||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2009)|
12 June 1945
Tenali, Andhra Pradesh, India
|Years active||1959 – present|
|Telugu Desam Party|
|Awards||National Film Award for Best Actress|
Sharada (born 12 June 1945) is a three-time National Award winning Indian actress and Indian Parliament member. She originally hails from Andhra Pradesh. She has achieved success through Malayalam movies. Initially she did many supporting roles in Telugu films and later on moved to Malayalam film industry and gained success there. She is also known as Urvasi Sharada because earlier the National Film Award for Best Actress was officially designated the Urvasi Award. Sharada has been selected for the prestigious NTR National Award instituted by the Andhra Pradesh state government for the year 2010.
Sharada was born Saraswati Devi in Tenali, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India. Her parents Venkateswar Rao and Satyavathi Devi belonged to a family of agriculturalists. She has a brother, named Mohan Rao. Sharada was sent to Madras in her childhood to live with her grandmother Kanakamma. Sharada describes her grandmother as a strict disciplinarian who in the later days wouldn’t even let the heroes touch her and allowed rehearsals only on Sundays. Sharada started to learn dance when she was six. She used to perform during Dasara and other temple festivals. It was because of her mother's desire that she learned dance. Her mother wanted her to become a big star in cine field. Though Sharada's father was not too interested in the idea, he didn't stop her.
Sharada married Chalam, a famous Telugu hero, producer and comedian. He was her co-star in her debut film Tandrulu Kodukulu. They divorced later on.
When she grew up, she started acting in theatre, under the supervision of her grandmother. In Indian theatre and cinema, the female lead stars used to leave the field as soon as they are married. So, most of the female lead stars were very young compared to the male leads. Sharada remembers in one of the plays she acted as the wife of a person 30 years older than she was when she was just 13. Her debut in films was with a minor role in the Telugu film Kanyasulkam. However, she returned to theatre after it and did a major role in the Telugu version of Rakta Kanneeru, a Tamil drama. The play went to get staged over 100 times in Tamil Nadu.
In 1959, she began her career as Sharada. The change in name was attributed to the presence of a few other actors in the industry with the name Saraswati. She came under contract to L.V. Prasad, a Telugu producer. Though she didn't get to act in any of his films, she got her formal training in acting under him, including the Navarasa lessons. She largely attributes her performances and growth in the field to this training. Her first break came with the Akkineni Nageswara Rao starrer Iddaru Mithrulu, which was a major hit. Noted for the role in the film, she got chances from Tamil and Malayalam films as well. The year 1965 changed her career as Sharada carved her niche for herself in the Malayalam film industry with her performances in Shakuntala, Murappennu, Udhyogastha by P. Venu, Kattu Thulasi and Inapravukal. After that, she focused in Malayalam films, acting only a few roles in other languages. Recognition came in 1967 in the form of a national honorary award for her performances in various films of 1966 including Iruttinte Athmavu. The award was the predecessor to the National Film Award for Best Actress, which was instituted in 1968. In 1969, she won her first National Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Thulabharam. She went on to win the award 2 more times, for Swayamvaram (1972, Malayalam) and Nimajjanam (1978, Telugu). She also won the Kerala State Film Awards for Best Actress one time.
Later she saw success in Telugu films in protagonist roles. She was so popular that she did lead roles in films starring most of the successful heroes of Telugu film industry. Post 1993, she became choosy and did only a few films. Her major films off late were Mazhathullikkilukkam (2002, Malayalam), Rappakal (2005, Malayalam), Nayika (2011, Malayalam) and Stalin (2006, Telugu).
National Film Awards
|1968||Best Actress||Thulabharam||A. Vincent||Malayalam|
|1972||Best Actress||Swayamvaram||Adoor Gopalakrishnan||Malayalam|
|1977||Best Actress||Nimajjanam||Narayana B.S.||Telugu|
Kerala State Film Awards
- 1979 – Best Actress (Thriveni and Thara)
NTR National Award
Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards
Filmfare Awards South
|1955||Kanyasulkam||Telugu||Minor role||Debut film|
|1968||Thulabharam||Malayalam||Vijaya||National Film Award for Best Actress|
|1969||Vila Kuranja Manushyan||Malayalam|
|1970||Samaj Ko Badal Dalo||Hindi||Chhaya|
|1971||Vilakkyu Vaangiya Veena||Malayalam||Sharada|
|1972||Swayamvaram||Malayalam||Seeta||National Film Award for Best Actress|
|1973||Devudu Chesina Manushulu||Telugu|
|1976||Nimajjanam||Telugu||Brahmin housewife||National Film Award for Best Actress|
|1977||Itha Ivide vare||Malayalam||Bharathi|
|1977||Daana Veera Soora Karna||Telugu||Draupadi|
|1978||Maathu Tappada Maga||Kannada|
|1981||Nyayam Kavali||Telugu||Lawyer Shakuntala|
|1983||Nizal Moodiya Nirangal||Malayalam||Shoshamma|
|1984||Bobbili Brahmanna||Telugu||Savitri, wife of Brahmanna|
|1986||Dharma Peetam Daddarillindi||Telugu|
|1987||Lawyer Bharti Devi|
|1987||Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam||Malayalam||Saraswathi Teacher|
|1988||15 August Rathri||Telugu|
|1988||Illu Illalu Priyuralu||Telugu|
|1988||Maa Telugu Talli||Telugu|
|1988||Rowdy No. 1||Telugu|
|1989||Nari Nari Naduma Murari||Telugu||Sesha Rathnam|
|1989||State Rowdy||Telugu||SP Laajmani M. Rao|
|1991||Amma Rajinama||Telugu||Amma (Mother)|
|1991||Killer||Telugu||Guardian of Heiress|
|1994||Kashmeeram||Malayalam||Justice Usha Varma|
|1996||Sabse Bada Mawali||Hindi||Malvika|
- Sharada at the Internet Movie Database
- B. Vijayakumar (10 October 2010). "Thulabharam 1968". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- Indian Council for Cultural Relations (1973). Cultural news from India. 14–15. p. 7.
- "34th Annual BFJA Awards". BFJA. Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2011.