Full Biography of Actress Vijayashanti
Vijayashanti is an Indian film actress, producer and a politician. In a film career spanning thirty years, she has acted in over 186 feature films in a variety of roles in various Indian languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi. She was tagged "The Lady Superstar" and "Lady Amitabh" of South Indian cinema. She has won the National Film Award for Best Actress for her work as a "super cop" in Karthavyam (1991), and received seven Filmfare Awards South for best acting, including the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (South) in the year 2003, and four state Nandi Awards for her performance.
Vijayashanti was born in Madras, Madras State on 24 June 1965 to Varalaxmi and Srinivas Prasad, who migrated to Madras from Ramannagudem in Warangal district, Telangana. She has said that she prefers to think of herself as being from Telangana rather than Madras, although as of 2004 she had never visited her parents' village.She completed her 10th class at Holy Angels High School, Madras, before starting her film career.
Vijayashanti began her acting career at the age of 13, playing the leading lady in the Tamil film Kallukkul Eeram ("The moisture inside stone / rock"), directed by Bharathiraja. In the same year, she debuted in Telugu cinema with the movie Kilaadi Krishnudu, opposite Krishna. She was given screen name "Vijaya Shanthi", which was based on that of her aunt and veteran actress Vijaya Lalitha. Vijayashantis first break as a performer came in the 1983 Telugu film Neti Bharatham directed by T. Krishna.
n 1985 Vijayashanti received her first state Nandi Award for her role in Pratighatana, in which she played a University lecturer named Jhansi. At the same time she was cast in Agni Parvatam alongside super star Krishna, where she perfectly balanced her performance and Glam doll roles. In the early career itself she excelled in performance-oriented roles in films like Desamlo Dongalu Paddaru, Vandemaataram, Aruna kiranam, Repati Pourulu, Devaalayam, etc. Repati Pourulu received a Silver Nandi Award for the year 1986. This film was released after death of the movie director T. Krishna. Bharathanari in 1989 bought her second Nandi Award.
Her glamour roles, under the direction of K. Raghavendra Rao and A. Kodandarami Reddy, in films like Challenge, Kondaveeti Raja, Pasivadi Pranam, Rudranetra, Muddula Krishnaiah, Agni Parvatam, Swayamkrushi, Yamudiki Mogudu, Athaku Yamudu Ammayiki Mogudu, Muddula Mavayya, Kondaveeti Donga, and Gang Leader establishing herself as one of the top actress of Telugu cinema, and being cited in the media as one of the nation's most popular and attractive personalities of the 1980s.Padamati Sandhya Ragam a Jandhyala directorial film is another penny in her kitty where she looks and performs as a traditional Telugu girl who falls love with an American guy(Thomas Jane).
Two of her very close friends are Suhasini Maniratnam who has been instrumental in improving her hair dressing skills and her competitor Radha, with whom she shares special friendships. In fact, in one of the interviews to a Telugu magazine, Vijayashnathi has mentioned that she considers Suhasini as her elder sister who has been protective of her in her difficult times.
In 1992 Mondi Mogudu Penki Pellam was a huge success. In that she played a bold lady speaking Telangana slang and delivered the career-defining song "Laloo Darwaja Laskar". In the 1990s, she was the only actress demanding highest remuneration in India equal to her co-superstars.Most of her films with Telugu superstars Chiranjeevi (19 films) and Balakrishna (17 films) were huge hits and her on-screen chemistry with both actors worked very well at the box office.
In 1993 she acted in a dual role Police Lockup directed by Kodi Ramakrishna was a superhit. After she started concentrating on action roles, something special is her naivity showing. She was paired opposite Superstar Krishna and Shobhan Babu. She also acted opposite Daggubati Venkatesh in Shatruvu, Surya IPS and Chinarayudu and with Nagarjuna in Vijay, Janaki Ramudu and Jaitra Yatra. She also acted alongside Tamil superstars Rajinikanth, as the antagonist in the film Mannan, and with Kamal Hassan as an investigative reporter in Indrudu Chandrudu. She acted in two movies with Malayalam superstar Suresh Gopi, being Yuvathurki and Kallu Kondoru Penn. She was also starred opposite Big B Amitabh Bachchan in Zamaanat was shelved for different reason.
