Madhavi is an Indian film actress known for her works in Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Oriya and Bengali cinema. In a career spanning seventeen years, she has acted in three hundred films.
Madhavi was born in Hyderabad, India to Sasirekha and Govinda Swamy. She grew up with a sister and brother. She learnt Bharat Natyam from Uma Maheswari and folk dance from Mr. Bhatt from an early age and gave more than a thousand dance performances. She attended Stanley Girls High School in Hyderabad, Abids Branch.
Director Dasari Narayana Rao gave her a starring role in the Telugu film Thoorupu Padamara when she was a teenager. The film became a huge hit. K. Balachander then cast her in a supporting role in his Telugu film Maro Charithra (1978). She reprised her role in its Hindi remake Ek Duje Ke Liye (1981), which became the top grossing film of 1981. In both films, she showed remarkable sensitivity as a lonely wealthy woman who falls in love with Kamal Haasan's character. She earned a Filmfare Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress. K. Balachander was so impressed with her performance in both films that he introduced her to the Tamil film industry with Thillu Mullu (1981) opposite Rajinikanth. By the end of the decade, she was starred opposite Amitabh Bachchan in the Hindi film Agneepath (1990).
Madhavi acted alongside Kamal Haasan in Raja Paarvai, Tik Tik Tik, Kaakki Sattai and Mangamma Sabadham appearing in a swimsuit in all the films. Her films with Rajinikanth include Garjanai, Thambikku Entha Ooru, Un Kannil Neer Vazhindal and Viduthalai. She showed her ability in movies like Enga Oor Kannagi, Needhi Dhevan Mayakkam and Nirabaraadhi.
She appeared in many Malayalam films especially in those starring superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal. She played the Zeenat Aman role from the Hindi hit film Don in the Malayalam remake titled Shobaraj (1986). Her portrayal of Unniyarcha in the National Award-winning movie Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha was critically appreciated and is often recognised as one of the best roles in her career. Her portrayal as a mother who met her end with leukaemia in Akashadoothu won her the Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Actress and Filmfare Award for Best Actress for 1993. Other notable films include Ormakkayi, Changatham, Novemberinte Nashtam and Nombarathi Poovu. She was later seen in supporting roles in films such as Aksharam and Aayiram Naavulla Ananthan. Most of her author-backed roles were in Malayalam films. She has won three Kerala State Film Awards, one for Best Actress and two for Second Best Actress.
She acted in a number of films with Telugu star Chiranjeevi. Her first movie with Chiranjeevi was Intlo Ramaiah Veedhilo Krishnaiah in 1982. She acted again with Chiranjeevi in the movie Khaidi. Her last movie in Telugu was Big Boss (another Chiranjeevi film).
She also acted in a number of Kannada movies alongside popular Kannada actors including Rajkumar, Vishnuvardhan, Anant Nag and Ambareesh. Her performance in Haalu Jenu and Malaya Marutha was widely acclaimed.
In 1996, her spiritual teacher 'Swami Rama' arranged her marriage to one of his followers, a pharmaceutical businessman named Ralph Sharma, who is half-Indian and half-German. She married within a few weeks on 14 February 1996 of their introduction. They have three daughters and live in New Jersey.
- 1981 – Second Best Actress – Valarthu Mrigangal
- 1982 – Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress – Ormakkayi
- 1993 – Second Best Actress- Akashadooth
|1981||Ek Duje Ke Liye||Kamal Haasan, Rati Agnihotri||K. Balachander||Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actress||Sandhya|
|1983||Andha Kanoon||Rajinikanth, Hema Malini, Reena Roy, Amitabh Bachchan||T. Rama Rao||Special appearance||Zakhiya Khan|
|1984||Mujhe Shakti Do||Vinod Mehra, Bindiya Goswami||Sharad Chaudhary|
|1985||Misaal||Naseeruddin Shah, Vijeta Pandit||Humayun Mirza, Maharukh Mirza, Sharukh Mirza|
|1985||Geraftaar||Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Hassan, Rajinikanth, Poonam Dhillon||Prayag Raj||Inspector Geeta Sinha|
|1986||Jwala||Shatrughan Sinha, Anita Raj||Sudesh Issar|
|1987||Loha||Dharmendra, Shatrughan Sinha, Mandakini||Raj N. Sippy||Anita|
|1987||Kalyug Aur Ramayan||Manoj Kumar, Rajiv Goswami||Babubhai Mistry||Sarita|
|1987||Satyamev Jayathe||Vinod Khanna, Meenakshi Seshadri, Anita Raj||Raj N. Sippy||Pooja Shastri|
|1987||Insaaf Kaun Karega||Priya|
|1988||Pyar Ka Mandir||Mithun Chakraborty, Raj Kiran, Nirupa Roy||K. Bapaiah||Radha Bhooljanewala|
|1988||Mar Mitenge||Mithun Chakraborty, Jeetendra, Banupriya||Kawal Sharma||Radha|
|1988||Falak (The Sky)||Rita D'Souza|
|1989||Paraya Ghar||Rishi Kapoor, Jaya Prada||Kalpataru|
|1989||Lashkar||Dev Anand||Jagdish Kadar||Anand's wife|
|1989||Zakhm||Shatrughan Sinha, Chunky Pandey, Neelam Kothari||Irfan Khan|
|1989||Nafrat Ki Aandhi||Geeta|
|1990||Sheshnaag||Jeetendra, Rishi Kapoor, Rekha, Mandakini||K. R. Reddy|
|1990||Haar Jeet||Kabir Bedi, Shafi Inamdar||Avtar Boghal|
|1990||Swarg||Rajesh Khanna, Govinda, Juhi Chawla||David Dhawan||Janaki Kumar|
|1990||Agneepath||Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty||Mukul S. Anand||Mary Mathew|
|1992||Sarphira||Sanjay Dutt, Kimi Katkar||Ashok Gaekwad||Prema|
|1992||Lambu Dada||Master Akash, Mahesh Anand, Kabir Bedi||Sharad Chaudary|
|1992||Jigar||Ajay Devgan, Karisma Kapoor||Faroque Siddique|
|1994||Khudai||Rajesh Khanna, Deepika Chikhalia||Johnny Bakshi||Sakhi Swami|