Sukumari (6 October 1940 – 26 March 2013) was an Indian film actress best known for her works in Malayalam and Tamil films. In a career spanning more than five decades, she acted in over 2,500 films, including in Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Oriya and Bengali. Sukumari began acting at the age of 10. In 2003, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions toward the arts. She won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Tamil film Namma Gramam (2010). Sukumari died on 26 March 2013 in Chennai, following a heart attack.
|Died||26 March 2013 (aged 72)|
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
|Years active||1946 – 2013|
(m.1959; died 1978)
|Children||Suresh Bhimsingh (b.1961)|
Sukumari was born on 6 October 1940 in Nagercoil, Travancore (Currently in Tamil Nadu), to Malayali parents Madhavan Nair (a bank manager) and Sathyabhama Amma of Tharishuthala Valia Veedu in Kalkulam (in present-day Kanyakumari District). Sathyabhama Amma was the niece of Narayani Pillai Kunjamma, a famous beauty who spurned the king in favour of marrying the aristocratic landowner Kesava Pillai of Kandamath Through her cousin, Ambika Sukumaran, she is related to the Travancore Royal Family.
She studied at Poojappura LP School until second grade; she then moved to Madras, where she studied until fourth forum. She had four sisters (Rajakumari, Sreekumari, Jayasree and Girija) and one brother.Lalitha, Padmini, Ragini (Travancore Sisters) were her cousins.
Sukumari was noticed by a director when she visited the sets of a film with Padmini, and she made her film debut in the lead role in the Tamil film Or Iravu. She acted in various Malayalam and Tamil Films of the black and white era, such as Udhyogastha, by P. Venu, Chettathi, Kusruthikkuttan, Kunjali Marakkar, Thacholi Othenan, Yakshi and Karinizhal. She later became popular after starring in various films of Priyadarshan such as Poochakkoru Mookkuthi, Oodarathuammava Aalariyam, Boeing Boeing and Vandanam. She also appeared in various films directed by Balachandra Menon such as Manicheppu Thurannappol and Karyam Nissaram. In later years, she played a major role in Nizhalkuthu (2002), directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan. She played many notable mother roles.
She mastered dance forms like Kathakali, Bharathanatyam, Kerala Natanam and many musical instruments. From the age of seven, she performed all over India and different parts of the world including USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Ceylon, Australia and so on. Sukumari is also known for her stage career in her early days, most prominently as a member of Cho Ramaswamy's theatre group; Viveka Fine Arts (more than 5000 stage shows). She was a member of Y. G. Parthasarathy's and Pattu's drama troupe; United Amateur Artists (more than 1000 stage shows), Rajasulochana's dance troupe; Pushpanjali (more than 5000 stage shows), Travancore Sisters' Dancers of India troupe (many stage shows), T. D. Kusalakumari's troupe; (more than 1000 stage shows) and Padmini's independent dance drama troupe (many stage shows) etc. for many decades. Awards in the name of Sukumari have been instituted for the memory like "Vanita Ratnam Award" : in the field of acting. "Mikacha Nadi Sukumari Puraskaram" by ACTA annakkara, "Sukumari Smaraka Foundation Award" by True Indian Information and Guidance Society and "Famea Sukumari Puraskaram".
Her memoirs in the film industry have been compiled in a book called "Ormakalude Vellithira" by M.S Dileep. "Sukumari Sradhanjali Parambara" is another book on her.
Sukumari married director A. Bhimsingh in 1959. He died in 1978, when she was 38. The couple had a son, Suresh, who has acted in films such as Amme Narayana, Yuvajanotsavam and Cheppu, and is a professional doctor. Suresh married Uma, a costume designer. Suresh and Uma have a son named Vignesh.
On 26 March 2013, Sukumari died from a cardiac arrest at a hospital in Chennai, where she was receiving treatments for burns she had sustained while lighting a traditional lamp at her residence in February 2013.
Following her death, several South Indian personalities offered their condolences. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who had co-starred with Sukumari, said in a condolence message that Sukumari had left a unique imprint on South Indian cinema and theatre with her talents. Kerala's Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy called Sukumari a "phenomenon in Malayalam cinema". Actor and Minister for Cinema K.B. Ganesh Kumar said actors in the Malayalam film industry had lost "the loving presence of a mother in the sets". Leader of the Opposition V. S. Achuthanandan called Sukumari's death a "huge loss for Indian cinema". Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala said Sukumari would be remembered for "the diversity of characters that she gave life to". Communist Party of India State Secretary Pannian Ravindran said Sukumari was "an unforgettable acting genius". Union Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs K. V. Thomas described Sukumari as an actor who conquered the film scene with her unique acting style. South Indian Film Artistes Association president R. Sarathkumar remembered the actress as being an inspiration to others. Actor and renowned television producer Raadhika recalled Sukumari's many dance performances. Actor and president of Association of Malayalam Movie Artists Innocent said at a condolence meeting at Kochi that her death was an irreparable loss to Malayalam film industry. South Indian film star Mohanlal likened her death to the loss of "a mother, sister and a good friend". Speaker G. Karthikeyan also expressed grief at her death. Director Shaji Kailas deemed her loss an "irreparable one for the film industry".
