Sheela Christina Raj|
25 April 1970
Allappuzha, Kerala, India
|Residence||Chennai, Tamil Nadu|
|Occupation||Actress, Model, Fashion Designer, Playback Singer, Director of "DSOFT"|
|Spouse(s)||Ponvannan (m. 1995–present)|
|Parent(s)||A. B. Raj (Father)|
Saranya Ponvannan (born April 1970), also known as Sheela Christina Raj, is a popular South Indian film actress who has predominantly appeared in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam language films and a few Kannada language films. Saranya made her debut in a lead role in Mani Ratnam's Nayakan and went on to play lead roles from 1987-1996. After her marriage in 1995, she refused to take up any film offers. Following an eight-year sabbatical, she made comeback in 2003 as a character artiste, playing supporting roles, particularly playing mother roles lead artists.
Saranya made her Tamil debut in Mani Ratnam's Godfatheresque production, Nayakan opposite Kamal Haasan in 1987, in which she performed the lead female character. The film, which went on to become a huge success.
She made her Telugu debut through 1988 film "Neerajanam".
In 1996 almost during the end of her career as a lead actress she debuted in Kannada cinema through Appaji
It must be noted that in her early career she turned down several film offers owing to glamourous roles, which ultimately lead to loss of many film offers.
After marriage in 1995, she refused 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. She then appeared in another seriel named Mugangal, a family-drama in 2006 which aired in Sun TV.
Comeback & Success:
After a long break from acting she made a comeback in 2003 Tamil film Alai opposite to Raghuvaran as Silambarasan 's mother Since then she has appeared in many films in supporting roles most notably Raam, Thavamai Thavamirundhu and Em Magan in the mid-2000s.
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.
Her major breakthrough was 2005 Tamil film Thavamai Thavamirundhu after which she established herself as a prominent and leading actress in south India.
As of 2014 she was the only actress to be paid highest salary for playing mother roles in south Indian film industry.
Apart from her usual mother roles, she has also played Negative role in the film Achamindri(2016).
She has made her mark as the Amma of Kollywood, predominantly playing mother roles with élan.
Present Career (2017–present):
In 2017, She only had three releases. First she starred in the sequel of 2014 Tamil film Velaiyilla Pattathari. She respired the role of Bhuvana, but this time, an extended cameo appearance. Her role died in the first sequel of the film. Yet the film makers made her to appear in this film, because of her part in the former's success. Her second venture was with Vishnu Vishal in the film Katha Nayagan . She played the mother role of Vishnu Vishal. In 2017 she starred in Magalir Mattum, women-centric film, in which she played lead role along side Jyothika, Oorvasi and Bhanupriya. In 2018, she was first seen in comedy-family drama Mannar Vagaiyara as Vemal's mother. Her humor was much received in the film. Her long delayed project Itly was also released and opened to negative reviews. Later she was seen in Vijay Sethupathi's Junga and Nayanthara's Kolamavu Kokila as the mother of Kokila who was affected by lung cancer and accompany her daughters in summugling cocaine. Her upcoming films include 1 Malayalam and 3 tamil movies. She signed a malayalam movie after a break of 10 years. Recently, she signed to respire the role of Lakshmi in the sequel of 'Kalavani'.
Saranya is the daughter of famous Malayalam film director A. B. Raj who had directed over 75 films starring big stars.He had also directed 2 Tamil films. She is married to actor-director Ponvannan in 1995. The couple have 2 daughters - Priyadharshini and Chandhini.
