Manorama (Tamil actress)

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Not to be confused with Manorama, actress of 1950s–70s Hindi cinema.
Born Gopishantha
(1943-05-26) 26 May 1943 (age 71)
Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu, India[1]
Other names Aachi, Gopishantha
Occupation Actress
Years active 1958
Spouse(s) S.M.Ramanathan
(m.1964–1966) (divorced)
Children Bhoopathi (born 1965)

Gopishantha, better known by her stage name Manorama, also called Aachi, is a Tamil actress who has appeared in more than 1,000 films, 1,000 stage performances, and several television series.[2] She is only second to Sukumari in most number of films acted.

Early life[edit]

Manorama was born as Gopishantha to Kasi Kilakudaiyar and Ramamirtham in Mannargudi, Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu.[3] She mentions her indebtedness to her mother for her success: Many of the mother roles that she has played in films resemble her own mother.[4] Her family had to move to Pallathur near Karaikudi owing to poverty.[1] She started her acting career at 12,[5] and when she started on stage, she was rechristened Manorama by drama director Thiruvengadam and harmonist Thiayagarajan. She continued to act in plays and performed as a playback singer.

Personal life[edit]

She fell in love with her manager in the drama troup S.M. Ramanathan and got married in 1964. The couple have a son called Bhoopathi. She got divorced from S.M. Ramanathan in late 1966. Currently, she is residing in a separate house at chennai.

Early career[edit]

She acted in small roles in few Vairam nataka sabha dramas. Once she went to see a drama of S.S. Rajendran who was in residence at Pudukkotai, in Tamil Nadu, and was introduced to him by P.A. Kumar. She showed her skill in dialogue delivery and was who offered a job in S.S.R Nataka Mandram company and played in hundreds of stage productions all over the district: The dramas included Manimagudam, Thenpandiveeran and Pudhuvellam. She credits her work in Manimagudam as where she was first recognised as an actress,[6] She then took part in an unfinished film starring S. S. Rajendran and Devika.


She migrated from dramas to the silver screen with the role of a heroine in the 1958 Tamil film Maalayitta Mangai: Kavignar Kannadasan gave her the lead role.[7] The first film in which she played the heroine the 1963 Konjum Kumari[8]

She has sung classical based song with TM Sounderajan in the film Dharshinam where she was paired with Cho. She has acted predominantly in Tamil films since 1958 but also acted in Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada movies as well. Her onscreen pair with Tangavelu was appreciated in the film Vallvanakku Vallavan in 1965. Her on-screen pair with Nagesh was very popular in 1960-69 and then with Cho in the 1970s and 80s and later with Thengai Srinivasan in the late 70s and 80s.

She has done playback singing for 300 songs in Tamil films and sung songs pictured on herself. Manorama slowly migrated from dramas to the silver screen with the role of a heroine in the Tamil film Maalayitta Mangai. A lead role given to her by Kavignar Kannadasan. Then, she concentrated more on comedy. She was given equally challenging roles alongside the well known comedian Nagesh. The first song that Manorama sang in cinema was in a film called Magale Un Samathu.

Her performance in the 1968 Thillana Mohanambal is widely considered a cornerstone in her career[why?].[9] Her work was noticed even among stalwarts like Sivaji Ganesan and Natiya Peroli Padmini. Manorama shared in an interview that initially she was nervous acting in front of veterans like T. S. Balaiah, but, the director A. P. Nagarajan made her understand that the scenes in which Jil Jil Ramamani appears, she would be the centre of attention.[10] This gave her the confidence to skillfully portray the wildly expressive, loud-talking but tender-hearted character.[11]

For a time, she concentrated on comedy and was given challenging roles alongside the well-known comedian Nagesh. They made an notable pair and acted in many well-received comedies.[clarification needed] In 1974 she shared the screen space with the legendary comedian Mehmood in the Hindi movie Kunwara Baap

The first song that she sang on film was in Magale Un Samathu. The film's producer was P.A. Kumar who gave her the opportunity.[12] The song was composed by G. K. Venkatesh, a famous older music director, with whom Ilaiyaraja had worked as an assistant, and Manorama sang her song with L. R. Eswari, another classic Tamil singer. The song began, "Thaatha thaatha pidi kudu... Indha thalladha vayasila sadugudu...." However, it was "Vaa vaathiyaare uttaande..." on YouTube composed by music director V. Kumar for the film Bommalattam, that was the first song sung by Manorama which became a hit. She performed it with Cho Ramaswamy.

