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10-20-2006, 04:05 PM
Sri Vidhya passes away
IndiaGlitz [Friday, October 20, 2006]
Veteran south Indian actress Sri Vidhya passed away at a hospital in Kerala on Thursday. Sri Vidhya was diagnosed with advanced stage of cancer and was under intensive medical supervision at Sri Avittam Thirunal hospital, Tiruvandrum.
The once sought-after heroine of Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam industry, Sri Vidhya had acted in several hundred movies since early 1970s and had won several awards and accolades.
It may be recalled that she was recently rushed to a hospital while she fell ill while shooting for the Malayalam serial Amma Thampurati. She was given intensive medical treatment.
Shot to fame playing powerful female roles in veteran director K Balachander's films, her films like Apoorva Ragangal won her greater appreciation. After playing heroine for over a decade, she settled to do character roles.
She paired with the likes of Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan in the early stages of her career. Later, she even played their mother in few movies.
Films like Poonagai Mannan, Thalapathy, Aboorva Sagodharargal, and Kadhalukku Mariyadhai were blockbusters. She last acted in Tamil in London starring Prashanth in the lead role in 2005.
Daughter of popular classical singer M L Vasantha Kumari, Sri Vidhya had sung the number Sandai Bajarau in Amaran set to tunes by Adhithyan.
It is a double tragedy in Kollywood for veteran actress Padmini passed away just a couple of weeks ago.
10-20-2006, 04:08 PM
Kamal mourns Sri Vidhya's death
IndiaGlitz [Friday, October 20, 2006]
Actor Kamal Haasan on Thursday expressed his shock at the demise of Sri Vidhya.
Veteran actress Sri Vidhya passed away on Thursday at Trivandrum after struggling with cancer for over a year. Kamal Haasan, who has acted in over dozen movies with Sri Vidhya including the much-celebrated Aboorva Ragangal, expressed his shock over her death.
In his condolence message, the actor said, 'I have lost a good friend in her death. She had been great support and encouraged me in several endeavors. She was friend and a film critic too.'
'I cherish all those moments working with her. A pillar of confidence, Sri Vidhya fought her illness courageously in a dignified manner', Kamal said and added, 'The film industry has lost an actress who was capable of doing any role'.
Also Nadigar Sangam president Sarath Kumar condoled the death of Sri Vidhya and said, 'Her death was a irrevocable loss to filmdom'.
10-20-2006, 05:16 PM
'Srividya loved life, and loved to live'
October 20, 2006 13:07 IST
When Sreekumaran Thampi, a veteran Malayalam film director whose most prolific period was the seventies, cast Srividya in the title role of the television serial Amma Thampurati, he was hoping against hope the veteran Malayalam actress would triumph over adversity and live long enough to complete the mega serial.
That hope came unstuck Thursday night, when Srividya passed away at the Sri Chitra Thirunal Hospital, Trivandrum, having completed just 35 episodes of the planned mega-serial; she stopped shooting two months ago, as her final battle with cancer consumed her time and energy.
'She was one person who loved life, and loved to live,' Thampi said in tribute over various television channels. 'When I met her at the Sree Uthradam Thirunal Hopsital in Trivandrum two days before her death, she was being given a blood transfusion.
'At that moment too, she spoke of going home and eating good food. She survived the last few years only because of her will power and desire to live.'
She has in her time played the sufferer � from acts of god and man � in umpteen films, but in real life, she refused to martyr herself to the disease that consumed her. Thus, she never revealed that she had cancer, never asked for sympathy, never looked for flocks of VIP visitors or the homage of nostalgic fans.
Only two people were with her during her final battle -- actor and former minister Ganesh Kumar, the son of former minister Balakrishna Pillai, and his mother. She didn't have a flock of relatives around her bedside either; as for friends, the only constant was Thampi, who was almost like a sibling.
Though born to ML Vasantha Kumari, one of the most illustrious of Carnatic singers, it was dance, not music, that captured Srividya's early interest.
Though she did learn classical music, it was as a classical dancer that she earned an early reputation. Her interest was fanned by the fact that when young, her mother often left her in company of the famed Travancore sisters Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini, actresses and dancers all.
She was 13 when she broke into Malayalam cinema; three years later, she first captured the popular imagination with her role in Chattambikavala (1969), opposite the then 60-year-old Satyan, who by then had won a national award for his role in Chemmeen and was firmly installed as Malayalam cinema's most iconic star.