- 2005 – Winner—Best Supporting Actress for Thavamai Thavamirundhu
- 2006 – Winner—Best Supporting Actress for Em Magan
- 2010 – Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress - Telugu for Puli
- 2011 – Winner—Best Supporting Actress for Thenmerku Paruvakaatru
- 2012 – Winner—Best Supporting Actress for Neerparavai
- 2014 – Nominated–Best Supporting Actress - Tamil for Velaiyilla Pattathari
- 2016 – Nominated–Best Supporting Actress - Tamil for Kodi
- 2013 – Winner—Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Neerparavai
- 2014 – Nominated–Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Kutti Puli
- 2015 – Winner—Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Velaiyilla Pattathari
- 2010 – Winner–Best Supporting Actress for Kalavani
- 2014 – Winner–Best Supporting Actress for Ennamo Nadakkudhu & Velaiyilla Pattathari
- 2011 – Winner—Best Supporting Actress for Thenmerku Paruvakaatru
- 2013 - Nominated—Best Supporting Actress for Oru Kal Oru Kannadi
- 2015 – Nominated–Best Supporting Actress for Velaiyilla Pattathari
- 2011 - Winner-Best Supporting Actress for Thenmerku Paruvakaatru
- 2013 - Winner-Best Supporting Actress for Oru Kal Oru Kannadi
- 2014 - Nominated-Best Supporting Actress forVelaiyilla Pattathari
- JFW Awards
- 2014 - Women Achiever of the year
|En Jeevan Paduthu||Narmada||Tamil|
|Melam Kottu Thaali Kattu||Tamil|
|1989||Andru Peytha Mazhaiyil||Preethi||Tamil|
|Ulagam Pirandhadhu Enakkaga||Tamil|
|Aakasha Kottayile Sultan||Mallika||Malayalam|
|Naan Pudicha Mappillai||Tamil|
|Injakkadan Mathai & Sons||Beena||Malayalam|
|Arul||Mrs.Thiruppathi/Arul 's sister||Tamil|
|Thavamai Thavamirundhu||Saradha Muthiah||Tamil||◆Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Tamil|
|Oru Naal Oru Kanavu||Meera||Tamil|
|2006||Em Magan||Selvi||Tamil||◆Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Tamil|
◆Tamil Nadu State Film Best Supporting Actress Award
|Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam||Thiru's mother||Tamil|
|Vel||Velu's & Vasu's Mother||Tamil|
|Puli Varudhu||Ramesh's Mother||Tamil|
|Kuruvi||Devi's sister-in-law /Koccha's Wife||Tamil|
|Ini Varum Kaalam||Tamil|
|2009||Yavarum Nalam||Manohar's Mother||Tamil|
|Kalavani||Lakshmi Ramasamy||Tamil||◆Ananda Vikatan Awards for Best Supporting Actress|
|Guru Sishyan||Mahalakshmi||Tamil||Lead role|
|Magane En Marumagane||Ponnarasi's Mother||Tamil|
|Thambikku Indha Ooru||Mrs.Kumaraswamy||Tamil|
|Puli||Puli's mother||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
◆Norway Tamil Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Actress
◆Edison Award for Best Supporting Actress
|Vaanam||Lakshmi||Tamil||Lead role ( remake of her Telugu film Vedam)|
|2012||Oru Kal Oru Kannadi||Shenbagam||Tamil||◆Norway Tamil Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Actress|
◆Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress - Tamil
◆Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Supporting Actress
|Chaarulatha||Chaaru & Latha's Mother||Tamil|
|Neerparavai||Mary||Tamil||◆Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress - Tamil|
◆SIIMA for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
|Kutti Puli||Deivanai||Tamil||◆Nominated, SIIMA for Best Actress in a Supporting Role|
|All in All Azhagu Raja||Meenakshi||Tamil|
|2014||Idhu Kathirvelan Kadhal||Yasothammal||Tamil|
|Naan Sigappu Manithan||Indhiran's mother||Tamil|
|Ennamo Nadakkudhu||Vijay's mother||Tamil||◆Ananda Vikatan Awards for Best Supporting Actress|
|Velaiyilla Pattathari||Bhuvana||Tamil||◆SIIMA for Best Supporting Actress Tamil|
◆Ananda Vikatan Awards for Best Supporting Actress
|2016||Bangalore Naatkal||Kannan's mother||Tamil|
|Remo||Siva's & Remo's mother||Tamil|
|Kodi||Kodi's & Anbu's mother||Tamil||◆Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress - Tamil|
|2017||Velaiyilla Pattathari 2||Bhuvana||Tamil||Extended Cameo|
|Katha Nayagan||Thambidurai's mother||Tamil|
|Magalir Mattum||Subbulakshmi||Tamil||Lead role|
|Junga||Junga's mother/ Don amma||Tamil|
|Marainthirunthu Paarkum Marmam Enna||Japan's mother||Tamil||Lead role|
|Kolamavu Kokila||Kokila's mother||Tamil|
|Oru Kuprasidha Payyan||Malayalam||Filming|
As playback singer
|2014||Ennamo Nadakkudhu||Meesa Kokku||Tamil||Premgi Amaren||Debut as Singer|
|2017||Magalir Mattum||Time Passukkosaram||Tamil||Ghibran||Also lead actor|
In 2014, she launched Design & School of Fashion Technology (DSOFT), a fashion institute at Virugamakkam, Chennai at her residence. In most of her interviews she said that designing was her passion. She herself trained a number of students and housewives. She always told that all women must be self supportive and independent of their actions.
|2000-2003||Veetuku Veedu Looty||Jaya TV||Lead role|
|2006-2007||Mugangal||Sun TV||Lead role|
- "Distinguished Alumnae", WCC
- "Today's mothers are young: Saranya". The Times Of India. 7 March 2011.
- "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.
- "Best actor – female: Saranya Ponvannan takes it in her stride – The Times of India". The Times Of India.
- "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.
- Rinku, Gupta (25 October 2013). "Saranya croons for Ennamo Nadakuthu". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- quintdaily (11 August 2017). "VIP 2 Review: Velaiilla Pattadhari 2 Theatrical Response & Rating – QuintDaily".