Monday, November 21, 2011


Sumitra,Kaviyoor Ponnamma,and P.J.Antony in 'Nirmalyam'

Ravi Menon was a well acclaimed actor of Malayalam Films who earned much fame from his debut film itself because it received President's Gold Medal as the best film of India for that year..He was the Hero of 'Nirmalyam' a Malayalam film written and Directed by novelist and Gnyan Peeth holder M.T.Vasudevan Nair.P.J.Antony  gained much more
fame because he was also in the main role and  the story concentrated on his character much more  than the character of Ravi Menon.
Ravi Menon was born in 1950 at Sreekrishna Puram in Palakkad.After  the Degree  course he got admission at Pune Film and T.V. Institute for Diploma in  acting course.After finishing the course he was cast in a film of eminent Hindi film director Mani Kaul.During that period in 1973 he got chance in  'Nirmalyam'.Mani Kaul's 'Duvidha was released later..M.T.Vasudevan Nair's screen Play and direction was much appealing and the film was a huge success because it was liked by all kinds of audience.As a poor member of a Brahmin family seeking a Government Job; trying hard to study the subjects required for the tests, and also working as a priest in a temple was  Ravi Menon's  character.Inexperienced young priest was being helped in his duties by a young girl(acted by Sumitra) and later he falls in love with her.The mannerisms of the young priest and combination scenes with the character of Sumitra were all excellent and received much appreciation.Since the character of 'Velichapadu' which was given life by P.J.Antony was very strong,sensational and much concentrated  to the theme and highly  intensive  with regard to the feelings it  generated  to the audience, he got National Award for best Actor for that film.Ravi Menon got State Award  as Best Actor for Nirmalyam.Even though Ravi Menon acted in more than fifty Malayalam films altogether,  the most suited role and well portrayed one  was that of 'Nirmalyam' and he would be remembered for that ever.
During the 70's and 80's he was active in Malayalam  films and acted in different types of characters but the commercial directors mostly were not utilizing  him might be  thinking that he  would  not act in such films.So he was mainly acting in parallel cinema which were created by thoughtful directors with a different vision.And more over he was not lucky to get another impressive role like that of 'Nirmalyam'  to boost his career.  Ravi Menon  was not lucky to  improve his financial condition  and  the Pune Film Institute Product could  not  rise to the desired fame of heights also for which he was actually eligible.
Mani Kaul
He had a long gap in his acting career and later returned  and appeared in T.V.Serials also.He died on 24 November 2007 due to Cancer at a Private Hospital of Perinthalmanna.He was unmarried.
His roles in films  like 'Salini Ente Koottukari' 'Ekakini' 'Uthradarathri' 'Radha Enna Penkutty, etc were also fantastic.
Selected Filmography
Vadaka Veedu
Yudha Bhoomi
Uthrada Rathri
Salini Ente Koottukari
Ullasa Yathra
Velicham Akale
Ini Yathra
Niraparayum Nilavilakkum
Pathinalam Ravu
Anu Pallavi
Oru Mukham Pala Mukham
Pinneyum Pookunna Kadu
Radha Enna Penkutty
Sahyante Makan
Rathrikal Ninakku Vendi
Sthreekku Vendi Sthree
Sathrathil Oru Rathri
Surya Daham
Swamy Sreenarayana Guru
Chottanikkara Amma

