Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 19: Leading South Indian actress Srividya died in a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday evening, hospital sources said. She was 53 and had been undergoing treatment for cancer for the last few months.
Daughter of eminent classical singer M L Vasanthakumari, Srividya entered the film world at a very young age doing a prominent role in the Sivaji Ganesan-starrer Thiruvarul Selvar.
She, however, made it big in Malayalam ever since her debut film Chattambikavala in 1969. Srividya had put up memorable performance in scores of Malayalam films and she won the state government`s best actress award twice.
At the height of her career, she married businessman George Thomas but they separated some years back. She had also acted in several Malayalam television serials.
Srividya: A versatile artist
Charming, vivacious and versatile, Srividya stole the hearts of film buffs in Malayalam and other south Indian languages for the last four decades through her memorable portrayal of a variety of roles.
The 53-year-old actress, born in Chennai as daughter of top-notch classical singer M L Vasanthakumari, had acted in over 300 films and several television serials, most of them in Malayalam.
Srividya began her career as a 13-year-old girl in Tamil film `Iruvarul Selvam` with Sivaji Ganesan. She soon switched over to Malayalam with her debut film `Chattambikavala` with veteran actor Sathyan.
Since then, she had left a deep impression on Malayalam movie world teaming up with all top stars including Madhu, Mohanlal and Mammootty.
Her memorable roles in Malayalam included `Idvazhiyile Poocha Minda Poocha,` based on a story by Jnampith laureate M T Vasudevan Nair and `Deivathinte Vikrithikal`, the screen adaptation of novelist M Mukundan.
In 1970s and early 80s, Madhu-Srividya team came out with big hits like "Theekkanal."
She had won several honours, including the Kerala government`s best actress award twice.
Of late, she had left a mark on the miniscreen by her splendid performance in several popular television serials.
A danseus, music had been a passion for Srividya though she spared her talent as singer mostly for private audience.
Srividya was married to businessman George Thomas but the partnership did not last for long.
Totally devoted to art, Srividya kept up her commitment as an actress although it was known to her that she had cancer about three years back.
She often had to alternate between the shooting locations and the hospital but, by her own admission, the pursuit of art provided the greatest solace in a life chequered with personal tragedies.
Starting with teenage romantic roles, she had depicted a variety of characters including that of the suffering housewife, self-reliant woman struggling to keep up one`s individuality in a male-dominated society and loving and caring mother and sister.
Ackowledging her talent and verastility, most top directors had cast her in lead roles.
The death of Srividya plunged the entire Malayalam film world into deep sorrow with film-makers, actors and movie lovers expressing profound grief.