Home / Biography / Jayalalithaa



Indian politics leader who was simply elected to her 4th term because the Key Minister of Tamil Nadu in 2011. She discovered British, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Teluga while their studies at Bishop Natural cotton Girls’ College. She acted in a number of Tamil and Telugu movies in the 1960s, before you start her political profession. She dropped her dad when she was 2 yrs previous. She was portrayed by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan within the 1997 Tamil play Iruvar.

Quick Facts

Full Name Jayalalithaa
Date Of Birth February 24, 1948
Died December 5, 2016, Chennai, India
Place Of Birth Melukote, India
Height 1.67 m
Profession Politician
Education Stella Maris College, Chennai, Bishop Cotton Girls' School, Church Park Presentation Convent
Nationality Indian
Parents Sandhya, Jayaram
Siblings Shailaja Jayaram, Jaya Kumar
Awards Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil, Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu
Movies Izzat, Vennira Aadai, Aayirathil Oruvan, Adimaippenn, Chinnada Gombe, Raman Thediya Seethai, Suryagandhi, Kaavalkaaran, Pattikada Pattanama, Anbai Thedi, Kandhan Karunai, Maattukara Velan, Chandhrodhayam, Galatta Kalyanam, Arasa Kattali, En Annan, Ragasiya Police 115, Manushulu Mamathalu, Neerum Neruppum, Kudiyirundha Koyil, Kannan En Kadhalan, Kumari Penn, Engal Thangam, Epistle, Sri Krishna Satya, Pudhiya Bhoomi, Deiva Magan, Nam Naadu, Gudachari 116, Shri Krishna Vijayam, Kanavan, Major Chandrakanth, Aadarsa Kutumbam, Annamitta Kai, Kathanayakudu, Vairam, Kumari Kottam, Motor Sundaram Pillai, Thanga Gopuram, Annai Velankanni, Ganga Gowri, Engirundho Vandhaal, Pattikaattu Ponnaiya, Thedi Vandha Mappillai, Bommalattam, Kanni Thaai, Thaer Thiruvizha, Thaikku Thalaimagan, Baghdad Gaja Donga, Chitra Pournami, Indrudu Chandrudu
Star Sign Pisces

