Umashree (born 10 May 1957) is an Indian actress and politician. She is known for her portrayal of film roles spoken in the Kannada language (over 400), particularly comic roles. She received National Film Award for Best Actress for her role as Gulabi in the 2008 Kannada movie Gulabi Talkies. In 2013, Umashree became a Member of the Legislative Assembly[1] in Karnataka in the government of Siddaramaiah where she was the minister for women and child development,[2] empowerment of the differently abled and senior citizens, Kannada language and culture.[3][4]

Minister for Women and Child Development
In office
20 May 2013 – 15 May 2018
Preceded byKalakappa G. Bandi
Succeeded byjayamala
Minister for Kannada and Culture
In office
20 May 2013 – 15 May 2018
Preceded byGovind M. Karjol
Succeeded byjayamala
Member of Karnataka Legislative Assembly
In office
17 May 2013 – 15 May 2018
Preceded bySiddu Savadi
Succeeded bySiddu Savadi
Personal details

(1957-05-10) 10 May 1957 (age 62)
Nonavinakere, Tumkur, Karnataka, India
Political partyIndian National Congress
ProfessionActor (1978-present)
Politician (-present)

Personal lifeEdit

Umashree was born into the Devanga weavers community.[5][6] She has two children, a daughter named Gayathri, who is a dentist, and a son named Vijayakumar, an advocate, she raised them as a single mother.

Public officeEdit

Umashree participates in positive social activities such as supporting rural and disadvantaged women. She performs on stage in rural villages to highlight their needs. Her election in 2013 as the member for Terdal constituency (Congress Party) allowed Umashree to continue her work. Umashree is Minister for Women and Child Development, Kannada and Culture.

Stage workEdit

Umashree has experience in village, amateur, mythological and professional drama. Her directors have included Fritz Bennewitz, B.V. Karanth, Girish Karnad, C. G. Krishnaswamy, R. Nagesh, and T.S. Nagabharana. She is a member of Rangasampada amateur theatre group of Bangalore.

Film workEdit

Umashree began her movie career in 1984 with an award-winning performance in a supporting role in Anubhava with Kashinath. But before that she was seen in a 1980 Kannada film BANGARADA JINKE directed by T S Nagabharana.

However, it typecast her in comedy roles with a degree of innuendo. She worked with the actor N. S. Rao and later with Dinesh, Dwarakish, Mysore lokesh, Sihikahi chandru, Ramesh bhat, Mukhyamantri Chandru, Doddanna and Karibasavaiah. Her directors included S. V. Rajendra Singh Babu, Bhargava, Singeetham Srinivasa Rao, Perala, K V Raju, Vijay, Dorai Bhagavan, Dwarakish, D Rajendra babu, Dinesh Babu, V Ravichandran, Puri Jagannath and Yograj Bhat.

Television workEdit

  • Nondavara Haadu, a documentary about leprosy directed by T. S. Ranga for Doordarshan.
  • Hattye, a telefilm H. Girijamma for Doordarshan.
  • Musanje, a serial directed by T. S. Nagabarana for Udaya TV.
  • Musanje Katha Prasanga, a serial directed by Prakash Belawadi for ETv.
  • Kicchu, a serial directed by Chaitanya for ETv.
  • Amma Ninagagi for ETv.
  • Arathigobba Kirthigobba for Star Suvarna.
  • Chinnara Chilipili for Udaya Tv.


Umashree has won the Government of Karnataka state award on six occasions and the 1998 Karnataka Nataka Academy Award. Umashree has also won more than twenty best actress prizes in various professional play competitions.

  • Mani (2005) best supporting actress, Karnataka state awards.
  • Gulabi Talkies (2008) best international actress, Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, nominated best actress Middle East International Film Festival, Abu Dhabi 2008, Rajat Kamal best actress, 55th National Film Awards.
  • Rajyothsava gold medal (1999 - 2000), for service to theatre and film.
  • Krishnan Love Story (2010), best supporting actress, 58th Filmfare Awards South, Hyderabad, 2 July 2011.
  • Karnataka Telugu Academy, NTR Fans' Association and other Telugu cultural organisations NTR Puraskar award.
  • Devika Rani memorial award (1996) presented by Dev Anand
  • Madras film fans' award, on three occasions.
  • Karnataka Television Association TV Ratna Puraskar award (2010).
  • Aryabhatta award, on two occasions.
  • K. V. Shankare Gowda award (2005).
  • Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce and Karnataka Film Directors’ Association award for being the first Kannada actress to obtain an international award (2008).
  • Basava Guru Karunya Prashasthi.
  • Former chief minister, the late D. Devaraj Urs, National Sri Rathna award (1999) for service to women, children and the socially and economically backward classes.
  • M. Vishweswaraiah memorial award, for service to society.
  • Nekarara Bhushana award, for service to the textile industry.
  • Rotary International Paul Harris fellowship.

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "Karnataka 2013." Myneta website, National Election Watch. Accessed 21 February 2014.
  2. ^ "Writer's remarks on Umashree draw flak." The Hindu Bangelore, 9 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Umashree 50 - peerless actress." CNB Chitraloka website 13 August 2008.
  4. ^ Nandakumar P. "Karnataka: Umashree lone woman minister." Deccan Chronicle 18 May 2013. Accessed 21 February 2014
  5. ^ "Siddharamaiah, increases Quota in Cabinet".
  6. ^ "Terdal Election News".

External linksEdit