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Santha Kumari
Santha Kumari

Name:    Vellaala Subbamma

Star Name:    P. Santha Kumari

Mother Tongue:    Telugu

Date of Birth:    1920-5-17

Date of Death:    2006-1-16

Eye Color:    Black

Facts:    She joined a drama troupe and was an AIR artiste at the age of sixteen.

Facts:    Pullaiah and Santha Kumari acted as husband and wife in only one film called Muttaiduva in 1979.

Facts:    She won a prize in a classical music competition in 1935.

Facts:    She worked as a music teacher in Vidyodaya School there for a remuneration of Rs. 2/- per month.

Hair Color:    Black

Debut Movie:    Telugu - Mayabazar a.k.a. Sashirekhaa Parinayam (1936)

Debut Movie:    Tamil - Dharmapatni (1941/II)

Debut Movie:    Hindi - Toofan Aur Diyaaas

Guru:    P. Sambamurthy

Debut Song:    Tamil - Sarangadhara (1937 - Part I)

Production Debut:    Tamil - Dharmapatni (1941- Part II )

Spouse:    P. Pullaiah (Telugu Director)

Father:    Sree Sreenivasa Rao

Son(s):    Rao C.S.R (Director)

Mother:    Smt. Pedda Narasamma

Daughter(s):    Radha

Daughter-in-Law:    Rajasulochana (Actress)

Santhakumari(Telugu:శాంతకుమారి )Born in a well-to-do family as Vellaala Subbammam alias Santhakumari on 17th May 1920, to Sree Sreenivasa Rao and Smt. Pedda Narasamma. Her father was an actor and her mother was a classical music singer. Santhakumari's father Srinivasa Rao, an ardent lover of fine arts Santhakumari learned classical music and violin under the guidance of Professor P. Sambamurthy and was a classmate of D. K. Pattammal. At 13, Subbamma passed Carnatic vocal and violin with a first class. By 15, she was performing kutcheris all over the South and she joined a drama troupe and was an AIR artiste by the age of sixteen. She found employment in Vidyodaya School for a remuneration of Rs 2 per month At one of the kutcheris, producer-director P. V. Das met her and offered her Sasirekha's role in Maya Bazaar in 1936. The film was a big hit. . She sang along with music director S. Rajeswara Rao for AIR. Her grandmother strongly objected to her joining films. P. V. Das and his make-up artiste Mangiah convinced her granny. Finally, she saw Santhakumari dressed as Sasirekha and permitted her to act. P. V. Das felt that Subbamma was an old fashioned name, in 1936. So he changed her name to Santhakumari. Maya Bazaar was remade by K. V. Reddy for Vijaya Productions. The new singing sensation's next movie was Sarangadhara' where she played a negative role, Chitrangi, with equal élan. The film was directed by P. Pulliah. Santhakumari was 17 and she had found her man. She was attracted by his goodness and married him in 1937. She had two daughters Radha and Padma and a son C.S.R.Rao who is an actor, writer and director and her daughter in law Raja Sulochana is also an actress.
It was followed with mythological films like Rukmini Kalyanam, Parvathi Kalyanam', Bhaktha Jayadeva, Markandeyaand Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam. Later, her first social film Dharmapatni, was produced in which, A. Nageswara Rao made his first screen appearance in a student's role. Her foray into Tamil films came with Bhakta Jana, produced and directed by her husband, with B. Narasimha Rao under the banner of Ragini Pictures. Honappa Bhagavathar played the male lead opposite her. The film and her songs became so popular that P. Pulliah later remade almost all his Telugu productions in Tamil. Tirugubatu as Veettukkari and the bilingual Dharmadevatha come under this genre. But the most successful film for Ragini Pictures was Ardhangi' based on the popular Bengali Novel, Swayamsidha. She by then had graduated to character roles. She played stepmother to A. Nageswara Rao and Jaggiah, and to Sivaji Ganesan and Gemini Ganesan in the Tamil version, Pennin Perumai, which was also a big hit. Her foray into Hindi films came through Bhagwan Balaji' the dubbed version of the 1960 edition of Venkateswara Mahatyam, produced and directed by P. Pulliah with N. T. Rama Rao and Savithri in the lead. She rendered Nandagopala… and Ennallani Kannulu Kayaga Eduruchuthura Gopala… in the Hindi version too.
Padmasri Pictures memorable movies with Nageswara Rao in the lead include Sirisampadalu which won the President's Award, Pranamithrulu, Muralikrishna , Koduku Kodalu and Preminchi Choodu, the remake of Kathalikka Neramillai. She played the grandmother in Talla Pellama, produced and directed by N. T. Rama Rao. Krishna Prema, Rechukka, Ardhangi' Jayabheri and Premnagar' are some of the movies that won her accolades in Telugu. In Tamil, she was appreciated in Bhaktha Jana, Pennin Perumai, Manampola Mangalyam, Sivandha Mann, Nenjil Oor Alayam and Vasantha Maligai. She played the heroine opposite Nageswara Rao in Mayalokam, and was his sister-in-law in Jayabheriand his stepmother in Ardhangi. She has her own inimitable style of singing. Her memorable numbers include - Mohananga Rara… and Evaroyi Evaroyi…, Ooduma Krishna… and Ide Anandamu…, Kalakala aa Kokilemo…. and Chakkani Doralele Chandamama…, Gopala Nanda Gopala…. and Ennallani Kannulu Kayaga…. and Manasu Telisina O Nanna… in Telugu, and in Tamil, her songs from Bhaktha Jana, Matsyarekha, Piriavidai are some of her best. After quitting films, she took to writing and composing devotional songs. She died on 17th January 2006 after a prolonged illness.


