24 January 1971|
|Died||5 December 1992
Monisha was only 16 years old when she won the National Film Award for Best Actress for her debut film, Nakhakshathangal (1986). This made her the youngest recipient of the National Film Award for Best Actress. Along with Sharada, Shobhana and Meera Jasmine, Monisha Unni is one of four Malayalam actresses who has won the National Film Award for Best Actress.
She died in a car accident near Cherthala, Alappuzha at the age of 21. In her short career spanning 6 – 7 years, Monisha collaborated with renowned directors such as MT Vasudevan Nair, Hariharan, Priyadarshan, Ajayan, Kamal and Sibi Malayil.
Monisha Unni was born at Panniyankara, Kozhikode in 1971 to Narayanan Unni and Sreedevi Unni.Narayanan Unni hailed from Shornur and was in the leather business in Bangalore, where Monisha Unni was brought up. Sreedevi Unni is a classical dancer trained in Mohiniattam. Monisha Unni started to learn dance during her childhood did her first stage performance when she was nine years old. She won the Kaushika Award in the Karnataka state-level Mohiniyattam competition in 1985. She completed her schooling at St. Charles High School, Bangalore and Bishop Cotton Girls School, Bangalore. She completed her graduation in psychology at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She has an elder brother Sajith Unni.
Monisha Unni was working on the Malayalam film Cheppadividya when she died in a car accident. On 5 December 1992, car carrying Unni and her mother Sreedevi Unni met with an accident near Cherthala in Alappuzha. While her mother escaped with fractures and bruises, Unni succumbed to injuries. Her mother Sreedevi Unni has acted in films such as Kadavu, Oru Cheru Punchiri, Mayookham, Bus Conductor, Nivedyam, Neelathamara, Elsamma Enna Aankutty, Pattinte Palazhi, Katha Thudarunnu, Ordinary, Diamond Necklace, Mumbai Police, Sringara Velan,Namboothiri Yuvavu @ 43, To Noora with Love, 7th Day, Buddy, Silence, Cousins, She Taxi etc. and recently did a television serial named Sarayu which was telecasted on Surya TV.She has acted in some advertisements and an album named Ammakkai also.She has attended many talk shows and judged some dance competitions also.
Noted Malayalam novelist MT Vasudevan Nair, who is also a screenwriter and film director, was a family friend of the Unnis. M.T was responsible for Monisha Unni's entry into films. She made her debut in Nakhakshathangal (1986), which was written by MT Vasudevan Nair and directed by Hariharan. The film portrayed a love triangle involving three teenagers. Unni's portrayal of Gowri, the film's female protagonist, won her the National Film Award for Best Actress in 1987.
Monisha Unni is also known for her roles in Malayalam films such as Perumthachan (1990), Kadavu (1991) and Kamaladalam (1992). She also acted in the Tamil films such as Pookkal Vidum Ithal (a remake of Nakhashathangal), Unna Nenachen Pattu Padichen, and Dravidan, and in the Kannada film Chiranjeevi Sudhakara (1988). She has also acted in a Telugu movie Lawyer Bharathi Devi (1987).
|1984||Paavayya||Tamil||A 16mm B/W Tamil Short Film Directed by U.S.Vaasan (Based on VILAIVU - a Short Story by K.I.Rajanarayanan)|
|1986||Nakhakshathangal||Gowri||Malayalam||National Film Award for Best Actress. Written by MT Vasudevan Nair and directed by Hariharan.|
|1987||Pookkal Vidum Thoothu||Tamil||First film in Tamil Directed by Sreedhar Rajan|
|1987||Lawyer Bharathi Devi||Leela||Telugu||First Telugu Film Directed by G Rammohan Rao|
|1988||Aryan||Sainabha||Malayalam||Written by T Damodaran and directed by Priyadarshan|
|1989||Dravidan||Tamil||Remake of Aryan (1988) by R Kirshnamoorthy|
|1989||Adhipan||Geetha||Malayalam||Written by Jagadeesh and directed by K Madhu|
|1990||Kuruppinte Kanakku Pustakom||Sathi||Malayalam|
|1990||Veena Meettiya Vilangukal||Sridevi||Malayalam|
|1990||Perumthachan||Kunhikkavu Thamburatti||Malayalam||Written by MT Vasudevan Nair and directed by Ajayan. The film won National Film Award for Best First Film of a Director.|
|1991||Kadavu||Devi||Malayalam||A film by MT Vasudevan Nair based on Kadathuthoni by SK Pottekkatt. The film won Special Jury Award at Singapore International Film Festival, Grand Prix at Japanese Film Festival, National Film Award for Best Screenplay and Kerala State Film Award for Best Film.|
|1992||Unna Nenachen Pattu Padichen||Dhanam||Tamil|
|1992||Thalastaanam||Radha||Malayalam||Written by Renji Panicker and directed by Shaji Kailas|
|1992||Oru Kochu Bhoomikulukkam||Viji||Malayalam||Directed by P Chandrashekhar|
|1992||Kamaladalam||Malavika||Malayalam||Wriiten by AK Lohithadas and directed by Sibi Malayil|
|1992||Champakulam Thachan||Ammu||Malayalam||Written by Sreenivasan and directed by Kamal|
|1992||Cheppadividya||Elsa||Malayalam||Directed by GS Vijayan|
|1993||Moondravadhu Kann||Priya||Tamil||Directed by Manivannan|
- "Monisha Biography". entertainment.oneindia.in. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 24 Jan 2013.
- National Best Actress Award for Nakhashathangal – IMDB Page
- Weblokam Profile of Monisha. Weblokam.com. Retrieved on 2012-11-20.