|Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for National List
|Born||Wanni Arachchige Malani Senehelatha Fonseka
30 April 1947
Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
|Spouse(s)||Upali Senanayake is the first marriage in 1965, 2nd Lucky Dias|
|Awards||Sarasaviya Best Actress Award (1980), (1982), (1983) and Sarasaviya Most Popular Actress Award (1980–1983)|
Malani Senehelatha Fonseka (Sinhala:මාලනි සෙනෙහෙලතා ෆොන්සෙකා) (born 30 April 1947 in Kelaniya) is an award-winning Sri Lankan film actress, also known as the "Queen of Sinhalese cinema". Her cinema career which has spanned many decades began with Tissa Liyansooriya's Punchi Baba in 1968. She first earned recognition, when she won the 'Best Actress Award' at the 1969 National State Drama Festival This was followed by Sarasaviya Best Actress Awards for Hingana Kolla in 1980, Aradhana in 1982 and Yasa Isuru in 1983. In 2010 she has been named by CNN as one of Asia's 25 greatest film actors of all time.
Born as the third child to the Gilbert and Seelwathie Fonseka at Peliyagoda, Kelaniya. After Malini was born, her family moved to Jambugasmulle, Nugegoda. In 1952 she started her education at St. John's College, Nugegoda until the 5th grade. After moving of the family to Wedamulle, Kelaniya she was enrolled at Gurukula Maha Vidyalaya, Kelaniya until completing her education.
On 12 June 1986, she married Lucky Dias, a veteran Cinema and teledrama actor and producer.
Fonseka started her acting career with stage dramas. In 1963, she made her entry to stage dramas with "Noratha Ratha". In 1968, Fonseka won the best stage drama actress national award for her performance in Akal Wessa. She has since played the lead role in 14 stage dramas. She entered the cinema industry through one of her brothers, Ananda Fonseka, who was both a film director and producer but was introduced to the cinema itself by Tissa Liyansuriya and Joe Abeywickrama.
She made her debut with Tissa Liyansuriya's Punchi Baba (The little Baby) in 1968. These films were followed by Abudasse kale, Dahasak Sithuwili and Adarawanthayo in the same year. With the critical success she gained with these, she was offered the lead role by several movie directors of the time. Fonseka has acted in over 140 movies since then, some of which were international movies.
Some of her successful films include Nidhanaya by Lester James Peiris, Siripala Saha Ranmenika by Amaranath Jayathilake, Eya Den Loku Lamayek and Bambaru Ewith by Dharmasena Pathiraja. She achieved a significant milestone in her artistic career with Sasara Chetana in 1984, where she became both its director and producer. She has directed two other films so far: Ahinsa in 1987 and Sthree in 1991.
Later on, she also worked in the television industry. Fonseka has won praise for her performance in Manalada Puthe Kiri Dunne, Pitagamkarayo, Kemmura, and Ambu Daruwo teledramas. She won the Sumathi Best Tele Actress Awards for her roles in Pitagamkarayo and Kemmura.
She has also made her mark as a teledrama director, with successful creations such as Sanasili Suwanda. She even had the honour of being the first female teledrama director in the history of Sri Lanka teledrama history, when she, both directed and acted in her first teledrama Nirupamala.
Her latest film is Uppalawanna directed by Prof. Sunil Ariyaratne.
Malini's career enhanced with Gamini Fonseka and both who had a long journey in history of the silver screen. Malini stated at Gamini's funeral in 2004, "His performance had appeal across the board and I had the good fortune of being associated with Gamini. The cinema of that era is slowly fading away and the passing away of Gamini is another step towards that direction".
Fonseka was the first Sri Lankan actress to reach international heights, winning a special Jury award at the Moscow International Film Festival in 1975. This was to be the first of her many international awards.She also won an award at the New Delhi Film Festival in 1977.
Her most recent awards include the "Best Actress Award" for the teledrama "Kemmura" at the Sumathi Tele Awards Ceremony, 2000 and Wishva Prasadhini Award as appreciation of her service to the cinema industry from the President in 1996.
Malini Fonseka felicitation ceremony titled Maliniye held at the BMICH on 30 April 2003 with the participation of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga for her four decades of contribution to the Cinema of Sri Lanka in more than 150 films.
