18 July 1972
Mulbagal, Kolar, Karnataka, India
|Died||April 17, 2004
|Occupation||Actress, film producer|
|Height||5 ft 7 in|
|Spouse(s)||G. S. Raghu (2003-2004; her death)|
Soundarya (July 18, 1972 - April 17, 2004) (born as Soumya) was a legendary Indian film actress who appeared in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, and Bollywood films in lead roles. She was number one heroine in southindia in 20th century and She was considered as the replacement for legendary actress savitri. She was a much sought-after star in the 1990s and acted in more than 100 films, most of them in Telugu.  She produced movies in the later phase of her career and won the Silver Lotus Award for her film Dweepa. She also received the Filmfare Awards six times for her acting performances. Soundarya died in a plane crash while campaigning for a political party near Bangalore in 2004.
Soundarya was the daughter of Kannada film producer and writer K. S. Satyanarayan. She was born in Mulbagal and raised in Bangalore.  She made her debut while in her first year of MBBS when she was offered a role by a friend of her father's in the Kannada film Gandharva (1992). Her first Telugu film was 'Manavarali Pelli' with Harish followed by the movie called Rajendrudu Gajendrududirected by S.V. Krishna Reddy. She discontinued her studies after the highly successful Telugu film Ammoru (1995), which brought a huge transformation into her career. The movie got dubbed in Tamil as "Amman" and was a huge hit.
She acted in around 100 Telugu films, such as Pavithrabandham, Pelliichesukundam Ra with Venkatesh, found to be a popular pair. Annaya, Chudalani undhi with Chiranjeevi and others like Nagarjuna Akkineni, Balakrishna Nandamuri, Srikanth, Rajendraprasad, Jagapathibabu, Krishna,vineeth, abbas, prabu deva, vikram, mohan babu, arjun, saikumar, vinod kumar, j d charavarthi,mohan babu etc. She acted in several female-oriented roles like Thommidi nelalu, Arundhathi, Maa inti adapaduchu, etc.padha rayudu with mohan babu was great hit Directors like Ragavendra rao, S.V.Krishna Reddy, Kodi Ramakrishna, Kranthi Kumar gave her lead roles.
She produced and acted in the Kannada film Dweepa which won her many awards. Unfortunately, the last film in her career was the Kannada film Apthamitra, a run away hit with Southern Super Star Dr. Vishnuvardhan. The film was a box-office hit and ran successfully for one whole year in the theaters. This film also won her the Filmfare Award for Best Actress posthumously in 2004.
She performed in Malayalam movies opposite Jayaram and Mohanlal too.
Her Kannada film Dweepa directed by Girish Kasaravalli won many awards. Soundarya not only acted in the film, but also produced the movie. As a producer she won her the 49th Golden Lotus award in 2001, which is given for best film of the year.
Soundarya was born in the village of Ashtagrama. She was an Ashtagrama Iyer. She was fluent in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and English. She married her maternal uncle's son and childhood friend, software engineer G. S. Raghu, on 27 April 2003. She planned on promoting public welfare during her lifetime. At the time of her death, she was about to produce and act in a film titled 'Kamli', directed by K. N. T Sastry. Her wishes of funding welfare activities are being fulfilled by her husband and sister-in-law through the Amara Soundarya Social and Educational Trust [ASSET]. Soundarya maintained an orphanage in Bangalore. Presently, it is being maintained by her relatives. The school, Amara Soundarya Vidyalaya, is maintained by her trust and her own home is now being used as a school. She had also provided funds for a number of educational institutions. She was two months pregnant at the time of her death.
Soundarya died on April 17, 2004, in an aircraft crash near Bangalore, when the plane she was traveling in caught fire immediately after take-off. The plane, a Cessna 180, chartered by Agni Aviation, left Jakkur Airfield at 11:05 AM. Shortly after take-off the plane turned left, plunged and crashed in an open field about 500 m from the airport. She was on her way to Andhra Pradesh to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party for the coming elections. Her brother, Amarnath, a producer of Kannada films, also died in the accident. She was awarded the Karnataka State Award posthumously for her Kannada super hit film and her last film Apthamithra, which was received by her mother.
- Pandya, Haresh (2004-05-10). "Soundarya". Online edition (The Guardian). Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Kumar, Ch Sushil (1998-03-28). "Child, woman, star". Interview (Rediff.com). Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Gurukiran. "Apthamitra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "National Film Award for Best Feature Film - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2013-05-29.</ref><ref>http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0330241/awards</ref> She also won the Karnataka state award for Best Actress for her brilliant performance and the best film award as a producer. The film also won the Karnataka state award for the best Cinematography, and was featured in five international film festivals.<ref>"International Film Festival of India-2002". Pib.nic.in. 2002-09-26. Retrieved 2013-05-29.</ref><ref>http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0330241/news
- "Indian Actress Soundarya Dies in Plane Crash". online edition (Voice of America news). 2004-04-17 899006685. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Hemant Raj, Ashwin (2004-04-17). "Soundarya dies in plane crash". Online edition (Times of India). Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Press Trust of India (2004-04-17). "Soundarya killed in plane crash. its a tragedy". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2009-06-20.