Sheela Christina Raj
26 April 1970
|Occupation||Actress, Model, Fashion Designer, Playback Singer, Director of "DSOFT"|
|Years active||1987–1996 |
|Parent(s)||A. B. Raj (Father)|
Saranya Ponvannan (born 26 April 1970), born 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 (1987) and went on to play lead roles from 1987-1996. Following an eight-year sabbatical, she returned to films as a character actor, specializing in "mother of the hero" roles.
Saranya made her Tamil debut in Mani Ratnam's production Nayakan, as the female lead opposite Kamal Haasan in 1987. She made her first Telugu appearance in 1988 film Neerajanam; her Malayalam debut was a year later in the 1989 film Artham starring opposite Mamooty. In 1996 almost during the end of her career as a lead actress she debuted in Kannada cinema in Appaji.
After marriage in 1995, she semi retired from acting. In 2000 she appeared playing the lead role in the comedy television series, Veettukku Veedu Lootty, and subsequently accepted some supporting roles in other projects. During 2006 she appeared in family-drama serial Mugangal, which aired on Sun TV.
Comeback and critical acclaim
After a break from films she made a comeback in 2003 Tamil film Alai opposite 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 – her 100th release – earned 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 2017, she was one of the highest paid character actresses in the south Indian film industry.
In 2017, she had only three releases. She starred in the sequel of 2014 Tamil film Velaiyilla Pattathari, reprising the role of Bhuvana, in an extended cameo appearance. The character had died in the original film, but the filmmakers wanted her to appear in the sequel, because of her part in the former's success. Her second venture was with Vishnu Vishal in the film Katha Nayagan, playing the mother of Vishnu Vishal. Later she starred in Magalir Mattum, a women-centric film, in which she played alongside Jyothika, Oorvasi and Bhanupriya.
In 2018, she was first seen in comedy-family drama Mannar Vagaiyara as Vemal's mother; her comedy timing was well received, however Itly was 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 although affected by lung cancer, assists her daughter in smuggling cocaine. She signed to reprise the role of Lakshmi in Kalavani 2.
- 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
- 2019 - Winner- Best Supporting Actress for Kolamavu Kokila
- 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
- 2019 – Nominated–Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Kolamavu Kokila
- 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
- JFW Movie Awards
As playback singer
|2014||Ennamo Nadakkudhu||Meesa Kokku||Tamil||Premgi Amaren||Debut as Singer|
|2017||Magalir Mattum||Time Passukkosaram||Tamil||Ghibran||Also lead actor|
|2000-2003||Veetuku Veedu Looty||Jaya TV||Lead role|
|2006-2007||Mugangal||Sun TV||Lead role|
- "Distinguished Alumnae". Womens Christian College. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- "Back into form with a bang". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 25 November 2006. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- Ashok Kumar, S.R. (15 December 2005). "An actress who plays her roles with aplomb". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- Nair, Vidya (14 October 2018). "Screen-mother to Superstar". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- "Best actor – female: Saranya Ponvannan takes it in her stride – The Times of India". The Times Of India. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- Subhakeerthana, S (14 May 2018). "Saranya Ponvannan: Nobody calls me 'madam' on the sets, I'm always their 'Amma'". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- Anantharam, Chitra Deepa (16 October 2017). "Meet the multi-talented Amma". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- Krishnakumar, Ranjani (13 August 2018). "Ms. En Scene: In Praise Of Saranya Ponvannan, The Mother That I Never Had". Silverscreen. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- Subramamian, Anupama (23 December 2016). "Saranya Ponvannan: From adorable mom to angry woman". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- "Kathanayagan review: This Vishnu Vishal film produces intermittent smiles rather than laughs". The Indian Express. 9 September 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
- Kumar, Karthik (14 September 2017). "Magalir Mattum movie review: Not without flaws but a film made with a lot of heart". Hindustan times. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
- Subramanian, Anupama (30 June 2018). "Itly movie review: Potential riotous laugh let down by weak writing". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- "National Film Awards: Malayalam film `Adaminte Makan Abu' Best feature film, Salim Kumar Best actor". Malayalam Movies. 11 June 2011. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- "'I never expected the National Award'". Rediff. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- "Nominees of Idea Filmfare Awards South". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- Dhananjayan, G (2014). PRIDE OF TAMIL CINEMA: 1931 TO 2013. Chennai: Blue Ocean Publishers. p. 511. ISBN 9789384301057.
- 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".