Sri Lankans living in USA gathered in large numbers at Los Angeles to honour legendary actress Malini in January 2008. Also a special dinner hosted by the Consular General of Sri Lanka Jaliya Wickramasuriya and Mrs. Wickramasuriya and the Consulate staff. A special ceremony organised for her to present an Appreciative Plaque by the Consulate General of Los Angeles Jaliya Wickramasuriya with the participation of representative groups of the community, Associations, renowned artists and actors and well wishers and fans of actress Malini Fonseka.
Sarasaviya Awards won by Fonseka:
- Ranathisara Award, 1985
- Most Popular Actress, 1983
- Best Actress Actress – Yasa Isuru, 1982
- Most Popular Actress, 1982
- Best Actress Award – Aradhana, 1981
- Most Popular Actress Award, 1981
- Most Popular Actress Award, 1980
- Best Actress Award – Hingana Kolla, 1979
|2008||Akasa Kusum||Prasanna Vithanage||Sandya Rani||Winner, Silver Peacock Award – 39th International Film Festival of India|
|Aba||Jackson Anthony||Baddhakachchayana||Winner, Sarasaviya Best Supporting Actress Award|
|Machan||Uberto Pasolini||Manoj's Mother|
|2007||Uppalawanna||Sunil Ariyaratne||Chief Bhikkuni|
|2006||Ammawarune||Lester James Peiris||Sumanawathi|
|Dedunu Wessa||Buddhika Jayarathna|
|2004||Muthu Etaye Modayo||Giwantha Arthasad|
|Prathirawaya||Jayantha Das Perera|
|Udu Sulanga||H.D. Premaratne||Menike|
|Wekande Walauwa||Lester James Peiris||Sujata Rajasuriya|
|2002||Punchi Suranganawi||Somaratne Dissanayake||Sinhala teacher|
|1998||Anthima Reya||Gamini Fonseka|
|1996||Apaye Thathpara Asuharadhahak||Dinesh Priyasad|
|1977||Pilot Premnath||A.C Thirulogachanthar|
|1994||Muthu Etaye Modayo||Somapala Leelanda|
|Roomathiyayi Neethiyayi||M. Arukgoda|
|Ahimi Dadaman||Danny W. Pathirana|
|Suwadena Suwandak||Milton Jayawardene|
|Raja Kello||Shirley P. Wijeratne||Lady inspetor of police|
|Hithata Dukak Nathi Nisa||Dinesh Priyasad||Teacher|
|1990||Honda Honda Sellam||Dinesh Priyasad||Lady inspetor of police|
|Weerodara||Shirley P. Wijeratne|
|1989||Shakthiya Obai Amma||Ranga Wijendra and Anton Kingsley|
|1988||Siri Medura||Parakrama Niriella||Nirmala|
|Waradata Danuwam||Dinesh Priyasad|
|Newa Gilunath Ban Choon||Hemasiri Sellaperuma|
|1986||Avurududa අවිරැදු දා||Saman (Wimal) Jayaweera and Nimal Tennakoon|
|Sarasaviya Best Actress Award
for Hingana Kolle
for Ganga Addara
for Ganga Addara
|Sarasaviya Best Actress Award
|Most Popular Actress Award
|Most Popular Actress Award
- Malani leaves for London
- "Biography for Malini Fonseka". IMDb. Retrieved 19 June 2008.
- CNNGo – Asia’s 25 greatest actors of all time
- "Biography-1". (Personal Website). 9 February 2008.
- Malani on Television
- "Tributes to cinema legend Gamini flow in". BBC News. 30 September 2004.
- "President pays glowing tribute to Malini". Daily News. 2 May 2003.
- "Legendary Screen Actress Malini Fonseka Honoured in Los Angeles". Asiantribune.com. 28 January 2008.
- Malani Fonseka , National Film Corporation
- Malani Fonseka's latest teledrama 'Rana' watch on pivithuru with all episodes
- Sri Lanka Sinhala Films Database – Malini Fonseka
- Personal Website of Malini Fonseka
- Malini Fonseka at the Internet Movie Database
- Official Website – National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka
- Official Website of Lester James Peries in association with Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Sri Lanka
- Malini wins Silver Peacock for Akasa Kusum
- Lankadeepa (Sandella)
- Malini Fonseka in Sinhala 1
- Malini Fonseka in Sinhala 2