7 September 1925|
Doddavaram, near Ongole, Prakasam District, Andhra Pradesh, India
|Died||24 December 2005
|Spouse(s)||P. S. Ramakrishna Rao|
Paluvayi Bhanumathi Ramakrishna (7 September 1925 – 24 December 2005) was a multilingual Indian film actress, director, music director, singer, producer, book writer and songs writer. Most of her works are in Telugu and Tamil languages. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2003 for her contribution towards Indian cinema.
She was born as third child to Saraswatamma and Bommaraju Venkata Subbaiah, in Doddavaram village of Prakasam district, near Ongole, Andhra Pradesh. She grew up watching her father perform in various stage shows. Her father, Venkatasubbiah, was a staunch lover of classical music and trained her in music from an early age.
Bhanumathi entered the film industry in 1935, and acted in over 200 films in Telugu and Tamil. She was also called as Ashtavadhani by the film industry people as she was a writer, actor, director, producer, singer, music director, editor and studio owner. She also had a good knowledge of Astrology and philosophy.
She made her debut in Telugu cinema in 1939 as Kalindi in Vara Vikrayam (Telugu), directed by C. Pullaiah. She had acted in Malathi Madhavam, Dharma Patni and Bhaktimala. Her first popular film was Krishna Prema. Her next popular film was Swargaseema, a milestone film in her career. She later acted in many memorable movies like Chakrapani, Laila Majnu, Vipranarayana, Malliswari, Batasari and Anthastulu. Her first film in Tamil was Ratnakumar in the year 1949,along with the famous hero of those day P.U.Chinnappa.This film was directed by Krishnan-Panju .In 1953, she made her directorial debut with Chandirani (made simultaneously in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi). Her last film was made in 1998, entitled Pelli Kanuka. C. N. Annadurai gave her a title "Nadippukku Ilakkanam" (Grammar for acting) that suits her aptly. Even veteran actors Sivaji Ganesan and the later on Chief minister of Tamil Nadu M.G.Ramachandran who acted with her were afraid on the sets of her bold and prolific versatility.One of her memorable movie in Tamil was "Annai",in the year 1962,directed by Krishnan-Panju, where her acting was appreciated by all and also got the National Award for the film.
For the movie Anthasthulu (1964), VB Rajendra Prasad had approached Bhanumati for the role of Akkineni Nageswara Rao’s sister. She liked the subject and agreed to do the film immediately. The crew booked a room in "Ritz-Carlton" in Hyderabad and she didn’t want to waste money, so she offered to stay at Sarathi Studios, which had an open area and snakes. The next morning she woke up with her nails bitten by rats. The director decided to cancel the shoot, VB Rajendra Prasad rushed to see Bhanumati applying iodine casually on the nails and asking when she could start work. While continuing with the shooting, she said, “If you cancel shoot for small things how will I be a Bhanumati (which means ‘shining like the sun’ in Sanskrit).”
Apart from being an exceptional actress, she was also a very talented musician. She is one of the fine actress of Telugu film industry. She was adept in both Carnatic and Hindustani music. She gave voice to her songs despite it being the norm to use playback singers for actors. Some of her songs are still popular like Pilichina biguvatara, Kila Kila Navvulu, Oh Pavurama, Preme Nerama. She also provided music to a lot of her films.
During her later years she served on various movie related organizations. She was a Member of State Film Awards Committee for two years. She was also a Visiting Professor at the Film Institute for one year. She was Member of Children Film Society for 5 years, from 1965 to 1970.
Bhanumati was also a talented writer with a number of short stories to her credit. Her autobiography Nalo Nenu was published in Telugu and later, released in English as Musings. Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Academy awarded her as the best short story writer for her popular short stories "Attagari Kathalu". She was a Member of Lalit Kala Academy for 5 years, and Sahitya Academy, Andhra Pradesh for 10 years. She served as Director and Principal of the Tamil Nadu Government Music College,
She was an eminent social worker who was closely associated with a number of Social Service Organizations. She was the founder member and treasurer of Madras branch of Altrusa International Inc., Chicago for lifelong starting from 1963. She was a life member of the 'Red Cross Society'. She established an educational institution named as "Dr. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna Matriculation School" at Saligramam, Chennai providing free education to the poor.