  • Facts
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1Her film roles inspired females in Tamil Nadu.
2She was the highest paid actress from 1964-1980. She worked as aidmk worker under MGR from 1980-1987.
3Upon M G Ramachandra's direction, she joined his Anna DMK party in 1980 as a party worked and later became party's propaganda secretary. She won the Tiruchander by-elections in 1983, and in the year 1984, she was nominated for the Rajya Sabha post. With the sudden demise of the film actor and the party chief, MGR in 1987, the party was divided into two groups led by MGR's wife Janaki Ramachandran and Jayalalitha respectively. In 1989, Jaya won the Boinayakannur assembly constituency in the 1989 general elections and became the leader of opposition with a total of 27 seats.
4Jayalalitha's mother's grandfather had bought the house at Door Number 104 in East Chittirai Street in Srirangam from a Divan and named it as Komala Vilas Veda Nilayam. Sandhya's grandfather was a practicing lawyer at Karur in th 1910-1930 period.
5Jayalalitha's mother Sandhya and Jayalalitha's mom's sister Vidya, along with their grand-parents lived in House No 91, East Chittirai Street initially in Srirangam in 1910-1930 period. They were Iyengaars. They were staying as tenants, but after some time the family moved to a new place, several houses away on the same street to House No 104, which they had purchased and named as Komala Vilas Veda Nilayam. Later the new occupants of House No 104 renamed it as "Komala Vilas- Alamelu Illam.".
6Her first film was an English flick Epistle released in 1961, while the first film as a child artist dancer was in Kannada in 1961 film Shrishaila Mahatme and her debut film in Kannada as lead heroine was Chinnada Gombe, directed by critically acclaimed director B R Panthalu which released in 1964.Her debut Telugu film was Manushulu Mamathalu in 1964 opposite Akkeni Nageshwar Rao.Her debut Tamil film was Venniradai in 1965 directed by C.V.Sridhar.
7In the 2000s, a person named Mr Vasudevan claimed that he was step brother of Jayalalitha and that their father Jayaram had married Jayamma and had two children - Vasudevan and Shailaja. Jayaram married for second time with Sandhya and had 2 more children - Jayakumar and Jayalalithaa.But Jayalalithaa refused to entertain them, despite knowing the struggles they were going through to earn their livelihoods. When they went public with their relationship, Ms Jayalalithaa filed a defamation case against them in a Madras sessions court. Ms Shailaja lived in Bengaluru and Vasudevan lived in a tiny village of Sri Rangarajapura, 40 km from T. Narasipur taluka of Mysore district.Vasudevan was a heart patient and had been living on a meager Rs 400 monthly pension given by the Karnataka government at the time of going public with his claim in 2000s.These claims were rubbished by Jayalalitha and she said her father had only one wife - Sandhaya, who was her mother.The court case was dismissed by the judge and judgment supported Jayalalitha.
8Her 10 hit films with Tamil actor Ravichandran include Gowri Kalyanam (1966), Kumari Penn (1966), Naan (1967), Magarasi (1967), Madi Veettu Mappillai (1967), Pannakarai Pillai (1968), Moondreezuthu (1968), Andru Kanda Mugam (1968), Baghdad Perazhagi (1974) and Avalukku Aayiram Kangal (1975).Their last film together was a disaster - Shahzadi Mumtaz.
9Jayalalitha had 12 hits with Taraka Rama Rao Nandamuri, in Telugu - Gopaludu Bhoopaludu (1967), Chikkadu Dorakadu (1967), Tikka Shankaraiah (1968), Niluvu Dopidi (1968), Bagdad Gajadonga (1968), Katha Nayakudu (1969), Kadaladu Vadaladu (1969), Gandikota Rahasyam (1969), Alibaba 40 Dongalu (1970), Shri Krishna Vijayam (1970), Shri Krishna Satya (1971), Devudu Chesina Manushulu (1973).
10Jayalalitha had 7 hits with Akkineni Nageswara Rao in Telugu - Manashulu Mamatalu (1965), Aastiparulu (1966), Brahmachari (1968), Aadarsa Kutumbam (1969), Adrushtavanthalu (1969), Bharya Biddalu (1971), Nayakudu Vinayakudu (1980).She also made guest appearance in Navarthi(1966), which again was a hit.
11Jayalalithaa holds the record for having been the Tamil actress with maximum silver jubilee hits in her career - 80 hits of 85 Tamil films and in addition she also has all 28 films in Telugu as silver jubilee hits. Her one film in Hindi Izzat was also a hit.
