By |25 May 2023 at 1:07 PM
Manorama Biography

Manorama Biography: Gopishantha (26 May 1937 – 10 October 2015), better known by her stage name Manorama, also known as Aachi, was an Indian actress, playback singer, and comedian who appeared in over 1000 films, 5000 stage performances, and several television series primarily in the Tamil language up until 2015.[1][2] She was honoured with the Kalaimamani award. The Padma Shri was conferred to Manorama in 2002 for her contribution to the arts. She won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1989 film Pudhiya Padhai and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South in 1995.

Manorama Biography

Early years

Manorama was born to Kasiyappan Kilakudaiyar and Ramamirtham in the Madras Presidency town of Mannargudi, formerly the Thanjavur district.[5]Her mother raised her while working as a housekeeper.She acknowledged her mother’s contribution to her success, noting that many of the mother roles she has portrayed in films resemble her own mother. Due to destitution, her family relocated to Pallathur near Karaikudi.[8] Manorama pulled out of school at the age of 11 after her mother began vomiting blood in Pallathur, prompting her to begin working as a maid. Once upon a time, a drama troupe visited Pallathur, but the actress who was to play a minor role abruptly dropped out due to her inability to sing, and the troupe searched for an actress who could also sing.

The theatre company decided to cast her in the role of Andhaman Kadhali. Thus, she launched her acting career at the age of twelve by performing in plays. During this time, one of her dramas’ director Thiruvengadam and harmonist Thiayagarajan rechristened her as Manorama. Manorama met S S Rajendran (SSR) when he camped with his drama troupe in her native district. She was chosen for a part in his ManiMagudam play, which was written by Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi.She continued to perform in musicals and also as a playback singer. Janakiraman offered her her first film, Inbavazhvu, which remained 40% unfinished. Later, Kannadasan offered her the starring role in Unmayinkottai, which was also abandoned after 40% of filming. She gave up ambition of becoming a film actor when these two films remained unfinished.

Manorama fell in love with her drama troupe’s manager, S. M. Ramanathan, and married him in 1954; their son Bhoopathy was born in 1955. However, they separated in 1956 and began living apart in Chennai.


She began her acting career as a dramatist, which was more prevalent at the time. She gradually transitioned from dramas to films, as did most actors of her era. During her early days in the film industry, she focused primarily on comedy. Alongside the well-known comedian Nagesh, she was assigned equally challenging roles. They performed in a number of commendable comedies as an outstanding duo. Even though Sivaji Ganesan and Natiya Peroli (Danseuse) Padmini were present in the film, her performance in Thillana Mohanambal was highly praised and noticed. Since then, she has been offered more opportunities in roles other than comedy.

She assumed each responsibility with such ease that the Tamil entertainment industry acknowledged her enormous talent. She holds the distinction of having worked with five South Indian chief ministers. Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu C. N. Annadurai wrote, directed, and acted in her in his stage productions. She has also shared the stage with another Tamil Nadu chief minister, Dr. M. Karunanidhi. She has appeared in films with Dr. M. G. Ramachandran and Dr. Jayalalitha Jayaram, both of whom subsequently became Tamil Nadu’s chief ministers. She has also appeared in Telugu films alongside Dr. N.T. Rama Rao, who went on to become the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. She retains the record for having appeared in the most films.

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Aachi Manorama died of a cardiac attack at Apollo Hospital in Chennai on 10 October 2015 at the age of 78.