The character she was given by K. Balachander in the 1989 film Unnal Mudiyum Thambi she personally considers a cornerstone as she was giving a new challenge as an actor.[9] She related in an interview on Toronto TV that one of the most challenging characters she played was the role of the 50-year-old unmarried woman in the 1990 film Nadigan with Sathyaraj.[13] Playing that character was a tight-rope walk, since one wrong step could have made the character seem vulgar.

Distinctions and awards[edit]

She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2002. She won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for the movie Pudhiya Pathai in 1989.[14] She was the recipient of the Kalaimamani award by the government of Tamil Nadu. She holds a Guinness World Record for acting more than 1000 number of films.

Cho Ramaswamy claimed on the Tamil TV show Koffee with Anu that he was the first one to call Manorama the female Sivaji Ganesan: He admired her for her versatility and the ability to surprise with her performances.[15]



  • Holds the record for being the most prolific actress and also playing the most leading roles. She acted in her 1000th film by 1985 and has done about 1200 films by 2003.[11 February 2010] An item in the "Ripley's Believe It or Not" newspaper feature has her picture and the accompanying statement: "'Aachi' Manorama, a veteran of India's Tamil film industry, has appeared in more than 1,500 movies and 1,000 stage performances!".
  • When asked about the secret of her youthful charm and beauty, Manorama quipped in Tamil "Agathin azhagu mugathil theriyum", meaning "The beauty of the mind is reflected on the face."[16] She went on to say that her heart and mind are still youthful, which is the secret of her youth.
  • The last time that Manorama met Sivaji Ganesan before his death was on 26 May 2001, was when she had gone to his home to receive his blessings on her birthday.[17] At that time, he told his wife that no one can do better than her when it comes to speaking different dialects of Tamil.
  • When asked which character of hers she found most hilarious to play, she specified the role of a talkative female, who is forced to act dumb in a film called Unakkum Vazhvu Varum. She played this role along with Thengai Srinivasan. One of the light operators on the film set came over to her personally and mentioned that he found her scene quite funny.[18]
  • She was bitten by a Kattuviriyan snake during the shooting of Manjal Kungumam and was admitted to hospital. Coincidentally, after recovery, the next scene she acted in was in Aadi Viradham, where she had to bathe a snake statue and sing a lullaby for it.[19]
  • The first time Manorama stood before the camera was for a Sinhalese film, in which she played the heroine's friend. Her dance master Suryakala recommended her to the director Masthaan to play the role.[20]
  • She has been in films with five chief ministers of Andhra and Tamil Nadu. She played the female lead in the plays written, directed and acted by C. N. Annadurai, former chief minister of Tamil Nadu. She has also appeared in plays with another chief minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi. She has acted in films with M. G. Ramachandran and Jayalalitha Jayaram who both later became chief ministers of Tamil Nadu later. She has also acted in Telugu films with Dr. N. T. Rama Rao, who became the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh[21]

Selected filmography[edit]



Year Film Language Notes
1958 Maalaiyitta Mangai Tamil
PeriyaKovil Tamil
Manamulla Maruthaaram Tamil


Year Film Language Notes
1960 Kalathur Kannamma Tamil
1963 Konjum Kumari[8] Tamil
Paar Magale Paar Tamil
Lava Kusha Tamil
1964 Magale Un Samathu Tamil
1965 Thiruvilayadal Tamil
1966 Anbe Vaa Tamil
Saraswathi Sabatham Tamil
Kandan Karunai Tamil
1968 Ethir Neechal Tamil
Galatta Kalyanam Tamil
1969 Ayiram Poi Tamil


Year Film Language Notes
1970 Thalaivan Tamil
1972 Pattikada Pattanama Tamil
Kasethan Kadavulada Tamil
Needhi Tamil
1973 Rajaraja Cholan Tamil
1974 Kunwara Baap Hindi
1976 Akka Tamil
Unakkaga Naan Tamil
Unmaye Un Vilai Enna Tamil
Rojavin Raja Tamil
Nee Oru Maharani Tamil
Moham Muppadhu Varusham Tamil
Grahapravesam Tamil
Bhadrakali Tamil
Vazhvu En Pakkam Tamil
Ungalil Oruthi Tamil
Perum Pugazhum Tamil
Paaloothi Valartha Kili Tamil
Oru Kodiyil Iru Malargal Tamil
Nalla Penmani Tamil
Muthaana Muthullavaa Tamil
Mayor Meenakshi Tamil
Kula Gowravam Tamil
Janaki Sabatham Tamil
1977 Aalukkoru Aasai Tamil
Aaru Pushpangal Tamil
Aasai Manaivi Tamil
Durga Devi Tamil
1978 Kuppathu Raja Tamil
Annalakshmi Tamil
Maariyamman Thiruvizha Tamil
Kamakshiyin Karunai Tamil
Chittukuruvi Tamil
En Kelvikkenna Bathil Tamil
General Chakravarthy Tamil
Pilot Premnath Tamil
Punniya Bhoomi Tamil
Vandikkaaran Magal Tamil
Varuvaan Vadivelan Tamil
Vaazha Ninaithal Vazhaalam Tamil
Rudra Thaandavam Tamil
Seervarisai Tamil
Aayiram Jenmangal Malayalam
Bhairavi Tamil
Andaman Kaadhali Tamil
1979 Thyagam Tamil
Alankari Tamil
Imayam Tamil
Kalyanaraman Tamil