12Not to be mistaken with younger sex siren Jayalalitha, who was a character actor in films from late 1980s.
13Present Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India. [May 2005]
14She did her matriculation from Presentation Convent School which was also called as Church Park School.
15In 1959 Jayalalithaa lived with her aunt and mother and brother in T Nagar in Chennai.
16Actress Vidhyavthi( Ambujam) was Jayalalitha's mother Sandhya's sister.
17Ammu was the nickname of Jayalalithaa since her childhood. She was called by this name by her mother Vedavathi (Sandya) and her aunt Vidhyavathi.
18T.R.Ramanna directed Naan and the song Athaiyo Mamiyo - proved that she could even dance to songs belonging to beliefs of lower class of society . She danced effectively such that her director praised her saying that Jaya had great camera sense, dancing skills and acting skills.
19She won Gold State Award for coming first in 10th standard in not just her school but also in Tamil Nadu.
20Devar films and actress Savithri had a fight in 1964 after the success of the film Vetaikaran and were on look out for actress who would have long association with them. Co-incidentally in year 1965, Jayalalithaa made her debut in 1965 and with Success of Kanni Thai, Kumari Penn , Muharassi - they decided to give Jayalalitha - the tag of long-term heroine of Devar Films.
21When she did her Arangetram, which is function conducted when formal training of a girl ion dancing gets over , her chief guest was Sivaji Ganesan. He praised the little girl Jayalalithaa saying she looks like a queen sitting in golden throne. (Thangapadakamm).
22The year 1966 establish her as the highest paid actress in Tamil film industry. She had 9 consecutive hits in same year. Motoram Sunderampillai(26th January),Yaar Nee(14th April), Kumari Penn(6th May, Chandrodhayam(27th May), Muharassi(18-August), Thanipiravi(16th September), Lorry Driver(7th October), Major Chandrakant(11th November) and Gowri Kalyanam(11th November).
23In her year of her debut, she became an instant star with 3 consecutive hits - Veniradai, Kanni Thai and Ayirathil Oruvan.
24Her mom 's film world name was Sandhya but her original name was Vedavalli aka Vedavathi.
25Daughter of actress Sandhya, who acted in films such as Pdikaatha Medai, Sampoorna Ramayanam with Sivaji Ganesan.
26She learned Bharatnatyam from age of 3.
27Her 4th film with Devar was Thaikku Thalaimagan released in 1967 which became a golden jubilee.
28She established herself as a regular heroine of Devar Films from the year 1966 with 4 hit films in same year 1965-1966 with them - Kanni Thai, Kumari Penn, Muharassi and Thani Piravi.
29She did her own choreography in the song of Thani Piravi - Orey More Daan - especially the steps where M G Ramachandran is dressed as Murugan and she as Valli.
30She was Simha Rasi and her birth star was Maham Nakshtram.
31Not to be confused with South Indian character actress Jayalalitha. The second actress by this name started her career in the late 80s.
32She is fluent in several languages, including Tamil (her mother tongue), English, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, and Malayalam.
33Jaishankar had 8 hits with Jayalalithaa as the lead hero-heroine of film like Muthuchippi, Yaar Nee, Vairam, Gauri Kalyanam, Thanga Gopuram, Vandhale Maharasi, Bommalatam (1968) , Raja Veetu Pillai in Tamil.
34She did 28 films in Telugu and each of them were platinum jubilee hit.
35Jayalalitha had 8 hits with Muthuraman as a romantic leading pair - Major Chandrakant ,Shanmugapriya, Thirumangalyam, Kanaivan Maniavi, Avanthan Manidhan, Suryagandhi,Anbu Thangai and Unmayin Velai Yenna.
36Her 10 hit films with Ravichandran include Gowri Kalyanam (1966), Kumari Penn (1966), Naan (1967), Magarasi (1967), Madi Veettu Mappillai (1967), Pannakarai Pillai (1968), Moondreezuthu (1968), Andru Kanda Mugam (1968), Baghdad Perazhagi (1974) and Avalukku Aayiram Kangal (1975).Their last film together was a disaster - Shahzadi Mumtaz.
