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T. R. Rajakumari

Thanjavur Ranganayaki Rajakumari
Born Thanjavur Ranganayaki Rajayee
c. 1922
Thanjavur, Madras Presidency, British India
Died September 20, 1999 (aged 77)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Years active 1939–1963
Spouse(s) none
Children none
Family T. R. Ramanna (brother)

Thanjavur Ranganayaki Rajayee (c. 1922 - d. September 20, 1999), popularly known by her screen name T. R. Rajakumari was a Tamil film actress, Carnatic singer and dancer. She has been called the first "dream girl" of Tamil cinema.[1]

Early life

Rajayee was born in 1922 in a family of carnatic musicians. Both her mother and her grandmother wanted Rajayee to become a singer and trained her in Carnatic music. Tamil movie director T. R. Ramanna is her brother who is married to Sakkubai.[citation needed]

Film career

File:Manmadhan leelayil.jpg
T. R. Rajakumari and M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar in the Manmadhan Leelayil song in the film Haridas

Rajayee made her film debut as "T. R. Rajakumari" in the 1939 Tamil film Kumara Kulothungan which was an average grosser. Her second film Kacha Devayani (1941) was a hit and helped launch her career in movies. There is some confusion about in which film she actually made her debut as Kacha Devayani's director K. Subramaniam later insisted that he was the one who introduced her to films.[2][3] In 1944, Rajakumari starred in the record-breaking film Haridas alongside M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar and gained recognition for her glamorous portrayal.[4] Ekaambavanan (1943)

In her Tamil film career, Rajakumari acted as the female lead to many major film stars including Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, T. R. Mahalingam, K. R. Ramaswamy, P. U. Chinnappa, M. G. Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan. She also started a film production company (with her brother T. R. Ramanna) called "R. R. Pictures" and produced films like Vaazhapirandhavan (1953), Koondukkili (1954), Gul-E-Bagaavali (1955), Paasam (1962), Periya Idathu Penn (1963), Panam Padaithavan (1965) and Parakkum Paavai (1966). Her last film as an actress was Vaanampadi (1963).[5]

Later life and death

Rajakumari died on September 20, 1999 after a prolonged illness.[6]

Partial filmography

Year Title[7] Role Co-Star Notes
1936 Devdas Chandramukhi Hindi film
1939 Kumara Kulothungan
1941 Kacha Devayani
1941 Manthaaravathi
1941 Soorya Puthiri Kothamangalam Seenu
1942 Sathi Suganya C. Honnappa Bhagavathar
1942 Manonmani P. U. Chinnappa
1943 Sivakavi M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, S. Jayalakshmi
1943 Kubera Kuchela P. U. Chinnappa
1944 Haridas Haridas' mistress M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, N. C. Vasanthakokilam
1944 Prabhavathi C. Honnappa Bhagavathar
1945 Saalivaahanan Ranjan, K. L. V. Vasantha
1946 Valmiki C. Honnappa Bhagavathar, U. R. Jeevarathinam
1946 Vikatayogi P. U. Chinnappa
1947 Pankaja Valli P. U. Chinnappa
1948 Chandralekha M. K. Radha
1949 Krishna Bakthi P. U. Chinnappa
1949 Pavalakkodi T. E. Varadhan
1950 Idhaya Geetham T.R. Mahalingam
1950 Vijaya Kumari K. R. Ramaswamy
1951 Vanasundari P. U. Chinnappa
1952 Amarakavi M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar
1953 Anbu Sivaji Ganesan
1953 En Veedu Chittor V. Nagaiah
1953 Panakkaari Chittor V. Nagaiah, M. G. Ramachandran
1953 Vazha Pirandavan
1954 Manohara Vasanthasenai Sivaji Ganesan
1955 Rajakumari
1955 Gulebagavali M. G. Ramachandran, G. Varalakshmi
1957 Pudhumai Pithan M. G. Ramachandran, B. S. Saroja
1957 Thangamalai Ragasiyam Sivaji Ganesan, M. N. Nambiar
1959 Thanga Padhumai Sivaji Ganesan, Padmini
1962 Paasam M. R. Radha, M. G. Ramachandran
1963 Vanambadi S. V. Sahasranamam, S. S. Rajendran

References

  1. "தமிழ்ப்பட உலகின் முதல் கனவுக்கன்னி டி.ஆர்.ராஜகுமாரி". Malaimalar (in Tamil). 2 August 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  2. Narayanan, Aranthai (2009). Aramba Kaala Tamil cinema (1931-1941). Vijaya Publications. p. 107. 
  3. Randor Guy (23 October 2009). "Blast from the Past: Katcha Devayani 1941". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  4. Guy, Randor (11 July 2008). "Blast From the Past : Haridas 1944". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  5. ""கனவுக்கன்னி" டி.ஆர்.ராஜகுமாரி 5 சூப்பர் ஸ்டார்களுடன் நடித்தார்". Malaimalar. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  6. "Obituary". Indian Express. September 21, 1999. 
  7. "T. R. Rajakumari filmography". Jointscene.com. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 

External links