Meena (actress)

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Meena at Viscosity Dance Academy Launch.jpg
Meena at Viscosity Dance Academy launch in 2015
Meena Durairaj

(1976-09-16) 16 September 1976 (age 46)[1][2][3][4]
Years active1982–present
  • Vidyasagar
    (m. 2009; died 2022)

Meena Durairaj (born 16 September 1976), known professionally as Meena, is an Indian actress who predominantly works in the South Indian film industry as well as Hindi cinema. Meena has acted in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi films.[5] In addition to acting, Meena is also a playback singer, TV judge, and occasional dubbing artist.[6] She has received numerous accolades, including two Filmfare Awards South, three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, two Nandi Award for Best Actress[7][8] and Cinema Express Awards. In 1998, she was honoured with the Kalaimamani Award by Government of Tamil Nadu.[9]

Early life[edit]

Meena was born in 1976 and was brought up in Chennai (then Madras), Tamil Nadu. Her mother rajamallika from Kannur district of Kerala while her father Durairaj is from Andhra.[10][11]


Child artist[edit]

Meena started her career in 1982 as a child artist in the film Nenjangal, featuring Sivaji Ganesan in the lead role after Ganesan saw her at a birthday party.[12] She has acted in several films along with Ganesan as a child artist.[12] She has acted with Rajinikanth in two movies namely Engeyo Ketta Kural and Anbulla Rajinikanth as a child artist. Anbulla Rajinikanth, in which she acted as a terminally ill child who warms up to Rajinikanth —that became a major pointer in her career growth. After the success of that movie, she became a notable child artist in South Indian movies. Her debut in Malayalam as a child artist was in the movie Oru Kochukatha Aarum Parayatha Katha, directed by P.G. Viswambharan. She appeared in over 45 films as a child.[12]

Lead female roles[edit]

Meena has been one of the top star pairing up with every big star down South.[13] She made her debut in Telugu beside Rajendra Prasad in Navayugam in 1990. While her Tamil admission as a heroine was in Oru Pudhiya Kadhai in the same year. Her first break was through Tamil film En Rasavin Manasile (1991) opposite Rajkiran, which was directed by Kasthuri Raja. Meena's portrayal as Solaiyamma won her fans' hearts. Later, the movie was remade in Telugu as Moratodu Naa Mogudu (1992) with Meena reprising her role[14][15][16]

Meena returned to Malayalam industry with the movie Santhwanam where she played as Suresh Gopi's daughter in the film released in 1991. Its success attracted more roles with senior Malayalam heroes. Meena has expressed a wish to do more films in Malayalam.[12]

Telugu film Chanti (1992), opposite Venkatesh was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu and the movie was a big hit at the box office.[17] She made her Bollywood debut opposite Chunky Pandey in the film Parda Hai Parda (1992). This was followed by Allari Pilla (1992), directed by Kodi Ramakrishna. Allari Mogudu (1992), and Sundarakanda, both directed by K. Raghavendra Rao. President Gari Pellam with Nagarjuna, directed by A. Kodandarami Reddy.

In 1993, she followed it up with films like Muta Mesthri and Yejaman, where she plays the role of Vaitheeswari, a simple village girl. This performance won her the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress.[18][19] She also appeared in Allari Alludu. Another film was Rajeswari Kalyanam, directed by Kranthi Kumar. She won Nandi Award for Best Actress for her performance.[20] She plays Sudha, a smart and intelligent young wife in Abbaigaru.[21]

In 1994, she has acted in P. Vasu's Sethupathi IPS as a school teacher, co-starring Vijayakanth.[22] In her follow-up movie again with Rajinikanth, in Suresh Krissna's Veera. She was chosen to play Devi, reprising her role from Allari Mogudu (1992).[23] It had a 150-day run at the box office.[24] followed by movies as Thai Maaman and Rajakumaran.