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Devika Rani was one of the earlier heroines of Bollywood and also she was one of the Partner  and founder of the eminent Cinema Production House, Bombay Talkies.
Devika Rani Choudhari was a wealthy Bengali Brahmin girl born at Visakhapattanam on 30 March 1908 and her father Col.M.N.Choudhari  was the  first Indian Surgeon General of Madras Presidency. Her mother was Leela Choudhary.Her Grandmother was the daughter of Rabindra Nath Tagore's eldest sister.She possessed her abilities and courage by birth and was bold enough to go to England alone to study Architecture and some other Diploma courses of her interest.Thus she joined Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and  involved in theater and cinema production along with Architecture and textile designing.Devika married Himanshu  Rai who was a brilliant young film producer   with acting skills and business ideas in the year 1929.They produced a film 'Karma' in which Himanshu was the hero and Devika as the heroine which  received grand reception in London and other European cities. It was the first Hindi  film with sound.In that film a 4 minute long Kissing scene of Devika and Himanshu was included which was not suited for Indian culture which received much criticism.Devika Rani was invited to act in inaugural episode of first ever BBC TV serial and she got chance to make first broadcast of BBC short wave Hindi service.
Himanshu Rai with Devika Rani  and their associates found Bombay Talkies Film Production House at Malad in Bombay.They produced several hit films of those times.Her acting talents was excellent. She is termed as the first 'Dream Girl' of Indian Cinema.In 1936  a lab assistant in the Production house by name
'Kumudlal Ganguly' was requested by Himanshu  to act opposite Devika Rani for their film 'Jeevan Naiyya' because the proposed hero Nijam-Ul-Hussain was ill.Thus a new star aroused on the Bollywood horizon
 none other than the famous  wonderful actor  'Ashok Kumar'.
Another film made in the same year again with Ashok Kumar as hero and Devika Rani as heroine 'Achchut Kanya' drew so much attention, appreciation and criticism from the society.A Brahmin Boy loving an untouchable low cast girl was the theme of that film which helped to change the society a lot and induced healthy positive way of thinking.
Untimely death happened to Himanshu in 1940 which caused several problems to Devika Rani's life.Her assistants left Bombay and she was in full control of Bombay Talkies and she was termed as 'Dragon Lady' in that situation with so many responsibilities for her.
During those time that she brought to the   arc  light actor 'Dilip Kumar' and actress 'Madhubala' through Bombay Talkies.
In 1945 she married a Russian Painter, who was settled in India  and left the movies and Bombay also.She stayed with her husband in an estate at  Bangalore.She died on March 8  in 1994. She was  presented 'Padma Shri' by the President of India in 1958.She was given the first Dada Saheb Phalke Award for her life time contributions to Indian Cinema
in 1970.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Ashok Kumar was a very much loved and respected figure of Hindi Cinema who joined the Industry at an early stage in 1936 and his acting career extended for a long period of six decades.He was born as Kumudlal Ganguly, at Bhagalpur on 13 Oct 1911  and educated from Presidency College, under University of Calcutta.He joined as a Laboratory assistant at prestigious Bombay Talkies Cinema Production House.Unexpectedly in 1936 he was asked to act in 'Jeevan Naiya' opposite Devika Rani by one of the Partners  of Bombay Talkies.It is said that Ashok Kumar had no plans to take up acting as the career and did not even dream of it and so in the beginning
his scenes were retaken several times because of his lack of experience and confidence.But soon he grabbed confidence and to the surprise of the producers and directors he gained perfection and  presented fantastic acting talents.He is one of the actor who broke the theatrical style of acting and improvised with the natural way of presentation and received the appreciation from critics and audience alike.
                                                              His brothers Anoop Kumar and Kishore Kumar were also actors of Hindi cinema.The three brothers acted together in comedy films,Chalti Ka naam Gaadi,Badhti ka naam Dadhi,and Chalti ka Naam Zindagi.Apart from acting Kishore Kumar earned fame as one of the very best play back singer  of India.
In 1936 itself Ashok Kumar appeared with Devika Rani in another film 'Achchut Kanya' which dealt with the theme a Brahmin Youth loving a lower caste girl.At that time the film could give a good message to the society to get rid off the evils prevailing and consider all humans as equal.That film was a big hit.With Devika Rani he had other hits like Savitri,Nirmala,Izzat etc and with Leela Chitnis Kan Gan,Jhoola,Bandhan etc were super hits.In 1943 he appeared in an anti-hero role in 'Kismat' which turned out to be a big grosser.He acted several films with Tragedy Queen Meena Kumari like Parineeta,Bahu Begum,Pakeezah,Ek Hi Raastha,Bandish,Aarti etc.During 80's and 90's he acted in films occasionally only and appeared on T.V. for anchoring etc like for the famous 'Hum Log'.His last film was 'Ankhon mein Tum Ho' in 1997.In 1987 Kishore Kumar died on the birthday of Ashok Kumar and from then on he did not celebrate his birthdays.
Ashok Kumar was a medical practitioner of Homeopathy.
In 1969 he received National Best Actor award for film 'Ashirwad'.
In 1995 he was given Filmfare Life time achievement award.
In 1988 he was presented Dada Saheb Phalke Award.
In 1998 Ashok Kumar was given "Padma Bhushan' by Government Of India.
On 10 Dec 2001 He died at the age of 90 in Mumbai.
Selected Filmography
Achchut Kanya
Chalti ka Naam Gaadi
Chalti ka naam Zindagi
Khatta Meetha
Choti si Baat

