While many know her as J Jayalalithaa- the politician, there are only few who remember her great acting career before politics.
Amma, who ruled the state of Tamil Nadu six times as the state’s Chief Minister, had started work at the tender age of 15 and over the decades ruled millions of hearts with her beauty and great acting skills.
A true example of beauty with brains, Amma’s acting career started with an English play “Epistle” back in 1961 when she was just 15-years-old.
While we all knew her to a confident woman who was feared by many, there are very few people who know that Amma was initially a shy girl who was persuaded to take up acting by her mother Sandhya.
Though shy, Amma was a very studious girl who was also a competent communicator who was fluent in many languages including Hindi, English, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.
She was also an excellent student who had come first in her class 10th exams and topped not just in her school but the state of Tamil Nadu. She was given the Gold State Award for this feat.
She acted in over 140 films but made her debut in Tamil film industry with an “adult film” Vennira Aadai in 1965.
It was also the first Tamil film to be rated ‘Adults Only’ since the film certification board was not happy about the fact that the actress was wearing sleeveless blouses and getting drenched under a waterfall.
Ironically she was not allowed to watch her own film as she was underage at that time and only got to see it’s huge success from the outside.
Over the decade she gave many other blockbuster movies and by the end of 1960’s became the most prominent faces of the South film industry.
It was in 1982 that she joined the AIADMK, which was founded by her mentor M.G.Ramachandran, though she claims he had started training her for politics from 1977 itself.
In 1983, she went on to become propaganda secretary for the party and by the next year was selected as its candidate in the by-election for the Tiruchendur Assembly constituency.
She was then elected to that body in 1984 and retained her seat from that constituency till 1989. Two years later in 1991 she became India’s first female Chief Minister and the youngest chief minister of Tamil Nadu.