- Savitri (actress)
name = Savitri
birthdate = birth date|1937|12|6|mf=y
location = flagicon|India
Andhra Pradesh, Chirravur, India
deathdate = death date and age|1981|12|26|1937|1|4|mf=y
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
birthname = Savitri
othername = Nadigayar Thilakam
spouse = Gemini Ganesan
Savitri or Savitri Ganesh (
6 December 1937– 26 December 1981), was an actress, director and producer of films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindilanguages. She was known for her liveliness and captivating performance and is still treated as the benchmark for action in Telugu movies.
Savitri was born to Nissankaram Guraviah and Subhadramma in
Chirravurin Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India. She learned music and Indian classical dance under Sista Purnayya Sasthri. She performed stage shows during her childhood. She later acted in 318 films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi languages, with ten to twenty movies released per year.
She later directed some films herself. One day she went to meet the Prime Minister
Lal Bahadur Shastri, loaded with jewels. But she gave away all her jewels for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. She also built a high school in Andhra. She was a left-hander. Her favorite sports were cricket and chess. She used to play chess at home. She claimed that her favorite sports person was Gary Sobers, a famous cricketer from the West Indies. (Also a left-hander) She was active in celebrity cricket matches.
She gave some public performances as a child in
Vijayawada. She worked in a theater company run by Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao. She also started her own company, the Navabharata Natya Mandali. Her best stage role was in Atma Vanchanawritten by Bucchi Babu.
Her first offer ‘Agni Pariksha’ at age twelve in 1949. However she looked too young after screen tests and was soon dropped. She was selected for main role in the film ‘Samsaram’ by the banner ‘Sadhana Chitra’ in 1950. However she was replaced by
Pushpalathaand she was given small role, as she was nervous to act with popular actor Nageswara Rao. She performed a dance in Pathala Bhairaviin 1951. Her first main roles was as a second heroine Pelli Chesi Chooduby L. V. Prasadin 1952. Her early popular roles are in Ardhangiand Missamma.
She later acted in memorable Telugu films like Chandra Haram (1953), Devadasu (1953), Ardhangi (1955), Missamma(1955), Donga Ramudu (1955), Amara Deepam (1956), Todikodallu(1957), Mayabazaar (1957), Abhimanam(1958), Mangalya Balam(1958), Appu Chesi Pappu Kodu (1959), Muripinche muvvalu(1960), Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam (1960), Manchi Manasulu(1961), Aradhana (1962), Gundamma Katha (1962), Rakta Tilakam (1963), Mooga Manasulu (1963), Doctor Chakravarthi(1964), Poojaphalam (1964), Devatha(1965), Pandava Vanavasam (1965), Kanya Sulkam, Naadi Aada Janme, Prana Mitrulu (1967), Varakatnam (1968), Maro Prapancham (1970), Manase Mandiram(1971) and Jagan Mohini (1978). These movies are testimony to her versatile action skills. She got national award for the magnum opus movie
Savitri was a legendary actress in tamil film industry. She has paired opposite leading actors like Sivaji Ganesan, M.G.R in many films. She married Gemini Ganesh, while acting in ‘Manam Pola Mangalyam’(1953) with him. Savithri's 100th film ‘Konjum Salangai’ (‘Muripinche Muvvalu’ in Telugu) also happened to be paired with Gemini Ganeshan. She was fondly called 'Nadigaiyar Thilagam' in tamil film industry.
Kalathur Kannamma, Kai Kodutha Deivam, Thiruvilaiyadal, Navarathiri, Pasa Malar, Yaar Paiyyan, Paarthal pasi theerum, Padithal Mattum Podhuma, Karpagam, Karnan, Paava Mannippu are some of her memorable classics in tamil.
She acted in few Hindi films like ‘Bahut Din Huwe’, ‘Ghar Basake Dekho’, ‘Balaram Sri Krishna’ and ‘Ganga ki Leharen’.
Director and Producer
She had directed films like ‘Chinnari Papalu’, ‘Chiranjeevi’, ‘Maathru Devatha’ and ‘Vintha Samsaram’ in Telugu. 'Kuzhanthai Ullam' and 'Praptham' in Tamil.
She got National Award for Best Actress in 1960 for her performance in the movie Chivaraku Migiledi.Fact|date=July 2008 The movie was the telugu remake of Deep Jele Jai (1959), a bengali classic starring Suchitra Sen which also got remade in hindi later in 1969 as "Khamoshi" with Waheeda Rehman enacting the lead role.
She was crowned with title "Nadigayar Thilakam" (Greatest Actress) for her fine performances in tamil.
She was awarded with the title "Kalaimamani" by the Tamil Nadu State Government, "Nati Siromani" by the Andhra Yuvathi Mandali and with an apt title as "Mahanati".Fact|date=June 2008
Gemini Ganesanin 1953 and was blessed with two children Vijaya Chamundeswari and Sathish Kumar. Savitri was a strict, disciplined and compassionate mother. Since there was no availability of televisions at that time, she arranged a 16mm projector to show her films to kids. She would watch all the Hollywoodmovies and analyze them in an amazing manner. She loved Sophia Lorenand Shirley MacLaine.
She had drinking problem and was not on good terms with her family. She died a very painful death, with Madras Municipality did the cremation after her death.
* [http://www.abhinethri.com/vinsavitri01.html Mahanati Savitri from the film Devadasu]
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