Year Film Language Notes
1980 Billa Tamil
Enippadigal Tamil
Ennadi Meenakshi Tamil
Nadagame Ulagam Tamil
Neechalkulam Tamil
Panchabhootham Tamil
Poonthalir Tamil
Sri Ramajayam Tamil
Subhodayam Telugu
Rishi Moolam Tamil
1981 Kodeeswaran Magal Tamil
Keezh Vaanam Sivakkum Tamil
Thee Tamil
Savaal Tamil
Mangamma Sabatham Tamil
1982 Vazhvey Maayam Tamil
Simla Special Tamil
Thaai Moogambigai Tamil
Sangili Tamil
Theerppu Tamil
Manal Kayiru Tamil
Marumagale Vaazhga Tamil
Kannodu Kan Tamil
Kaivarisai Tamil
Jodippura Tamil
Pokkiri Raja Tamil
Pakkathu Veetu Roja Tamil
1983 Sattam Tamil
Sivappu Suriyan Tamil
Mridhanga Chakravarthy Tamil
Neethibathi Tamil
Nirabarathi Tamil
Thanga Magan Tamil
Adutha Varisu Tamil
Paayum Puli Tamil
1984 Enakkul Oruvan Tamil
Kairaasikkaaran Tamil
Mansoru Tamil
Oh Maane Maane Tamil
Anbeodivaa Tamil
1985 Andha sila naatkal Tamil
Iru Methaigal Tamil
Madras Vaathiyaar Tamil
Vaazhkai Tamil
Sri Raghavendra Tamil
Vidhi Tamil
Simmasoppanam Tamil
Nyaayam Tamil
Ninaivugal Tamil
Chidambara Ragasiyam Tamil
Jhansi Tamil
Anni Tamil
Kadivalam Tamil
Bandham Tamil
1986 Vikram Tamil
Samsaram Adhu Minsaram Tamil
Ilamai Tamil
Kaaval Tamil
Nermai Tamil
Perumai Tamil
Porutham Tamil
Chandamama Tamil
Odangal Tamil
Kaithiyin Theerppu Tamil
Veeran Tamil
1987 Per Sollum Pillai Tamil
Naan Adimai Illai Tamil
1988 Guru Sishyan Tamil
Paatti Sollai Thattaadhe Tamil
En Jeevan Paduthu Tamil
Unnal Mudiyum Thambi Tamil
Idhu Namma Aalu Tamil
Thambi Thangakambi Tamil
1989 Kutravaali Tamil
Vasanthi Tamil
Ulagam Piranthathu Enakkaga Tamil
Aararo Aariraro Tamil
Apoorva Sagodharargal Tamil
Puthiya Padhai Tamil


Year Film Language Notes
1990 Michael Madana Kama Rajan Tamil
Engal Saamy Ayyappan Tamil
Ethir Kaatru Tamil
Nadigan Tamil
Enkitta Mothathe Tamil
Vedikkai En Vadikkai Tamil
1991 Aakasha Kottayile Sultan Malayalam
Chinna Gounder Tamil
Chinna Thambi Tamil
Raakkaayi Kovil Tamil
Nanbargal Tamil
Pudhu Manithan Tamil
Idhayam Tamil
Gnana Paravai Tamil
1992 Mannan Tamil
Nee Pathi Naan Pathi Tamil
Singaravelan Tamil
Annamalai Tamil
Rasukkutty Tamil
Onna Irukka Kathukanum Tamil
Pattathu Raani Tamil
1993 Yejaman Tamil
Gentleman Tamil
Ponnumani Tamil
Uthamaraasa Tamil
Dharmaseelan Tamil
Sendhoorapandi Tamil
Pangali Tamil
Neelakuyil Tamil
Athai Maga Rathiname Tamil
1994 Kadhalan Tamil
Deva Tamil
Jaihind Tamil
Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa Dha Nee Tamil
Seeman Tamil
Anbumagan Tamil
Rasigan Tamil
Nattamai Tamil
1995 Murai Maaman Tamil
Marumagan Tamil
Coolie Tamil
Periya Kudumbam Tamil
Nandavana Theru Tamil
Rikshavodu Telugu
Naan Petra magane Tamil
Mahaprabhu Tamil
Velusaamy Tamil
Mr. Madras Tamil
Muthukaalai Tamil
Maaman Magal Tamil
1996 Parambarai Tamil
Indian Tamil
Naatupura Paattu Tamil
Love Birds Tamil
Sakthi Tamil
1997 Arunachalam Tamil
Vallal Tamil
1998 Pooveli Tamil
Natpukkaga Tamil
Veera Thalattu Tamil
Marumalarchi Tamil
1999 Rojavanam Tamil
Unnai Thedi Tamil
Periyanna Tamil
Kummi Paattu Tamil
Simmarasi Tamil