In the blockbuster movie Karthavyam (1990), her electrifying performance as a tough cop (modeled after real-life supercop Kiran Bedi) won her the National Film Award for Best Actress from the Government of India and an Andhra Pradesh State award for best actress. The film, made with a budget of about 90 lakhs and grossed over 7 crores in southern territories alone. The success of this movie saw her moving away from glamorous roles and limiting herself to heroine-oriented films did not stop her from continuing as Number One. These tough lady roles made her a Superstar and became the highest paid actress in India.She was the path breaking actress for those female power packed action roles.Actresses like Anushka Shetty, Nayanthara and Trisha are often tagged and compared with Vijayashanthi for taking the same lady oriented action roles.She was widely applaused from Bollywood and to mention Big B Amitabh Bachchan appreciated her daring and dashing acts all without any duplicate.
A. M. Rathnam, who was Shanti's personal make-up artist, turned out to be money-making producer. Vijayashanti financially supported him and made the award-winning Karthavyam and Aasayam. In 1990, Karthavyam was dubbed into Tamil as Vyjayanthi IPS and its success brought her superstardom in Tamil cinema as well. (It was also remade in Hindi as Tejaswini, with herself playing the lead role directed by N. Chandra. This, too, did very well at the Hindi box-office). The film influence the then 10-year old C. Indhumathi who is now an IAS Officer was till then brought up on Tamil films with men playing super heroes was thoroughly impressed by Vijayashanthi's portrayal of the woman cop who fought against all odds. The woman cop grew to be her inspiration in the years to come. Vyjayanthi IPS ran for 50 days in Vetri theater in Chennai and this record is broken by a Tamil dubbed version of Baahubali in August 2015.
In 1997 she did Osey Ramulamma, directed by Dasari Narayana Rao and this was the biggest blockbuster of the year, winning her fourth Nandi Award. From this film onward she is mostly called as "Ramulamma" by the people. Later she appeared in strong roles in movies like Adavi Chukka and Rowdy Darbar, directed by Dasari Narayana Rao. She also worked in a Bollywood movie Gundagardi (1997) in an action role opposite Dharmendra. Vijayashanthi has also worked for many commercials like Chandana Bros., and Power Detergent soap. She was the only actress to be first featured in a saree commercial. Later many actress followed her and are featured in many saree and dress commercials.
In 1998 Vijayashanti joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and was soon made the secretary of BJP's Women's Wing (Bharateeya Mahila Morcha).During the 1999 general election she was named BJP's contestant from the Cuddapah Lok Sabha seat against Sonia Gandhi of Congress(I) (however, she withdrew from the race after Sonia Gandhi decided to contest from Bellary). She started her own political party, Talli Telangana, in January 2009 which she merged into Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to strengthen the victory of Telangana state. From 1999 her movie appearances decreased as she focused on her political career. By 2004 she had stopped signing up for new films. In the 2009 general election, she won as a Member of Parliament from Medak constituency. In June 2009, she resigned from the post of secretary general of TRS, expressing solidarity with the resignation of Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao. In 2011, she submitted her resignation as an MP. The resignation was later rejected by the speaker of the house, as they were not in the proper format. Later she was actively participating in politics for separate Telangana state (region), which she played a key role in the process.
Vijayashanti joined Indian National Congress party in February 2014 after split with TRS chief KCR and contesting the Lok Sabha elections 2014 on a Congress ticket.She lost in those elections and then taking a small break from politics. She said she would also re-enter to the cinema in 2017 once she found a suitable script.
She is married to a real-estate businessman and a Film producer M. V. Srinivas Prasad.He produced a movie Nippu Ravva under the banner Yuvarathna arts.
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