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Srividya: A versatile artist
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October 20, 2006 00:12 IST

Charming, vivacious and versatile, Srividya stole the hearts of film buffs in Malayalam and other south Indian languages for the last four decades through her memorable portrayal of a variety of roles.

The 53-year-old actress, born in Chennai as daughter of top-notch classical singer M L Vasanthakumari, had acted in over 300 films and several television serials, most of them in Malayalam.

Srividya began her career as a 13-year-old girl in Tamil film Tiruvarul Selvam with Sivaji Ganesan [Images]. She soon switched over to Malayalam with her debut film Chattambikavala with veteran actor Sathyan.

Since then, she had left a deep impression on Malayalam movie world teaming up with all top stars, including Madhu, Mohanlal and Mammootty. Her memorable roles in Malayalam included Idvazhiyile Poocha Minda Poocha, based on a story by Jnanpith laureate M T Vasudevan Nair and Deivathinte Vikrithikal, the screen adaptation of novelist M Mukundan.

In 1970s and early 80s, Madhu-Srividya team came out with big hits like Theekkanal. She had won several honours, including the Kerala [Images] government's best actress award twice.

Of late, she had left a mark on the mini-screen by her splendid performance in several popular television serials. A danseuse, music had been a passion for Srividya though she spared her talent as singer mostly for private audience. Srividya was married to businessman George Thomas but the partnership did not last for long.

Although it was known to her that she had cancer about three years ago, Srividya kept her commitment as an actress. She often had to alternate between shooting locations and the hospital but, by her own admission, the pursuit of art provided the greatest solace in a life chequered with personal tragedies.

Starting with teenage romantic roles, she depicted a variety of characters, including that of the suffering housewife, self-reliant woman struggling to keep up one's individuality in a male-dominated society and loving and caring mother and sister.

Ackowledging her talent and verastility, most top directors had cast her in lead roles. The death of Srividya plunged the entire Malayalam film world into deep sorrow with film-makers, actors and movie lovers expressing profound grief.

Srividya had also acted in more than 50 Tamil films. Starting her film career at the age of 13, Srividya made her debut in Tiruvarul Selvar, in which thespian Sivaji Ganesan adorns the role of 'appar,' a leading Shaivite of 8th century.

The actress reached her peak when renowned director K Balachander picked her as heroine for his best known movie Apoorva Ragangal, which won many laurels in the Indian panorama.

She had also sung for some Tamil films. She also inherited a good sense of humour from her mimicry artist father Krishnamoorthy. Her married life was one of the saddest, with her husband George Thomas allegedly taking away all her property. Recently, Kamal Hassan [Images] had called on her at Thiruvananthapuram. She also won Tamil Nadu goverment's best actress award many times

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