Veteran Tamil actress Manorama dead

Chennai, Oct 11 (IANS) Legendary Tamil comedian and actress Manorama, who had starred in over 1,000 southern films, breathed her last here on Saturday. She was 78.

According to a family source, she passed away at a private hospital flollowing a cardiac arrest.

Born as Gopishanta in Manargudi in 1937, she began her career as a stage artist at a time when women rarely acted in plays.

As a stage artist, she chose to change her name to Manorama.

In 1958, Aachi, as she was fondly called by her fans, made her acting debut in Tamil film “Malayitta Mangai”, and since then went on to star predominantly in Tamil and Telugu films.

Known as one of the finest female comedians, Manorama proved her versatility with impeccable body language and dialogue delivery. She could render dialogues with ease in any region-based dialect in Tamil.

Some of her best Tamil films include “Anbe Vaa”, “Ethir Neechal”, “Galatta Kalyanam”, “Chittukuruvi”, “Durga Devi”, “Annalakshmi” and “Imayam” among many more.

In Telugu, she starred in films such as “Rikshavodu”, “Krishnarjuna” and “Subhodayam”.

In 1974, she shared the screen space with comedian Mehmood in Hindi film “Kunwara Baap”.

In the last decade of her career, Manorama starred in Tamil television serials.

A recipient of Kalaimamani Award and a National Award for best supporting actress for her performance in 1989 Tamil film “Puthiya Pathai”, she was honoured with Padma Shri in 2002.

Manorama held the record of starring opposite all the Tamil superstars – from M.G. Ramachandran to Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, and several contemporary Tamil actors.

Last week, she made her last public appearance here at an event alongside Kamal Haasan.

Her body will be shifted from the hospital to her residence on Sunday for people to pay their homage.

She is survived by her son and singer-actor Boopathy.

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