Both Tamil and Telugu celebrities and film industry icons have expressed their condolences over the death of veteran actress Manorama and both Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah, and the state Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa were in the forefront to praise the departed soul for her talent.
The veteran Tamil and Telugu actress died in Chennai on Saturday after a frequent illness. In February, there was a hoax in the online media that the actress Manorama, known for her supporting roles in Tamil and Telugu films, died and the news spread like wildfire as expected about any death hoax of cine-actors.
However, last Saturday (Oct.10) her death came shocking the entire industry which loved the actress, also known as Aachi and enthralled her fans and admirers, creating a Guinness World Record of acting in more than 1,000 movies.
Born as Gopishantha, she changed her theatre name to Manorama, and acted in many TV serials too. Daughter of Kasi Kilakudaiyar (Kallar – Devar) and Ramamirtham in Mannargudi, Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, she initially played in many of her mother’s roles as she was known to have resembled her mother, who was an actress.
She married her theatre troup manager S.M. Ramanathan in 1964 and they have a son called Bhoopathi. She divorced her husband and is living in a separate house at Chennai.
She began her films in the role of a heroine in the 1958 Tamil film Maalayitta Mangai and later paired with comedian Nagesh during the later 1960s and later with Thengai Srinivasan in the late 70s and 80s.
Critic Cho Ramaswamy once said that Manorama was the female Sivaji Ganesan. While Apoorva Sagodharargal and Arundhati are her recent known top films in Tamil and Telugu respectively, she was an achiever from the beginning.
Tamil Nadu Governor and a Telugu himself, Mr K. Rosaiah said, "She was a talented artists and a combination of all in one. Not only in comedy roles but also in character roles and through her melodious voice she had captivated the ‘rasikas’ by her wonderful acting in the stage and silver screen."
Erstwhile actress and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said: "There was no achiever like Manorama in the Tamil movie field. There will be nobody who will be born like her in the future. The void left behind her cannot be filled in by anybody else.We have acted together in many movies. She would affectionately call me Ammu and I would address her as Manorama."
Ms Jayalalithaa recollected that she had food often at her place and even Sivaji Ganesan used to tell her that Ms Manorama was a genius.
Among others, DMK president M. Karunanidhi, PMK founder S. Ramadoss were among those who expressed their shock over the demise of the veteran actress.