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Soundarya: Actress, producer, politician

A Corerspondent | April 17, 2004 15:06 IST

Actress Soundarya, who met with a premature end when the aircraft she was flying in crashed near Bangalore on Saturday, had done it all. A qualified doctor, she had in a career spanning 12 years acted in all the four southern languages plus in a Hindi film, Suryavansham (2002), starring none other than the Big B in a double role. She had also produced an award-winning film, Dweepa, and recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Perhaps it was destined that the MBBS graduate would join films, since her father Satyanarayana was an established producer, director and actor in the Kannada film industry.

While the Bangalore-born Sowmya was doing her first year MBBS course, one of her father's friends roped her in for his Kannada film, Gandharva (1992). She made her Tamil debut with the film Ponnumani, opposite Karthik. However, it was in Telugu films like Raithu Bharatham and Manavaraali Pelli that she grew as a star.

Top Hero  with actor Balakrishna cemented her position, as did Hello Brother co-starring Nagarjuna. Through her success she did not hide the fact that hers was a half-hearted entry into films, although it is believed she thought differently after the film Ammoru.

Clearly she did not want to be known as just an actress, and recently Soundarya produced a Kannada film Dweepa, directed by none less than Girish Kasaravalli. The film won her the National award for best actress, and bagged three state awards – for best actress, best film, and best cinematography – and was screened at five international film festivals. Soundarya had also worked with Kasaravalli on Gruhabanga, a Kannada television serial based on Dr S L Byrappa's novel of the same title, and was even mulling making an English film.

In April last year she married Sridhar, a software professional and distant relative.

In a career spanning 12 years Soundarya had acted in over 90 films and reaped a rich harvest of awards. For all her achievements she firmly believed that cinema is never a single person's show.

She had also paired opposite the most popular male stars, like Amitabh Bachchan, Avinash, Arjun, Chiranjeevi, Jagapathy Babu, Kamal Haasan, Krishna, Karthik, Mohanlal, Mohan Babu, Nagarjuna, Rajnikanth, Rajendra Prasad, Sai Kumar, Suresh and Venkatesh.

Some of her films are:


Anthahpuram, Ammoru, Arundhathi, Azaad, Annayya, Adhipathi, Choodaalani Vundi, Devi Puthrudu, Dongaata, Eeshwar Allah, Eduruleni Manishi, Hello Brother, Intlo Illaalu vantitlo Priyuraalu, Jayam Manaderaa, Kondaveeti Simhaasanam, Manavaraali Pelli, Mayalodu, Moodu Mukkalaata, Madam, Maa Aayana Bangaaram, Maya Bazar, 9 Nelalu, Ninne Premistha, Navvandi Lavvandi, Naaga Devatha, Number One, Pavithra Bandham, Pelli Chesukundaam, Post Man, Pelli Chesukundaam,  Premaku Swagatham, Priya Raagaalu, Premaku Velaayeraa, Raithu Bharatham, Rajendrudu Gajendrudu, Rikshaavodu, Raaja, Rayudu, Raamudochchaadu, Pedaraayudu, Sri Ramulayya, Sri Manjunatha, Subha Lagnam, Top Hero, and Yama Leela.


Arunachalam, Ponnumani, Padayappa, Thavasi, and Muthu Kaalai.




Kochu Kilichundaan Mambazham and Yaathrakkarude Sradhhdakku.


Gandharva, Sri Renukamba and Vijayadasami.


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