|Years active||1987–1996; 2003–present|
Saranya Ponvannan is an Indian film actress who has predominantly appeared in Tamil language films. Saranya made her debut in a lead role in Mani Ratnam's Nayagan and went on to play lead roles in a few films during the late 1980s. Following an eight-year sabbatical, she returned to feature films as a character artiste, playing supporting roles, particularly playing mother characters to lead artists. For her performances in films including Raam (2005), Thavamai Thavamirundhu (2005), Em Magan (2006) and Kalavani (2010), she has received notable critical praise and several accolades, including four Filmfare Awards for Best Supporting Actress, while her performance in Thenmerku Paruvakaatru fetched her the National Film Award for Best Actress in 2011.
Saranya made her debut in Mani Ratnam's Godfatheresque production, Nayagan opposite Kamal Haasan, in which she performed the lead female character. The film, which went on to become a success, became one of the only few films where she had played the lead female role.
After marriage in 1995, she settled down to domestic bliss, refusing to take up any film offers. In 2000, however, she was offered the lead role in the comedy television series, Veettukku Veedu Lootty, which she has accepted. Subsequently, she decided to accept some good offers, enacting supporting roles. Since then she has appeared in many films in supporting roles most notably Raam, Thavamai Thavamirundhu and Em Magan. Her performance as Veerayi, a widowed mother torn between love and possessiveness, in the 2010 film Thenmerku Paruvakaatru – incidentally her 100th release – ultimately fetched her the National Film Award for Best Actress.
- 2005 – Winner—Best Supporting Actress for Thavamai Thavamirundhu
- 2006 – Winner—Best Supporting Actress for Em Magan
- 2010 – Winner—Best Supporting Actress for Thenmerku Paruvakaatru
- 2012 – Winner—Best Supporting Actress for Neerparavai & Oru Kal Oru Kannadi.
- 2013 – Winner—Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Neerparavai
- 2014 – Winner—Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Velaiyilla Pattathari
|1988||Manasukkul Mathappu||Dr. Seema||Tamil|
|En Jeevan Paduthu||Narmada||Tamil|
|Melam Kottu Thaali Kattu||Tamil|
|1989||Andru Peytha Mazhaiyil||Tamil|
|Ulagam Pirandhadhu Enakkaga||Tamil|
|Aakasha Kottayile Sultan||Mallika||Malayalam|
|Naan Pudicha Mappillai||Tamil|
|Injakkadan Mathai & Sons||Beena||Malayalam|
|Thavamai Thavamirundhu||Saradha Muthiah||Tamil||Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Tamil|
|Oru Naal Oru Kanavu||Meera||Tamil|
|2006||Em Magan||Selvi Thirumalai||Tamil||Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Tamil
Tamil Nadu State Film Best Supporting Actress Award
|Puli Varudhu||Ramesh's Mother||Tamil|
|Ini Varum Kaalam||Tamil|
|2009||Yavarum Nalam||Manohar's Mother||Tamil|
|Magane En Marumagane||Ponnarasi's Mother||Tamil|
|Thambikku Indha Ooru||Kumaraswamy's Wife||Tamil|
|Puli||Telugu||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress - Telugu|
|Naane Ennul Illai||Janaki||Tamil|
|Thenmerku Paruvakaatru||Veerayi||Tamil||National Film Award for Best Actress
Vijay Award for Best Supporting Actress
Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress - Tamil
|2012||Oru Kal Oru Kannadi||Shenbagam Varadharajan||Tamil||Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress - Tamil|
|Chaarulatha||Chaaru & Latha's Mother||Tamil|
|Neerparavai||Mary||Tamil||Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress - Tamil
SIIMA for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
|All in All Azhagu Raja||Meenakshi Muthukrishnan||Tamil|
|2014||Idhu Kathirvelan Kadhal||Yasothammal||Tamil|
|Naan Sigappu Manithan||Indhiran's mother||Tamil|
|Ennamo Nadakkudhu||Vijay's mother||Tamil||Also playback singer|
|Velaiyilla Pattathari||Bhuvana||Tamil||SIIMA for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated —Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress - Tamil
|2016||Bangalore Naatkal||Kannan's mother||Tamil|
|Veera Dheera Sooran||Tamil||Filming|
- "Today's mothers are young: Saranya". The Times Of India. 7 March 2011.
- "Best actor – female: Saranya Ponvannan takes it in her stride – The Times of India". The Times Of India.
- "Back into form with a bang". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 25 November 2006. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- "An actress who plays her roles with aplomb". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 15 December 2005.
- "National Film Awards: Malayalam film `Adaminte Makan Abu' Best feature film, Salim Kumar Best actor". Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "Nominees of Idea Filmfare Awards South". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- In a new avatar soon. The Hindu (29 June 2015). Retrieved on 2016-09-09.