Venkatesh and Meena, in particular, were a popular pair in Telugu cinema.[25]

She debuted in Malayalam as a lead actress with the 1997 release Varnapakittu, where in she romance with Mohanlal on screen. The film was a hit, and Mohanlal and Meena’s on-screen chemistry too grabbed the eyeballs of the audience. Later the duo was paired in many movies including Olympian Anthony Adam (1999), Mr. Brahmachari (2003), Natturajavu (2004), Udayananu Tharam (2005) and Chandrolsavam (2005) among others.[26]

In 2000, her role in Rhythm (2000) won her Best Actress at the Cinema Express Awards.[citation needed]

Meena's releases in 2009 were Mariyadhai with Vijayakanth, directed by Vikraman. Katha, Samvidhanam: Kunchacko with Sreenivasan.[27] She played in Telugu as Saint Vengamamba in Tarigonda Vengamamba, directed by Uday Bhaskar.[28]

Return to films[edit]

In 2010, Meena returns to the big screen with the Kannada film Hendtheer Darbar. This was her first film after her marriage.[29] In 2011, she played the role of Narain's sister in the film Thambikottai.[30][31][32]

After a brief hiatus, Meena returned to Malayalam cinema and will be seen playing the role of wife to Mohanlal in Drishyam (2013) and Balyakalasakhi alongside Mammootty. She reprised her role in the 2014 Telugu remake, Drushyam.[33] After many years, Meena returned to Tamil cinema in Annaatthe (2021) with Rajinikanth.[34]

Other work[edit]

Music composing[edit]

Meena has been a playback singer for some albums with actor Manoj. Also she has been a playback singer in two pop albums called 16 Vayathinile, and Kadhalism, which she began recording in 2001 with actor Vikram.[35][36]


Meena dubbed for Padmapriya Janakiraman in Cheran's movie Pokkisham.[37]

Personal life[edit]

Meena married Vidyasagar, a Bangalore-based software engineer, on 12 July 2009 at Arya Vysya Samaj Kalyana Mandapam.[38] The couple later visited Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Andhra Pradesh. The couple came back to Chennai to hold a reception at Mayor Ramanathan Chettiar Hall, in which all leading southern Indian actors participated. The couple has a daughter Nainika who made her acting debut at the age of 5 in the film Theri (2016).[39] Vidyasagar died on 28 June 2022 due to lung related ailments.[40]



Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Movie title Role Language Notes
1982 Nenjangal Kidnapped child Tamil Child artist
Enkeyo Ketta Kural Baby Meena Tamil Child artist
Parvaiyin Marupakkam Geetha Tamil Child artist
Theerpugal Thiruththapadalam Priya Tamil Child artist
1983 Thandikkapatta Niyayangal Playful child Tamil Child artist
Sumangali Doll-selling girl Tamil Child artist
Siripuram Monagadu Baby Meena Telugu Child artist
1984 Thiruppam Baby Meena Tamil Child artist
Illalu Priyuralu Baby Meena Telugu Child artist
Yaadgar Baby Meena Hindi Child artist
Bava Maradallu Baby Meena Telugu Child artist
Kode Trachu Telugu Child artist
Anbulla Rajinikanth Rosy Tamil Child artist
Oru Kochukatha Aarum Parayatha Katha Rajani Malayalam Child artist
Manasariyathe Minimol Malayalam Child artist
1985 Panneer Nadhigal Tamil Child artist
Uyire Unakkaga young Vijayanirmala Devi Tamil Child artist
Rendu Rella Aaru Baby Meena Telugu Child artist
Khooni Baby Meena Telugu Child artist
1986 Sirivennela Baby Meena Telugu Child artist
Lakshmi Vanthachu Playful child Tamil Child artist
1990 Kartavyam Karuna Telugu
Navayugam Sumathi Telugu Debut as heroine
Prajala Manishi Telugu
Oru Pudhiya Kadhai Maha Tamil
1991 Seetharamayya Gari Manavaralu Seetha Telugu
En Rasavin Manasile Cholaiamma Tamil
Indra Bhavanam Telugu
Idhaya Oonjal Chithra Tamil
Idhaya Vaasal Vaani Tamil
Jagannatakam Jhansi Telugu
Sandhwanam Rajalakshmi Malayalam
Chengalva Pudanda Telugu
1992 Chanti Nandini Telugu
Parda Hai Parda Maya Hindi
Allari Pilla Nandini Telugu
Allari Mogudu Neelambari Telugu
Sundarakanda Nanchari Telugu
President Gari Pellam Swapna Telugu
Pellam Chepte Vinali Geetha Telugu
Bangaru Maama Kasthuri Telugu
Moratodu Naa Mogudu Telugu
Aswamedham Dr. Bharati Telugu
1993 Muta Mesthri Buchamma Telugu
Yejaman Vaitheeswari Vaanavaraayan Tamil
Abbaigaru Sudha Telugu
Allari Alludu Sandhya Telugu
Rajeswari Kalyanam Rajeshwari Telugu
Konguchatu Krishnadu Telugu
1994 Sethupathi IPS Chandramathi Tamil
Veera Devayanai Tamil
Thai Maaman Meena Tamil
Rajakumaran Selvi Tamil
Nattamai Meena Tamil
Punya Bhoomi Naa Desam Swathi Telugu
Anga Rakshakudu Meenu Telugu
Bhale Pellam Bharathi Telugu
Bobbili Simham Venkatalakshmi Telugu
1995 Maaman Magal Priya Tamil
Oru Oorla Oru Rajakumari Lakshmi Prabha Tamil
Marumagan Manjula Tamil
Coolie Vimala Tamil
Seral Irumboraiyin Tamil Kadhal Tamil
Nadodi Mannan Meenakshi,
Muthu Ranganayaki Tamil
Aalu Magalu Telugu
Chilakapachcha Kaapuram Radha Telugu
Putnanja Rose Kannada
1996 Sengottai Meena Tamil
Avvai Shanmugi Janaki Tamil
1997 Vallal Annam Tamil
Mommaga Kannada
Cheluva Meena Kannada
Porkkaalam Maragatham Tamil
Pasamulla Pandiyare Vellayamma Tamil
Bharathi Kannamma Kannamma Tamil
Varnapakittu Sandra,
Muddula Mogudu Sirisha Telugu
Rakata Chinhichi Nijara Kie Indu Odia
Panjaram Telugu
1998 Ulavuthurai Meena Tamil
Suryavamsam Swapna Telugu
Naam Iruvar Nammaku Iruvar Indu Tamil
Kusruthi Kuruppu Meera Malayalam
Harichandra Nandhini Tamil
Gillikajjalu Satya bhama Telugu
Pape Naa Pranam Priya Telugu
1999 Sneham Kosam Prabhavati Telugu
Periyanna Shenbagam Tamil
Iraniyan Ponni Tamil
Anandha Poongatre Meenakshi Tamil
Olympiyan Anthony Adam Angel Malayalam
Friends Padmini Malayalam
Krishna Babu Rama Telugu
Bobbili Vamsham Telugu
Velugu Needalu Telugu
Unnaruge Naan Irundhal Mahalakshimi (Maha) Tamil
Manam Virumbuthe Unnai Priya Tamil
2000 Vanathai Pola Gowri Muthu Tamil
Palayathu Amman Palayathu Amman Tamil
Vetri Kodi Kattu Valli Muthuraman Tamil
Doubles Meena Tamil
Rhythm Chitra Tamil
Maayi Bhuvaneswari Tamil
Dreams Nirmala Mathan Malayalam
Maa Annayya Wife Telugu
Thenali Meena (herself) Tamil Special appearance
Anbudan Shanthi Tamil Guest appearance
2001 Rishi Indu Tamil
Citizen Sevali Tamil
Sri Manjunatha Goddess Parvathi Kannada
Rakshasa Rajav Meera Malayalam
Ammayi Kosam Anjali Telugu
Shahjahan Meena Tamil Special appearance
Grama Devathe Angala Parameswari Kannada
2002 Angala Parameswari Angala Parameswari Amman Tamil
Dhaya Thulasi Tamil
Simhadriya Simha Kannada
Devan Uma Tamil
Ivan Meena Kumari Tamil
Namma Veetu Kalyanam Meena Tamil
Padai Veetu Amman Padai Veetu Amman,
Muthu Maariamman
Villain Thangam Tamil
2003 Paarai Mallika Tamil
Swathi Muthu Lalitha Kannada
Mr. Brahmachari Ganga Malayalam
Simhachalam Simhachalam's wife Telugu
Game for Love Kannada
2004 Shock Malini Tamil
Puttintiki Ra Chelli Wife Telugu
Anbu Sagotharan Tamil
Bharatasimha Reddy Devudayya's wife Telugu
Swamy Swamy's wife Telugu
Gowdru Parvati Kannada Guest appearance
Aalukkoru Aasai Eshwari Tamil
Natturajavu Maya Malayalam
2005 Mahasadhvi Mallamma Mallamma Kannada
Kannamma Kannamma Tamil
Udayananu Tharam Madhumathi Udayabhanu Malayalam
Chandrolsavam Indulekha Malayalam
2006 My Autograph Divya Kannada Filmfare Award for Best Actress – KannadaNominated
Karutha Pakshikal Suvarnna Malayalam
2007 Kadha Parayumbol Sridevi Balan Malayalam
Black Cat Meenakshi Malayalam
2008 Kuselan Sridevi Balakrishnan Tamil
Kathanayakudu Sreedevi Telugu
Magic Lamp Anupama Malayalam
2009 Mariyadhai Radha Tamil
Katha, Samvidhanam: Kunchacko Ann Mary Malayalam
Vengamamba Tarigonda Vengamamba Telugu
2010 Dasanna Malli Telugu
Hendtheer Darbar Radha Kannada
2011 Thambikottai Shanmugapriya Tamil
2012 Sri Vasavi Vaibhavam Telugu
2013 Sri Jagadguru Aadi Sankara Gangadevi Telugu
Drishyam Rani George Malayalam
2014 Balyakalasakhi Majeed's mother Malayalam
Drushyam Jyothi Telugu
2015 Mama Manchu Alludu Kanchu Suryakantham Telugu
2017 Katha Veendum Parayumbol Sridevi Balan Malayalam
Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol Annyamma Malayalam
2018 Saakshyam Viswa's mother Telugu
2020 Shylock Lakshmi Ayyanar Malayalam
2021 Drishyam 2 Rani George Malayalam [41]
Annaatthe Mangayarkarasi Tamil
Drushyam 2 Jyothi Telugu [42]
2022 Bro Daddy Annamma Malayalam OTT release Disney+ Hotstar
Son of India Dakshayani Telugu
Rowdy Baby Not yet released TBA Tamil Filming [43]
2023 Janamma David Janamma David Malayalam Announced [44]