Year Film Language Notes
2000 Kannal Paesava Tamil
Vetri Kodi Kattu Tamil
Millenium Stars Malayalam
Thirunelveli Tamil
Kannan Varuvaan Tamil
Snegithiye Tamil
Unnaruge Naan Irundhal Tamil
Maayi Tamil
2001 Krishna Krishna Tamil
Bava Nachadu Telugu
2002 Thamizh Tamil
Jaya Tamil
Gemini Tamil
2003 Saamy Tamil
Diwaan Tamil
Whistle Tamil
Anbe Anbe Tamil
2004 Perazhagan Tamil
7G Rainbow Colony Tamil
2005 Karka Kasadara Tamil
2006 Imsai Arasan 23m Pulikesi Tamil
Pasa Kiligal Tamil
2007 Seetha Kalyanam Malayalam
Aalwar Tamil
Thaamirabharani Tamil
2008 Krishnarjuna Telugu
Uliyin Osai Tamil
2009 Arundhati Telugu
Laadam Tamil
A Aa E Ee Tamil


Year Film Language Notes
2010 Irumbu Kottai Murattu Singam Tamil
Singam Tamil
2011 Ponnar Sankar Tamil
2013 Singam 2 Tamil

As singer[edit]

  • "Vaa Vathiyar" (Bommalattam)
  • "Dillikku Rajanaalum" (Paatti Sollai Thatthathe)
  • "Madrasa Sutti" (May Madham)
  • "Thangaienum Pasakkili" (Pasa Kiligal)
  • "Theriyatho Nokku Theriyatho" (Suriyakanthi)
  • "Paarthaale Theriyaadha" (Sri Raghavendra)


  1. ^ a b There’s no stopping her. Hinduonnet. 2009/02/02
  2. ^ "The endearing `aachi'". The Hindu. 7 July 2003. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  3. ^ "வாழ்க்கையில் எதிர்நீச்சல் போட்ட மனோரமா: 1,300 படங்களில் நடித்து 'கின்னஸ்' சாதனை || manorama cinema history". Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  4. ^ "Manorama talks about her mother and childhood". Youtube. 
  5. ^ A Tamil entertainment ezine presenting interesting contents and useful services. Nilacharal. Retrieved on 2011-07-27.
  6. ^ "நடிகை மனோரமா காதல் திருமணம் தோல்வியில் முடிந்தது || actress manorama cinema history". Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  7. ^ "கண்ணதாசன் தயாரித்த 'மாலையிட்ட மங்கையில் மனோரமா அறிமுகம் || Manorama introduced Kannadhsan produced film malaiyitta mangai". Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  8. ^ a b "Manorama's first film as heroine". Youtube. 
  9. ^ a b "Manorama on K. Balachander". Youtube. 
  10. ^ "'கொஞ்சும் குமரி'யில் கதாநாயகியாக நடித்தார், மனோரமா || manorama cinema history". Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  11. ^ "Manorama on her character of Jil Jil Ramamani". Youtube. 
  12. ^ "Manorama's first opportunity to sing". Youtube. 
  13. ^ "Manorama interview in Toronto". Youtube. 
  14. ^ "The Hindu : Evening of stardust memories". 27 February 2002. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  15. ^ Cho Ramaswamy's comments on Manorama on YouTube. Retrieved on 2011-07-27.
  16. ^ "The secret of Manorama's youth". Youtube. 
  17. ^ "Manorama talks about her last meeting with Sivaji Ganesan". Youtube. 
  18. ^ "Manorama's interview in Toronto". Youtube. 
  19. ^ "Manorama snake-bite incident". Youtube. 
  20. ^ "Manorama's first film was in Sinhalese". Youtube. 
  21. ^ Manorama was interviewed by Anu Hassan in the Vijay TV show "Kofee with Anu", 15 August 2007.

External links[edit]