During the shooting of the film Krishna Prema, she met P. S. Ramakrishna Rao, an assistant director for that film. He was a film producer, director and editor of Telugu and Tamil Films. The couple later married on 8 August 1943 and later launched a popular production company, Bharani Pictures on their son's name. She died at the age of 80 years in Chennai.
- Civilian honors
- Rashtrapati Award in acting
- Palanati Yuddham
- Government National Award for Best writer for the book "Nalo Nenu" an autobiography in 1994.
- Raghupathi Venkaiah Award, from the Government of Andhra Pradesh, in 1985
- Nandi Award for Best Director in 1986
- NTR National Award, from the Government of Andhra Pradesh, in 2000
- State Awards
- Other honors
- Kalaprapoorna, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, in 1975
- Honorary Doctorate, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi, in 1984
- Raja-Lakshmi Award for the year 1998 from Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation, Chennai
- Annadurai honoured her with a title "Nadippukku Ilakkanam" for her remarkable performance in "Rangoon Radha"
- She was one of the dignitaries been honored by Andhra Pradesh government at the time of state formation in 1956.
This is partial list of her films.
Bhanumati gave her voice for herself and many actors to sing many songs.
|1941||Dharma Patni||Anuraagam Leka Anandamunda
Nilu Niluma Neelavarnaa
|1945||Swarga Seema||Oho Ho Pavurama, Oho Tapodhana|
|1949||Laila Majnu||Preme Neramouna Maapai Ee Pagela|
|1951||Malliswari||Manasuna Mallera Maalaloogene
Parugulu Teeyali O Gittalu Urakalu Veyali (with Ghantasala)
Pilachina Biguvatara Auraura
Eda Thanunnado Baava (with Ghantasala)
|1952||Prema||Divya Premaku Satiaune (with Ghantasala)|
|1953||Chandirani||Eeroju Bhale Roju Ide Prema Idena
Enduko Teliyani Ennadu Anukoni Ee Sambaraalemiti
Evaraalakinturu Naamora Enaleni Vedana
Kilaa Kilaa Navvulaa Kurisene Vennelaa
O Taraka (with Ghantasala)
|1954||Chakrapani||Pakkala Nilabadi Kolichemu
O Malathi Lata
|1954||Vipra Narayana||Raa Raa Naa Swamy|
|1956||Tenali Ramakrishna||Kannulu Ninde Kannela Vinna Mannanaleera Raja
Teerani Naa Korikale Teerenu Ee Roju
|1961||Batasari||Oh Baatasaari Nanu Maruvakoyi|
|1963||Anuragam||Sannajaji Teeveloi Sampenga Poovuloi|
|1964||Bobbili Yuddham||Srikara Karunalavala Venugopala|
|1964||Vivaha Bandham||Vinnava Vinnava Manasulona Dagivunna Madhurageeti|
|1965||Antastulu||Dulapara Bulloda Dummu Dulapara Bulloda
Vinara Vissanna Ne Vedam Cheputa Vinaranna
|1965||Todu Needa||Enno Ratrulu Vastayi Kaani Idiye Toli Reyi
When I was just a little girl - I asked my mother what will I be
|1967||Grihalakshmi||Laali Laali Gopala Bala Laali Laali
Melukovayya Kaveti Ranga Sriranga
|1971||Mattilo Manikyam||Saranam Nee Divya Charanam|
|1973||Vichitra Vivaham||Ammayilu Abbayilu Naa Matalo Nijam Vintara Meeru|
|1974||Ammayi Pelli||Vandanamu Raghunandana Sethu Bandhana Bhakta Chandana|
|1984||Mangamma Gari Manavadu||Sree Suryanarayana Meluko (with Vani Jayaram)|
|1986||Kannukku Mai Ezhuthu||Vaadaa Malliye Naan Sooda Mullaiye|
|1990||Bamma Maata Bangaru Baata||Dilli Ki Raja Aina Bamma Maata Bangaru Baata|
- Chakrapani (1954)
- Laila Majnu
- Vipra Narayana
- Bhanumathi Ramakrishna at the Internet Movie Database
- Bhanumathi Ramakrishna's Rare HQ photo from NTR Starrer Film Malleeswari (1951)
- A brief biography
- bhanumathi.24by7music.com (Songs)
- Attagari Kathalu