Awards and honoursEdit
|2003||Civilian awards||Padma Shri|
|2011||National Film Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Namma Gramam||Tamil||Ammini Ammal|
|1974||Kerala State Film Awards||Second Best Actress||Chattakkari||Malayalam||Margarette (Maggie)|
|1979||Kerala State Film Awards||Second Best Actress||Various films||Malayalam|
|1983||Kerala State Film Awards||Second Best Actress||Koodevide, Karyam Nissaram||Malayalam||Dr.Susan,Annie|
|1986||Kerala State Film Awards||Second Best Actress||Arappatta Kettiya Gramathil||Malayalam||Devaki|
|1990||Tamil Nadu State Film Awards||Kalai Selvam Award||Tamil|
|1991-1992||Tamil Nadu State Film Awards||Kalaimamani Award||Tamil|
|2000||Tamil Nadu State Film Awards||Sivaji Ganesan Award||Tamil|
|2005||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award|
|1998||Asianet Film Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Samaantharangal||Malayalam||Aishu|
|2005||Asianet Film Awards||Lifetime Achievement Award||Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada|
|2006||Asianet Film Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Malayalam|
|1979||Kerala Film Critics Award||Best Supporting Actress||Ezhunirangal||Malayalam||Sharada's mother|
|1982||Kerala Film Critics Award||Best Supporting Actress||Chiriyo Chiri||Malayalam||Sukumari (Herself)|
|1985||Kerala Film Critics Award||Best Supporting Actress||Arappatta Kettiya Gramathil||Malayalam||Devaki|
|Kerala Film Critics Award||Chalachithra Ratnam||Malayalam|
|2000||Kerala Film Critics Award||Special Award for Contribution to the Film Industry||Malayalam|
|2011||Kerala Film Critics Award||Chalachitra Pratibha||Malayalam|
|1967||Kerala Film Critics Association Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Various films||Malayalam|
|1974||Kerala Film Critics Association Awards||Special Award||Chattakkari||Malayalam||Margarette (Maggie)|
|1980||Kerala Film Critics Association Awards||Best Character Actress||Malayalam|
|1981||Kerala Film Critics Association Awards||Best Character Actress||Malayalam|
|1971||Films Fans Association Awards – Madras||Best Supporting Actress||Thoraimugam||Tamil|
|1974||Films Fans Association Awards – Madras||Best Supporting Actress||Chattakkari||Malayalam||Margarette (Maggie)|
|2000||Gulf Malayalee Cine Awards||All Rounder of the Millennium||Malayalam|
|2000||KSFDC||Special Facilitation at Jubilee||Malayalam|
|2000||Lux Asianet Award||Special Honour||Malayalam|
|2001||Kala Kairali Awards||Special Award|
|2001||Dubai Kairali Kala Kendra Association Award||Lifetime Achievement Award|
|2002||Bharath Cine Awards||Tamil Thirai Ulaga Sagapthangal||Tamil|
|2003||Parvathypadmam Puraskaram||Lifetime Achievement Award|
|2004||Kerala Woman Beauticians Association: TV Serial Award||Best Character Artist||Avicharitham||Malayalam|
|2005||Sangam Kala Group||Lifetime Achievement Award||Malayalam|
|2005||Federation of Kerala Associations in North America (FOKANA)||Contribution to Malayalam films.||Malayalam|
|2007||SICA Award||Lifetime Achievement Award|
|2007||P.S. John Endowment Award|
|2007||Malayala Chalachithra Parishad||Lifetime Achievement Award||Malayalam|
|2007||Ernakulam Press Club Award||Lifetime Achievement Award||Malayalam|
|2007||Kala Abu Dhabi Award||Kala Ratnam Award|
|2007||Prem Nazir Award||Malayalam|
|Sathyan Award (Kerala Cultural Forum)||Malayalam|
|2008||Mathrubhumi Amrita Film Awards||Amrita Chalachitra Saparya Puraskaram||Malayalam|
|2008||Nippon Paints Award||Lifetime Achievement Award|
|2009||Telefest Award||Best Actress||Mizhikal Sakshi||Malayalam||Kooniamma/Nabisa|
|2009||Atlas Critic Award||Malayalam|
|2009||Asia Television U.A.E|
|2009||World Malayalee Council India region & Kairali Channel Award||Best Supporting Actress||Mizhikal Sakshi||Malayalam||Kooniamma/Nabisa|
|2010||Gurupranamam, Honour by MACTA||Lifetime Achievement||Malayalam|
|2010||Thrissur Jilla Souhruida Award||Malayalam|
|2012||Asiavision TV Awards||Malayalam|
|Sangeetha, UK Award||Abhinava Puraskaram|
|Trichur Nagar Sabha Award||Jangiya Award||Malayalam|