37Jayalalitha was paired opposite Sivaji Ganeshan in 17 films as his heroine. Of the 17 Tamil films, 15 of them were Golden Jubilee hits. The 15 hit films were Galatta Kalyanam (1968), Enga Oor Raja (1968), Gurudhakshinai (1969), Dheiva Magan (1969), Padhukappu (1970), Engirundho Vandhal (1970), Enga Mama (1970, Sumathi En Sundari (1971), Saveley Samali (1971), , Needhi (1972), Dharmam Engey (1972), Thai (1974), Raja(1972), Anbai Thedi (1974), Pattum Barathamum (1975). Their only 2 flops were Avanthaan Manidhan and Chitra Pournami (1976). In the film Motorom Sunderam Pillai, Jayalithaa played as daughter of Sivaji Ganeshan and this film was a box office hit too.
38Other than MGR, she also had many hits opposite Sivaji Ganeshan, Muthuraman, Jaishanakar and Ravichandran in the period 1966-1977 in Tamil Films.
39It was Jayalalithaa's entry in Tamil films after which producers and directors preferred pairing Jaya opposite MGR rather than Saroja Devi.Sroja Devi's opportunity to work with MGR stopped after 1967 and Jaya replaced Saroja as the No.1 heroine in Tamil film industry from 1968-1977.Saroja was the highest paid and No.1 heroine in Tamil films from 1959-1968 and became No.1 in Kannada films from 1970-1980.But Jayalalithaa and Saroja Devi remained friends since 1970-2013. There was never any animosity between them.
40MGR-Jayalalithaa pair acted in 28 films and of them 28 were box-office hits from 1965-1973. 19 of their hit films were platinum jubilee hits and 8 were golden jubilee hits.Thier only silver jubilee hit film was Anamitta Kai and reason for it being only silver jubilee hit was it was a black and white film released in 1972. Their first film as a pair was Ayirathil Oruvan.
41She was first heroine to appear in Skirts and short-sleeved, knee-length dresses, wool suits and in gowns in Tamil films in the mid-sixties.
42Jayalalithaa made her debut in English movies in 1961 with Epistle released in 1961, which was produced by Shankar Giri, son of former president of India VV Giri.
43After leaving school she joined Stella Maris College, Chennai to study law but had to discontinue as her debut films in Telugu and Kannada in 1964 and her Tamil film debut in 1965 - each of them were very successful and offers started coming up for her as the lead female heroine.
44In Bangalore Jayalalithaa attended Bishop Cotton Girls' High School and later completed her childhood education at Sacred Heart Matriculation School in Chennai.She excelled at school by always securing top ranks and was offered a government scholarship to pursue further education after her matriculation.
45Her mother Vedavathii who achieved success as an actress by screen name Sandhya persuaded Jaya also to join films, on assurance from producers that shooting would take place only during summer vacation and the young woman wouldn't miss classes.Then Chinnada Gombe a Kannada film directed by B.R. Panthulu happened.
46Her father had died in mysterious circumstances after having squandered away her grandfather's considerable wealth.
47Jayalalithaa's elder brother Jayakumar died in the early 90's and her father died when Jayalalithaa's was just 2 years old.
48Jayalalithaa was born to Jayaram, a lawyer from Srirangam and and his wife Vedavalli on 24 February 1948 and was named 'Komalavalli' at birth. As per Iyengar custom, 2 names are given and so came the name Jayalaithaa.
49Jayalalithaa's grandfather was in the service of the Mysore kingdom in 1880-1920 period as a surgeon, and the prefix Jaya has been added to all the names in the family to reflect their association with king Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar of Mysore.
50Her debut in Kannada film was Chinnada Gombe in 1964 and in Tamil it was Vennira Aadai (1965).
51After death of her father, Jaya'smother Vedavathi took her children Jaya Kumar and Jayalalithaa to Bangalore where her maternal grandparents lived and started working as a typist. Vedavathi's sister Vidyavathi (also called as actress Ambujam), who was an air hostess and had got some breaks in Tamil films and so encouraged Vedavathi to also come to Chennai and be part of theatre and films taking screen name of Sandhya.
52She was never married.
53Chief minister of Tamil Nadu, India (1991-1996).
54Popular Tamil actress turned politician.
55Chief minister of Tamil Nadu, India (2001-2006).
56Niece of Vidhyawathi who was an actress and was also called Vidyavathi or as Ambujam.
57Daughter of Actress Sandhya whose original name was Vedavalli/Vedavathi.