Year Title Role Language Channel Notes
1990 Anbulla Amma (co-starring with actress Manorama) Shyamala Tamil Doordarshan TV serial
2005 Housefull Show Host Tamil Jaya TV TV show
2006-2008 Lakshmi Lakshmi Tamil Sun TV TV serial
2007 Mastana Mastana season 1 Judge Tamil Sun TV Dance show
2009 Kalyanam Meera/Sujatha Tamil Sun TV TV serial
Tarikonda Venkamamba Tarikonda Venkamamba Telugu SVBC TV TV serial
Boys VS Girls season 2 Judge Tamil Vijay TV Dance show
2011 Jodi Number One Season 5 Special Judge Tamil Vijay TV
2012 Nee Kongu Bangaram Ganu Host Telugu MAA TV TV show
Veera Judge Telugu ETV Dance show
Super Kudumbam Judge Tamil Sun TV TV show
Anubandhalu Sharada Telugu Gemini TV TV serial
2013 Bharthakkanmarude Sradhakku Judge Malayalam Asianet TV show
2014 Super Kutumbam Judge Telugu Gemini TV Dance show
2015 Manada Mayilada season 10 Judge Tamil Kalaignar TV
2016 Dance Dance Special Judge Kannada Star Suvarna
2017 Junior Senior Judge Tamil Zee Tamil Reality show
2017 Ningalkkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran Contestant Malayalam Asianet Game show
2019 Lolluppa Judge Tamil Sun TV TV Programme
Extra Jabardasth Judge Telugu ETV
Karoline Kamakshi Kamakshi Tamil Zee5 Web series
2021 Top Singer Judge Malayalam Flowers TV Music Reality Show
2022 Panam Tharum Padam Contestant Malayalam Mazhavil Manorama

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Awarded for Result Ref.
1991 Cinema Express Awards Best Actress Seetharamayya Gari Manavaralu Won [45]
1992 Nandi Awards Rajeswari Kalyanam Won [46]
1993 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Best Actress Ejamaan Won [9]
1996 Dinakaran Film Awards Best Actress Avvai Shanmugi Won [47]
1997 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Best Actress Porkkaalam Won [9]
1997 Filmfare Awards South Best Actress Bharathi Kannamma Won [48]
1997 Filmfans Association Awards Best Actress Bharathi Kannamma Won [49]
1998 Kalaimamani Awards Kalaimamani Contribution to Tamil Cinema Won [18]
2000 Cinema Express Awards Best Actress Rhythm Won [50]
2002 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Best Actress Ivan Won [51]
2003 Filmfare Awards South Best Kannada Actress Swathi Muthu Won [52]
2006 53rd Filmfare Awards South Best Kannada Actress My Autograph Nominated [53]
2009 Ugadi Puraskar Awards
TSRTV9 Film Awards
Special Jury Award Tarikonda Venkamamba Won [54][55]
2013 Asianet Film Awards
Vayalar Awards
Best Character Actress
Vayalar Film Award for Best Actress
Drishyam Won [56]
2014 TSRTV9 Film Awards TSRTV9 Special Jury Drushyam Won [57]


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External links[edit]