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Nargis was born on 1st June 1929 at Rawalpindi before the Partition of India.Her parents were Uttam Chand and Jaddenbai.Her father was a Doctor who belonged to a  Mohyal Brahmin wealthy family in Rawalpindi while her mother was a dancer.Mother did not want to choose her career as as a dancer    but tried to get chance for her  in films which was gaining popularity during those days.She was  having a brother who also became a film actor.
Nargis is considered as one of the greatest film actress of all times because of her versatility and wonderful talents.During the 1940-60's she was very active and appeared in so many commercial hits like Barsaat,Andaz,Awaara,Deedar,Shree 420, Chori Chori etc and gained much applause from the audience.Mostly she co-starred with Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar.
The entry of Nargis to film industry was with the film 'Talash -E-Haq' in 1935 as a child artiste and again in several films acted as child artist like Raj Kapoor's first directional venture  'Aag' in 1935.A noted film was 'Tamanna' in 1942.
She became heroine in Mehboob Khan's 'Taqdeer' in 1943 and the audience were impressed by her acting.She got big scale appreciation for her acting in 'Mother India' which was directed by Mehboob Khan in 1957.That film gained Oscar nomination and she won Filmfare award for Best Actress.It gained Int'l  awards for the film   as well as for Nargis also.In 1958 she married Sunil Dutt who was her hero in Mother India.Sunil Dutt was also a Mohyal Brahmin like her father.Sunil Dutt rescued her from a fire accident which happened at the sets of 'Mother India' and they were in love after wards.
In many of her films Raj Kapoor was the hero and she was very comfortable while acting with him and the pair was approved by the  audience and at the box office their films were mostly successful.
After the marriage she used to appear only occasionally but the film 'Raat Aur Din' of 1967 won her National Film award for Best Actress.
She was involved in several social works also.With her husband Sunil Dutt she formed 'Ajanta Arts Cultural Troupe' and with the help of co-stars and actresses they performed numerous stage shows at border areas for the soldiers.She worked for 'Spestics Society of India' an organization for social works.
In 1981 Pancreatic cancer was detected for Nargis and she was treated in New York and brought back.But later the disease became serious and she was  admitted at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai.She died on 3 May 1981.
Nargis was given Padma Shri by Government of India in 1958.She was member of Parliament  from 1980
and could  serve for one year only.She had to depart just four days before the release of the first film of her son Sanjay Dutt.The National award given to films with a National Integrity theme is known as 'Nargis Dutt Award' in her honor.
Selected Filmography
Anokha Pyar
Meena Bazaar
Aadhi Raat
Shree 420
Jeete Raho
Chori Chori
Mother India
Ghar Sansar
Raat Aur Din