Manippoor Maamiyaar1980
Mata Velankanni1979
Shree Krishna Leelai1977
Amar Shilpi1977
Unnai Sutrum Ulagam1977
Chitra Pournami1976
Kanavan Manaivi1976Chitra
Jai Jagat Janani1976Sati
Tu Hi Kaali Tu Hi Durga1976
Tu Hi Ram Tu Hi Krishna1976Satyabhama Chandrasena
Avanthan Manithan1975
Cinema Paithiyam1975
Pattam Bharathamum1975
Avalukku Aayiram Kangal1975
Baaghi Lutera1975
Barah Ghante1975
Yarrukkum Vetkam Illai1975
Anbai Thedi1974
Premalu Pellilu1974
Anbu Thangai1974Radha
Baghdad Perazhagi1974
Devudu Chesina Manushulu1973Sujatha
Doctor Babu1973
Ganga Gowri1973Ganga
Pattikatu Ponnaiah1973
Vandhale Magarasi1973
Akka Thamudu1972
Annamitta Kai1972Seetha
Pattikada Pattanama1972
Raman Thediya Seethai1972
Shakti Leelai1972
Dharmam Enge1972
Dhikku Theriyadha Kattil1972Vijaya
Adi Parasakthi1971
Bharya Biddalu1971
Kumari Kottam1971Kumari
Neerum Neruppum1971
Oru Thai Makkal1971
Savale Samali1971
Shri Krishna Satya1971Devi Satyabhama Chandrasena
Sumathi En Sundari1971
Thanga Gopuram1971
Annai Velankanni1971Mary
Alibaba 40 Dongalu1970Marjiana
Anadhai Anandhan1970
En Annan1970Valli Ammal (Ranga lover)
Engal Thangam1970Kaladevi
Enga Mama1970
Engerindho Vandhaal1970
Shri Krishna Vijayam1970Vasundhara
Thedi Vanda Mappillai1970
Aadarsa Kutumbam1969
Adimai Penn1969Jeeva / Pavala Valee
Deiva Magan1969
Gandikota Rahasyam1969
Kadaladu Vadaladu1969
Mattukkara Velan1969Velan's Lover
Nam Naadu1969
Katha Nayakudu1969
Andru Kanda Mugam1968Miss Kanchana
Attagaru Kottakodalu1968
Bagdad Gajadonga1968Daughter of Basra Sultan
Enga Ooru Raja1968
Galatta Kalyanam1968Lalitha
Kadhal Vaganam1968Vanita
Kannan En Kadhalan1968Malliga
Kudiyiruntha Koyil1968Jaya
Moondru Yezhuthu1968
Muthu Chippi1968
Niluvu Dopidi1968
Oli Vilakku1968
Pannakarai Pillai1968
Pudhiya Bhoomi1968Kannamma
Rahasya Police 1151968
Sri Ramakatha1968
Ther Thiruvizha1968
Sukha Dukhalu1968
Tikka Shankaraiah1968
Chikkadu Dorakadu1967Rani Priyamvadha Devi
Goodachari 1161967
Kandan Karunai1967Muruga's Consort
Madi Veettu Mappillai1967
Raaja Veetu Pillai1967
Thaikku Thalaimagan1967Malathi
Arasa Kattalai1967Mohana
Apoorva Piravaigal1967
Gopaludu Bhoopaludu1967
Badukuva Daari1966
Kumari Penn1966Shyamala
Major Chandrakant1966Vimala
Motor Sundaram Pillai1966
Saraswathy Sapadham1966
Yaar Nee1966Sabdhya / Mohini
Aame Evaru1966Sandhya / Chayya
Gowri Kalyanam1966
Lorry Driver1966
Mani Makudam1966
Nanna Kartavya1965
Mavana Magalu1965
Ayirathil Oruvan1965Poonkodi
Vennira Adai1965
Manashulu Mamatalu1965
Mane Aliya1964
Chinnada Gombe1964
Amarshilpi Jakanachari1963Dancer
Man-Mauji1962Lord Krishna who dances with Laxmi (uncredited)
Shrishaila Mahatme1961
Nayakudu Vinayakudu1980
Nadhiye Thedi Vandha Kadal1980
Maatraan Thotathu Malligai1980