K Balachander, the doyen of Tamil cinema, brought her to the Tamil marquee opposite Kamal Hassan and 'Major' Sunderrajan in the 1972 film Apoorva Raagangal. Though she was 19 at the time, she played the older woman for whom the young Kamal falls; it is a different matter that she went on to play Kamal's mother in Apoorva Sahodarargal (Appu Raja, in Hindi).
She has been paired opposite the leading actors of two generations. She has played mother to the likes of Mammootty (with whom she has also been paired as wife, lover and sister), Mohanlal (she has also played his sister), Nagarjuna, Chiranjeevi et al.
Her heyday was the seventies, and though she acted in Tamil and Telugu as well, it was Malayalam cinema that saw her at her best. She won a Kerala State acting award for her role in Sreekumaran Thampi's Jeevitham Oru Gaanam.
Life doled out the good and bad in uneven measure. Thus, while in her profession she made the transition from star to top quality character actress with ease and grace, her personal life was marked by a series of traumas.
At the peak of her career, she married businessman George Thomas, only to end up in an abusive marriage that lasted nine years. She ended up losing her money and assets; it took a prolonged court battle, which ended in the Supreme Court, before her home and other properties were restored to her in the late nineties.
And by the time she resolved that trauma, illness claimed her. It was while she was bereft of her earnings and her property that she moved back to Trivandrum from her home town Chennai, and began focusing on television serials, in which she quickly made a mark, starring in several well received ones.
Through it all, she retained her interest in dance and not too long ago, performed the first full dance recital of her life, in Kozhikode, Kerala � a performance that lasted three hours.
Kaithaprom Damodaran Namboodiripad, a Carnatic singer and popular lyricist, was responsible, and the event had its genesis in a chance meting on a train.
Kaithaprom asked her, 'Why hasn't the daughter of ML Vasantha Kumari given a single kacehri in her life?'; the ensuing discussion ended with him persuading Srividya to make her dance debut.
He later remembered that she was extremely grateful to him for his persuasion.
Srividya's body has been taken to her residence at PTP Nagar, in Trivandrum; it will lie in state at the VJT Hall, for public homage from 10 am Friday (October 22). At 12.30 pm, she will be cremated at the Karamana Brahmana Samaja crematorium.
'Life did not give her anything to smile about, because she was always battling against something or the other,' her close friend Ganesh Kumar said of her.
Perhaps it is a mark of her character that Srividya's smile � warm, ever present � is the final memory those who knew her, and admired her on screen, will cherish as the final keepsake.
10-20-2006, 05:18 PM
Actress Srividya dies of cancer
October 19, 2006 21:31 IST
Last Updated: October 20, 2006 00:15 IST
Leading South Indian actress Srividya died in a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday evening, hospital sources said.
She was 53 and had been undergoing treatment for cancer for the last few months.
Daughter of eminent classical singer M L Vasanthakumari, Srividya entered the film world at a very young age doing a prominent role in the Sivaji Ganesan-starrer Thiruvarul Selvar.
She, however, made it big in Malayalam ever since her debut film Chattambikavala in 1969. Srividya had put up memorable performance in scores of Malayalam films and she won the state government's best actress award twice.
At the height of her career, she married businessman George Thomas but they separated some years back. She had also acted in several Malayalam television serials.
Srividya will be cremated with state honours in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, an official spokesman said.
The body of the actress would be kept at the VJT hall in Thiruvananthapuram in the morning for her fans and the public to pay last respect to her. The cremation will take place at the Brahmin Samajam crematorium at Karamana in the city later in the afternoon.
10-20-2006, 05:21 PM
Srividya: A versatile artist
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. 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 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 had called on her at Thiruvananthapuram. She also won Tamil Nadu goverment's best actress award many times.
10-23-2006, 05:49 PM
Srividya's will : touching gesture
- 23.10.2006 The last rites of actress Srividya who passed away last Friday, was conducted with full state honors at Thiruvananthapuram Karamanai Brahmin cemetery.
Many prominent stars like Mammootty, Madhu, Revathi, Murali and others, paid their respects. Achudanandan, the Kerala CM, released a tribute to the late actress.
Srividya married for love but her marriage ended in divorce a few years later. They had no children. In her will, Srividya states that she wants her properties to be sold and a Trust started with that money. The Trust is to work for the benefit of poor children and for the development of art. She has also bequeathed a lakh each to her two assistants and 5 lakhs each to her brother's children.
Srividya's parents wanted her to become a musician, but she had more leanings towards acting. So, she could not fulfill the wishes of her parents. With this in mind, Srividya has donated her money towards development of artistic abilities in poor children.
Even at the time of death, Srividya's thoughts were for others. She indeed had a very large heart.
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