For her contributions to Telugu Cinema, Santha Kumari was awarded the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award in 1998.


 Sree Venkateswara Mahatmyam was made twice by P. Pullaiah. Santhakumari acted as Padmavathi (Lord Venkateswara's consort) in the 1939 version, and as Vakula (Lord Venkateswara's mother) in 1960 version. The 1960 version was also dubbed into Hindi as Bhagwan Balaji.

 Sarangadhara (1937), one of her other movies was remade in 1957 with Bhanumathi playing the lead role of Chitrangi.

 Pullaiah and Santha Kumari acted as wife and husband in only one film called Muttaiduva (Krishna and Jayachitra) in the year 1979

 Santhakumari also acted in Hindi movies, such as V. Shantaram's Toofan Aur Diyaaas well as in several Tamil movies.

 ANR debuted as a minor child artiste role in Dharmapatni (1941) under Padmashree banner. Santhakumari acted opposite him in Mayalokam (1945).

She later played ANR's mother in movies like Shanti Nivasam (1960) and Koduku-Kodalu (1972).

 Santhakumari also acted opposite Gummadi (Ardhangi - 1955) who was younger to her. Gummadi played an elderly role for the first time in Ardhangi.

Savithri's jewelry in the movie were originally Santhakumari's jewelry
 In real life, Santhakumari is related to S. V. Ranga Rao (Papam Pasivadu - 1972)

 Pullaiah and Santhakumari are the only couple in the film industry both of who have been felicitated with Raghupathi Venkaiah Award (though in different years)


» Sandeepthi » Sonia Deepti » Shruti Hassan » Sakshi Gulati
» Shubra Aiyappa » Sana Khan » Swathy » Sadha
» Sakshi Sivanand » Sangeetha » Sanghavi » Savithri
» Santha Kumari » Seetha » Shalini » Shamitha Shetty
» Sharadha » Shilpa Shetty » Shriya » Shobana
» Silk smitha » Simran » Sindhu Tolani » Sneha
» Sneha Ullal » Sonali Bindre » Sonali Joshi » Sonia Agarwal
» Sridevi » Sridevi Vijaykumar » Suhasini » Sumalatha
» Suryakantham » Sushmita Sen » Sweta Basu Prasad » Sheela
» Saranya Mohan » Samantha » Shraddha Arya » Shraddha Das
» Sameera Reddy » Shria Dhanwanthari » Soundarya » Shazahn Padamsee
» Singher MM Srilekha » Shambhavi » Swathi Reddy (colors Swathi)

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