|Prashasthi Pathram||Acting with two generation actors in different languages|
|Kala Kairali, Chennai Award||Abhinaya Bharathi|
|2001||Honour by TVS Victor "Ammayodoppam"|
|2002||Soorya Stage & Film Society Honour||Felicitation for Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema|
|2002||Gurupooja, Soorya Festival Special Honour||Lifetime Achievement|
|Honour by Kaniyapuram Rail View Residence Association|
|Pravasa Bharathi Karma Ratna Award|
|2000||Narasimham 175 Days Celebration (Special Honour)|
|2003||Honour by Delhi Tamil Sangam|
|2005||Honour by Jacey Foundation|
|2005||Honour by Amrita TV Film Fraternity Awards|
|2006||Honour by Samskara Samithi|
|2006||Honour by Sree Poonthuruthi Muchilott Bhagavathi Temple|
|2007||Honour by Sangamam show on Amrita TV|
|2012||Honour by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry|
|2013||Honour by Sundara Sowhrudam|
|2013||Honour by Friends of Arts& Cultural Entertainments (FACE Dubai) - "Thriveni Sangamam"|
|2013||Indiavision Live Poll - Favourite Actress (100 Years of Indian Cinema)||Second position|
Sukumari got appeared in various print features, audio-visual endorsements,online promotions, commercial public campaigns etc.
- Amma Ammayiyamma
- Chalachithram Magazine
- Chungath Jewellery
- Goodwin Jewellers
- Grand Kerala Shopping Festival
- Happy Home Grihasri Kuris Pvt Ltd
- Indumukhi Chandramathi (Season 1)
- Jewellery ad co-starring Reenu Mathews
- Joy Alukkas Jewellery
- Kanikka Audio CD
- Kapil Ganesh Photography
- Kerala Food Festival
- Kerala Kitchen Restaurant
- Krishna Thulasi Hair Tonic
- Madhyamam Aazhchapathippu Magazine
- Mamma Mia Food Court
- Manikinar Souvenir
- Mathrubhumi Calendar
- Mathrubhumi Varanthapathippu
- MK Fabrics
- Modern Cakes
- Mumbai Police film
- Nana Magazine
- Nana Film Weekly
- Parakkat Jewels
- Parisudhan Coconut Oil
- Rajadhani Restaurant
- Rashtradeepika Cinema Magazine
- Remy Talcum Powder
- Road Safety
- Snehasallapam Magazine
- Spice Garden
- Sreyas Haridasan Photography
- Sukumari Sradhanjali Parambara
- Sukumari Ormakalude Vellithira
- Surya Music
- Tharavadu Restaurant
- Umamaheswara Locket
- Vanitha Police film
- Kumar, P. K. Ajith (27 March 2013). "Sukumari - Timeless roles, priceless acting". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- Staff Reporter (26 March 2013). "Actor Sukumari succumbs to burns". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
- Article - The Hindu Archived 7 May 2005 at the Wayback Machine
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- "National Film awards winners 2010". Bada Screen. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- "South Indian Actress Sukumari passes away". The Week. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- "സുകുമാരി അന്തരിച്ചു". Mathrubhumi. 26 March 2013. Archived from the original on 26 March 2013.
- Kerala Council for Historical research Family History Papers Tharishuthala by K. K. N http://www.keralahistory.ac.in/family.htm
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Before moving to Chennai, she started learning dance from her Valiyamma Karthyaniyamma. Archived 22 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived 22 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Malayala Manoram Online Edition, 27 March 2013". manoramaonline.com. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "Actor Sukumari succumbs to burns". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Sukumari, veteran Malayalam actress, dies". Times of India. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Gopi, Vinod (27 March 2013). "Ammavilikannanju: Sukumari Inni Orma". Malayala Manorama.
- "Grief over Sukumari's death". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Actor Sukumari succumbs to burns". The Hindu. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- "Actor and Padma Shri awardee Sukumari passes away". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- "Actress Sukumari's funeral to be held in Chennai today". IBN Live. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
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