Iranganie Serasinghe

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Iranganie Roxanna Serasinghe
අයිරාංගනී සේරසිංහ
Born (1927-06-21) 21 June 1927 (age 91)
Mudungomuwa, Ruwanwella, Sri Lanka
NationalitySri Lankan
Other namesIranganie Roxanna Meedeniya
OccupationTeacher(Musaeus college)
Journalist(Times, SLBC)[1]
Film, Television and Stage actress
Years active1950-present
  • Prof. S.B. Dissanayake (Div.)
  • Winston Serasinghe
ChildrenRavi & Ranjit
AwardsKala Keerthi, Sri Lankan of the year

Kala Keerthi[2] Iranganie Roxanna Serasinghe (née Meedeniya) (born 21 June 1927) is a Sri Lankan actress. Since her debut in Rekava, Serasinghe has become recognized for playing motherly figures in various films and television serials.[3] She is the aunt of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe.


Early life and education[edit]

Iranganie Meedeniya grew up in Moodugomuwa, near Ruwanwella in a tranquil village setting. Her early touches with nature would later lead her to become an environmental activist. While attending Bishop's College she played in several end-of-term plays; at Girls' High School, Kandy whilst pursuing a HSC; Meedeniya took a leading role in Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.

Against her father a Rate Mahatthaya's wishes, Meedeniya entered the University of Ceylon in 1947 with the support of her cousins. He died in her first year away at a time when Marxist ideas were the norm. She immersed herself in the Ceylon theater scene while there under the guidance of Professor E. F. C. Ludowyk; she also became a proficient dancer with lessons from Chitrasena.

She eventually graduated with an Arts degree and travelled to London with letters of recommendation from Ludowyk following a marriage to Professor Dissanayake (they divorced some time later). There with the help of actresses Flora Robson and Sybil Thorndyke, Meedeniya attended Bristol Old Vic Theatre School for a year and the London School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art for two years.[4]

Theater and film[edit]

Returning to Sri Lanka, Meedeniya met up with Ludowyk and Austrian Jew director Neuman Jubal and got back into theater.The Lionel Wendt Art Centre theater portion of the center opened on 12 December 1953 with the production of Maxim Gorky's "The Lower Depths", starring Iranganie Serasinghe and produced by Neuman Jubal. Doing mainly English roles at first, she started playing in Sinhala theater in Henry Jayasena's Apata Puthe Magak Nethe and followed with roles in Damma Jagoda's Sinhala version of A Streetcar Named Desire, Ves Muhunu, and Porisadaya. The following years saw Meedeniya in constantly changing settings–teaching briefly at Musaeus College, working for The Times of Ceylon after returning from London, doing a stint at the SLBC and handling a post in the tourist trade working as a junior executive and guide of Walkers Tours and Travels (Pvt)Ltd.

Meedeniya started her career in cinema in Lester James Peries "Be Safe or Be Sorry" for the Government Film Unit . Peries subsequently cast her in his debut feature film Rekava as a mother . It has since achieved an iconic status in Sri Lanka.

In 1960 Meedeniya married Winston Serasinghe who had appeared in Rekava and some other productions with her. With the new surname, Iranganie Serasinghe achieved fame as an actress appearing in many of Peries' early works.[5]

National Awards[edit]

  • Kala Keerthi - Sri Lankan Government
  • Sri Lankan of the Year (2017) - Entertainment Distinguished Achievement - Ada Derana [6]


  • Irangani as Told to Kumar de Silva - by Kumar de Silva
  • අයිරාංගනී - Sinhala version by same author.[7]



Year Show Role Notes
1950 Rekava (රේඛාව) Karthina
1960 Sandesaya (සංදේශය) Female Spy
1966 Delovak Athara (දෙලොවක් අතර) Nissanka's mother
1967 The Yellow Dress,"Ran salu" (original title) (රන් සළු)
1969 Bakmaha Deege (බක්මහ දීගේ) Kumarihami
1970 Thewatha(තේවත්ත)
1970 Priyanga (ප්‍රියන්ගා)
1974 The God King (ද ගෝඩ් කිං) Varuni
1981 Sagarayak Meda (සාගරයක් මැද)
1982 Deveni Gamana (දෙවැනි ගමන) Saman's mother
1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,Hollywood (ඉන්දියානා ජෝන්ස්) Village Woman
1984 Dadayama (දඩයම)
1984 Avurududa (අවිරැදූ දා) Malani's Mother
1985 Adara Kathawa (ආදර කතාව) Kanthi's mother
1990 Awaragira (අවරගිර) Dingiri Menike
1993 Poronduwa (පොරොන්දුව) Mrs. Rambukwella
1996 Loku Duwa (ලොකු දුව) Punna's Mother
1998 Iqbal (Italy) (ඉක්බාල්) Nonna
2001 Kinihiriya Mal Sylvia
2002 Sudu Sevanali (සුදු සෙවනැලි)
2002 Mansion by the Lake (වෑකන්ද වලව්ව) Aunt Catherine
2003 Sakman Maluwa (සක්මන් මළුව)
2003 Irasma (ඉරැස්මා)
2005 Pawana Ralu Viya (පවන රළු විය) Mrs. Weerasinghe
2005 Sudu Kalu Saha Alu (සුදු කළු සහ අළු) Nogo Nonna
2005 Water(වෝටර්) Mother in Law
2007 Nisala Gira (නිසලගිර)
2007 Samaara(සමාරා)
2008 Heart FM (හාර්ට් එෆ් එම්)
2008 Rosa Kale (රෝස කැලේ)
2013 Abhinikmana Buddhadasa's mother
2013 It's A Matter of Love[9]
2017 Paha Samath[10]
2018 Vaishnavee
2018 Kalu Hima[11] Chunda's granny


Year Show Role
1980s Yashorawaya(යශෝරාවය) Suduhamine
1990–1995 Doo Daruwo(දූ දරුවෝ) Dulsey/Sudu aachchi
1988 Village by the Sea-Gamperaliya()
1996–1997 Nadayo
1997 Ammai Thaththai(අම්මයි තාත්තයි)
1999–2001 Sathpuravesiyo(සත්පුරවැසියෝ)
2008–2009 Muthu Kirilli(මුතු) කිරිල්ලී
2010–2011 Amanda (අමන්දා) granny


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)
  3. ^ "A Shining Star striving to protect Planet Earth". Daily News(Sri Lanka). 23 May 2007.
  4. ^ "Iranganie Serasinghe: Mischievous young girl who turned a brilliant actress". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 29 April 2006.
  5. ^ "Fascinating facet of genuine original art". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). 16 December 2007.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "සිනමාවේ අද්විතීය මාතාව අයිරාංගනීගේ ජීවිත කතාව එළි දකී". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "'ඉට්ස් අ මැටර් ඔෆ් ලව්'". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Tear falling cinema about a village boy". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  11. ^ "කළුහිම". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 24 August 2018.

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