cine actor and MLA, to register a charitable society to ‘start a music and dance school for efficient students who could not get ample opportunities due to lack of money or to give away scholarship to such students to continue their studies and to extend financial assistance to deserving ailing artistes.’
"I am bequeathing all my properties except some payments mentioned elsewhere in this bill. An appropriate body with eminent persons, registered under Charitable Societies Act should be formed and the realised value of all my assets should be transferred as a nucleus fund," she said in the will entrusting Mr. Ganesh Kumar to register the society.
She had also left five lakh rupees each to her brother's children and one lakh rupees each to her servants in the will, executed on 17 August 2006. In October 2006, she underwent chemotherapy, but cancer had already spread throughout her body, and she died at 19:45 on 19 October 2006, aged 53. She was cremated with full state honours at Brahmana Samooham crematorium in Karamana, Thiruvananthapuram.
- 1979 – Best Actress – Edavazhiyile Poocha Minda Poocha, Jeevitham Oru Gaanam
- 1983 – Best Actress – Rachana
- 1985 - Second Best Actress - Irakal
- 1986 – Second Best Actress – Ennennum Kannettante
- 1992 – Best Actress – Daivathinte vikrithikal
- 2004 – Best Actress : Avicharithum
- 1977 – Special Prize – Madhurageetham
- 1992 – MGR Award
- 1975: Special Award – South – Apoorva Raagangal (Tamil)
- 1979: Best Actress – Malayalam – Edavazhiyile Poocha Mindapoocha
- 1980: Best Actress – Malayalam – Puzha
- 1991 – Best Character Actress – Thalapathi (Tamil)
- Government Honours
- 1977 – Kalaimamani – from the government of Tamil Nadu for the contribution to the Tamil cinema
|2001||Venalmazha||Surya TV||Malayalam||(opposite to actor Ratheesh)|
|2006||Dial 100 Police Story||Malayalam||Archive footage|
|2021||Kanyadanam||Surya TV||Malayalam||as Lakshmi (Posthumous photographic appearance)|
- ^ Profile. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- ^ a b "Veteran actor Srividya passes away". The Hindu. 20 October 2006. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
- ^ "Articles : Movie Retrospect : Tata Manavadu (1973)". Telugucinema.com. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- ^ "domain.title". abcmalayalam.net. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
- ^ "ஸ்ரீவித்யாவின் வாழ்க்கையை புரட்டிப் போட்ட அவரது காதல், Episode - 83". Touring Talkies. 6 June 2019. Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2020 – via YouTube.
- ^ "பலத்த எதிர்ப்புக்கு மத்தியில் திருமணம் செய்துகொண்ட ஸ்ரீவித்யா, Episode - 85". Touring Talkies. 10 June 2019. Archived from the original on 17 November 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2020 – via YouTube.
- ^ a b Profile, mathrubhumi.com. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- ^ Shobha Warrier (20 October 2006). "Srividya loved life, and loved to live". Rediff. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
- ^ "കേരള ഫിലിം ക്രിട്ടിക്സ് അവാര്ഡ് 1977 - 2012". Kerala Film Critics Association. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
- ^ "CHALACHITRA PRATHIBHA AWARDS ചലച്ചിത്ര പ്രതിഭാ അവാര്ഡ് ഇതുവരെ". Kerala Film Critics Association. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
- ^ Reed, Sir Stanley (1978). "The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who".