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Soundarya was a  marvelous beautiful girl, born and brought up at Bangalore in Karnataka and became No.1 heroine of Tollywood  and also acted in all other south Indian languages of  Kannada,Tamil and Malayalam.She became popular throughout India by acting in an Amitabh Bachchan  Hindi film 'Sooryavanshi'.
Soundarya  holds the credit of acting with all superstars of South India.She  paired with Chiranjeevi,Nagarjuna,Venkatesh,Balakrishna,Kamal Hassan,Rajani Kanth,Ravi Chandran,Mohan Lal,Vishnu Vardhan,etc.
Soundarya was the daughter of an industrialist and writer/producer K.S.Satya Narayana .She got a chance to act in a Kannada movie 'Gandharva ' which was produced by her father's friend in 1992 while she was studying for M.B.B.S. course.She thought of taking film acting as the career when another film 'Ammoru' became a success at the box office.She was of the opinion that her roles offered in Kannada at that time  was insignificant and moved to Tollywood for a try at Telugu cinema.She received a warm welcome there and soon earned name and fame there.Her audience  had a very good impression about her and Soundarya became a household name in Andhra Pradesh.
Soundarya belonged to a Smartha Brahmin family of Astagrama Village of 'Gaaggunte' in 'Mulabagal Taluk' of kolar district.After becoming an established actress and film producer  she turned to several humanitarian services.She developed her entire native village.She formed a welfare society 'Amara Soundarya Social and Educational Trust(ASSET).Under the society she owned a school by name 'Amara Soundarya Vidyalaya'.She was maintaining an orphanage.She provided funds for several educational institutions and for other needy causes.She was always a helping hand for the poor people of the society.One year before her death,(27April 2003) she was married to her childhood friend and relative G.S.Raghu.Her husband and sister-in-law move forward with her  idealistic projects to help the needy and poor.Her brother Amarnath was also a Kannada film producer and  after the death of their  father he was taking responsibility for all her assignments.Her charity  programs were also backed up by him and he was also a characteristic  humanitarian.On April 17, 2004 Soundarya with her brother Amarnath were on their way to Andhra Pradesh for election campaign for Bharatiya Janatha Party on a  four seat Cessana 180 Aircraft.The plane crashed near Bangalore immediately after takeoff killing all on board.Soundara  and  her brother Amarnath died in that accident creating big shock and grief to all.Since she was loved very much in Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka,Tami Nadu and Kerala, cinema artists, technicians,well wishers and film goers especially from these states were very much touched about this accident  and the agony was severe.
Soundarya was recipient of six filmfare awards in 12 years for the films Ammoru,Anthapuram,Raja,Dweepa (Two awards as best actress and best producer),Aaptamitra.She got Karnataka State award for 'Doni Saagali' in 1999 and Nandi award was received from Andhra Pradesh Government for films Ammorau,Pavitra Bandhan, and Anthahpuram.
As a producer she was acclaimed for her film "Dweepa' in which she was the heroine and directed by Girish Kasaravally.The film earned 'Swarna Kamal' award as the best film from Karnataka State,Best actress award,and best cinematography award.Her last film 'Aaptamitra' was also a big success and super hit.
When the death occurred in 2004 she was about to produce another film by name 'Kamli'.Her sad departure is  mourned by all.
Selected Filmography
Sri Manjunatha
Super police
Pavitra Bandhan
Jayam Manadera
Devi Putrudu
Hello Brother
Rajendrudu Gajendrudu
Raja Simham
Rawanna,Donga alludu
Oosi Na Maradda
Ninna Premista
Premadu Velaayara
Premaku Sawagatam
Tommidi Nellalu
Subha Vartha
Inspector Jhansi
Prema Donga
Amma Naa Kodala
Eshwar Allah
Naga Devatha
Bengaru Baava
Moodu Mukkalate
Saddukku Podam Randi
Pelli Peetalu
Chilka Patcha Kapuram
Top Hero
Bhale BulloduPuttinti Gouravam

Sri Ramulayya
Siva Shankar
Mea Enti

Ninna Tangi
Toogure Krishnana
Doni Saagli
Baa Nanna
Naga Devata
Sri Manjunatha
Nannu Nanna hendatru
Vijaya Deshmi
Sri Renuka Devi
Swetha Naragera
Kathala Kathala
Chokka Thangam
Yathrakkarude Sradhakku
Kilichundan Mampazham
Soorya Vansham