Full Biography of Actress Saroja Devi
B. Saroja Devi is an Indian actress. She has acted in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi movies. She is referred to as \"Abinaya Saraswathi\" by Kannada film industry and as \"Kannadathu Paingili\" (meaning Kannada\'s Parrot) by Tamil Film Industry. She has acted in nearly 200 films in a period of more than three decades. Saroja Devi is one of the most successful female film stars in the history of Indian cinema and she was at her peak as the main female lead in films in the period 1958-85.Saroja Devi received Padma Bhushan, third highest civilian award, in 2002 and in 1969, she was honoured with the Padma Sri, the fourth-highest civilian honour, by the Government of India.
Saroja Devi was born in Karnataka on 7 January 1938 to Bhairappa and Rudramma. Her father worked for the police department. Saroja Devi was their fourth daughter. But this wasn\'t a happy occasion for her family, especially her grandfather, Mayanna Gowda. Bhairappa managed to overrule him and insist on raising the child. Her father asked her to learn dance and encouraged her to venture into films when film offers started coming to her. A young Saroja Devi was often chaperoned to studios by him. He frequently tied her salangais, and often massaged her swollen feet after her dancing stints.
Saroja Devi was first spotted by B.R. Krishnamurthy singing at a function at the age of 13. Initially, she declined his offer to act in movies. She debuted with the Kannada film Mahakavi Kalidasa in 1955
Saroja Devi\'s first big break came in the Honnappa Bhagavatar\'s Kannada film, Mahakavi Kalidasa, in 1955, for which she won a National Award. It was followed by B R Panthulu\'s Thanga Malai Ragasiyam, where her eyes enacted a magical drama, in a dance sequence.Her debut movie in Telugu was Panduranga Mahatyam (1957) in which she acted opposite N.T. Rama Rao.After this she came under the notice of the MGR for the very first time, on K Subramaniam\'s sets and MGR cast her in Nadodi Manan(1958).
People doubted her ability to speak Tamil, but MGR had faith in her and encouraged her to learn and speak Tamil and cast her in his home production Nadodi Mannan in 1958 as well.It was the Tamil film Nadodi Mannan opposite MGR in 1958 that catapulted Saroja Devi to superstar status in Tamil Film industry.After this she immediately received offer to make her Hindi debut opposite Dilip Kumar in Paigam(1959). She never allowed any one to dub for her and insisted that she would speak by herself as a result none of her Tamil movies her voice was dubbed by any other artiste since the beginning of her career.Then she gave hits opposite Gemini Ganesan in Manalane Mangayin Bhagyam, Kalyana Parisu, Ode Velaiyadu papa, Kairasi and opposite Sivaji Ganeshan in Baga Pirivinai,Vidi Velli,Palum Pazhamum, Iruvar Ullam(1958 till 1960).After this she started getting offers from Tamil,Kannada, and Telugu films. She was working more than 20 hours a day in this peak period of her career(1960–69). She became the number one female lead actress of the period 1959-69 in Tamil films.
She was cast always opposite the much high in demand stars of respective film industries :NTR, ANR in Telugu, MGR, Sivaji Ganeshan, Gemini Ganesan, S.S.Rajendran in Tamil and Rajkumar in Kannada.Saroja chose to do more films in Tamil in the period 1958-1969 and after her marriage she was more active in Kannada and Telugu films from (1970–1984).
Saroja Devi\'s energetic performance as a patriotic queen raging against the British in Kannada flick Kittooru Rani Chennamma, which won the national award for Best Film in 1963, brought her much acclaim. Her Telugu hits were Seetha Rama Kalyanam and Jagadeka Veeranukatha in 1961 with NTR, while her hits in Hindi films included Paigham (1959), Sasural (1960), Opera House (1961), Pareeksha, Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya(1963) and Beti Bete (1964) and in addition Kannada hits like Chintamani(1957), School Master(1958), Jagajyothi Basaveshwara (1959), Kitturu Chennamma (1962).It was at this time in 1962 that she was crowned \"Chaturbhaasha Taare\", because of her popularity in these four languages. She had mincing accent, smart and perky attitude and this made her popular among the audience of all the four languages.She concentrated more in Tamil films as a result though she had all her films as hits in Hindi, after Preet Na Jane Reet opposite Shammi Kapoor she did not do more Hindi films.Another leading Telugu actress Krishna Kumari had dubbed her voice in Panduranga Mahatyam for Saroja Devi in the initial part of her career in Telugu Films. But in subsequent years, without any external source of dubbing, Saroja Devi acted in her Telugu films.For her films in Hindi, Kannada and Tamil she always dubbed for herself since the beginning of her career.She did only film directed by K.Balachander named Thamarai Nenjam which was a box-office hit opposite Gemini Ganeshan.
MGR Saroja Devi established a popular on screen pair and had back to back superhits from 1958-1967.The pair who began with Naadodi Mannan, went on to give do 27 films together and of them 26 were hits. the most popular being Thirudathey, Thai Sollai Thattathey, Paasam,Thaayaikaatha Thanayan, Asai Mugam, Periya Idathu Penn, Dharmam Thalaikkakkum, Neethikku Pin Pasam, Pannakkara Kudumbam,Padakoti, Nadodi, Thalibahakiyam, Naan Anayittaal, Petralthaan Pillaiya and Parrakkum Pavai. Her best performances opposite MGR were the \'rich girl\' roles in Anbe Vaa, Enga Veettu Pillai, En Kadamai, Pana Thottam and Thayin Madiyil.She made a fashion statement too as women adored her dressing sense and her saris and blouses, ornaments, hairstyles were copied by girls and women.
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