Fondly called as Aachi, Manorama was one of the most popular actresses of the South Indian film industry. The veteran actress set a Guinness World Record for acting in more than 1000 films by the year 1985. But she did not stop at that and went on to perform in a total of 1500 till her death on October 10, 2015.
Apart from the 1500 films, she had also acted in 5000 stage performances, and a number of television shows.
Considering the quality and the quantity of her performances, calling her a legendary actress would not be an exaggeration. While millions of people are aware of her talent and popularity, most do not know much about the childhood of Manorama, how she got into the industry and what she did before making an entry into the world of acting.
Before showing her magic in theaters and on the screen, Manorama used to work in homes as domestic help for a living.
She was born as Gopishantha in Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu. Her father wasn’t happy that a daughter was born to him and abandoned both her and her mother. Her mother then took up the works of a domestic help to bring her up.
When Manorama was 11 years old, her mother’s health started deteriorating and she had to drop out of school. By that time their poverty had forced them to shift to Pallathur. She, too, then took up job of a domestic help to support her mother.
When Manorama was 12, a drama troupe came to her village and gave her a chance to act in a drama titled ‘Andhaman Kadhali’. That was the moment when her acting career began. She eventually moved on to act in television and films and accomplished herself as a successful actress.
Apart from acting, Manorama had started singing as well.
In 1964, Manorama married her manager in the drama troupe, S.M. Ramanathan. But the two later got divorced in 1966. They had a son named Bhoopathy.
Among her acting performances, Manorama was best known for her comedy roles. During the later years of her career, she came to be called as Aachi for the grandmother roles on television that she played really well.
Manorama died of multiple organ failure in Chennai. For all that she did, she achieved a lot more that the Guinness World Record. The incredible actress was a recipient of many more accolades that include the Kalaimamani award, Padma Shri, National Film Award For Best Supporting Actress for her performance in ‘Pudhiya Padhai’ and Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South.