Music Department

Music Department

Soorya Kanthi1977playback singer
Unnai Sutrum Ulagam1977playback singer
Anbai Thedi1974playback singer
Thirumangalyam1974playback singer
Vairam1974playback singer
Vandhale Magarasi1973playback singer
Pattikada Pattanama1972playback singer
Adimai Penn1969playback singer



Dasavatharam2008very special thanks
The Celestial Brides2006Documentary short very special thanks



Neenga Nalla Irukkanum1992Herself

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1[When asked to compare male chauvinism she experienced in films and in politics] I think both are equally bad. But in films, a woman is an essential commodity. Whether you like it or not, you need the glamor that women can provide in films. You can't do without them. In politics, you can do without them. They try very hard to do without them. But where people like me are concerned, it's not so easy to just wish me away. Many people would love to.
2[on her father and paternal grandparents]My father was gentleman of leisure. My paternal grandfather was the palace medical surgeon in court at Maharaja of Mysore. He had built up fortune but my father squandered away the family fortune.He died when I was only 2 years old and my mother was 20
3[Her reaction when her mother Sandhya died] I was lost. I was like a babe in the woods, blindfolded, because Mother was my whole world, and she never taught me anything practical. You see, she kept me so sheltered. Mother was only 47 when she died, so no one thought she would die so young. She probably thought she would be around a long time to take care of me and she probably thought that I was so overburdened with work that these other things could come later, but then the net result was I was left absolutely helpless when she died. I didn't know anything about running a house. I didn't know how to operate a bank account. I didn't know how to write a check. I didn't know the meaning of income tax. I didn't know how many servants we had. I didn't know what their salaries were. I didn't know what the producers were paying me in the films in which I was acting. So being an innocent babe lost in the woods, everyone could see that I was so naive, and vulnerable, and innocent. Everyone took advantage of me, so I had to learn everything the hard way.
4I can't say I like [acting], but it came naturally to me. I'm a natural actress. I never followed any method, and I never consciously tried to imitate anyone. I'm a spontaneous, natural actress.
5[on whether she missed having a complete family] Not at all. I value my freedom, my independence. And looking around me at so many failed marriages, looking at all the unhappiness that people have to endure in bad marriages, and in many families, I've seen the way children are so ungrateful to their parents. Nowadays, young people are so insensitive they just abandon their aged parents, throw them away into old people's homes, and when I see all this, I think it's a good thing I never got married, and I never had any children. From 1980 in public life, I have got immense satisfaction in working for the common man. The people of Tamil Nadu are my children and I have always shown them the right way in which they should lead their life.
6[on marriage] It just never happened. I did like the idea of marriage as any young girl would. Every young girl dreams of meeting the perfect man, meeting her Prince Charming, of marrying him and living happily ever after. I too had those dreams as a teenager, as a young girl. If my mother had got me married me off at the age of say eighteen, even if it was an arranged marriage, I would've settled down happily into domesticity and I would've been perfectly content looking after my home, raising children...but then life taught me that such things don't happen to everyone and it's unrealistic to expect happiness in life.I was the most in demand heroine from 1967-1977 and then started working for public in different ways from 1980. I would have not got opportunity to serve public had I got married of after retiring as the lead female heroine in 1980 or had I got married instead of becoming actress.
7[on whether she fell in love with actor and politician M.G.R.] I think everyone who met him fell in love with him. He was a charismatic figure.... He was a very warm and caring kind of person, and after mother died, he replaced her in my life. So he was everything to me. He was mother, father, friend, philosopher, guide, everything to me. He sort of took over my life. Its wrong to say I had any affair with him just because I had 28 hits with him. He was 31 years elder to me and was married person. He gave me very good films and good roles.Inspired me to work for public and be honest to my profession and not be corrupt.
8[on her aunt Vidyavathi] My mother's younger sister, who was a very bold and adventurous sort. She first became an air hostess. That was considered something very daring and adventurous in those days. And after that, she became an actress.
9I was born into a Tamil Brahmin family, an Iyenger family, and I was brought up in a typical orthodox way.I was brought up in very typical orthodox way by my maternal grandparents.
10[on occasion of her 45th birthday in 1992] One-third of my life was dominated by my mother, Sandhya, who taught me everything about life, the other part a major one was dominated by M.G. Ramachandran as I had 28 hits with him and also followed his ideologies and dreams for Tamil Nadu. Two-third of my life is thus over. One third remains and this part of my life remains for myself but there are some responsibilities and duties to be fulfilled.Aim is to take Tamil Nadu to new heights as a Chief Minister.

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