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Sheela in 2017

Sheela Devi
Kanimangalam, Kingdom of Cochin

Year of birth : 1950
Residence Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Nationality  India
Children George

Sheela Devi, known by her stage name Sheela is an Indian film actress who works predominantly in Malayalam cinema. Paired with Prem Nazir, they hold the Guinness World Record for acting in the largest number of films (130) together as heroine and hero.[1][2] In 2005, she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Malayalam film Akale. She was one of the most popular and highest paid actress, reportedly paid more than her male counterparts, of her time.

Early life and family[edit]

Sheela was born in a Syrian Christian family to Railway officer Kanimangalam Antony and Gracy at Thrissur, Kingdom of Cochin (now Kerala). She was brought up in Ooty.[3] Since her father was working with the railways, she was brought up in different places before finally settling down at Chennai. As a result, she had her primary education at various places, including Thrissur, Ooty Tiruchirappalli, Salem, Edappally and St. Francis Girls School, Coimbatore.[4]

she has a son George, who has worked in a few Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films, apart from television. He is currently working as a reputed builder. He is married and has two daughters. Sheela has authored a Malayalam novel named Pathamathe Cheque and has also written a book titled Kuilinte Koodu, apart from many short stories. She is also a painter and an interior designer.

Film career[edit]

Sheela was introduced to theatre at the age of 13 by Tamil actor S. S. Rajendran. She was introduced into the film industry at the age of 13 by MGR in the Tamil film Paasam (1963). M. G. Ramachandran, the hero of the film, added the suffix "Devi" to her name, thus he renamed her "Sheela Devi". She would continue to act in Tamil films with that name. Later, she reverted her name to Sheela, her original name.[5] The same year, she made her Malayalam debut through Bhagyajathakam. The next two decades saw her act in more than 475 films in various languages such as Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and Urdu. Her popular films are Chemmeen, Kallichellamma, Velutha KathreenaAkale, oru penninte kadha, sarsaiya, yakshaganam, kutti kuppayam, sthanarthy saramma, kadathunattu makkan, kannapan unni, jwala, Vazhve Mayam, etc. In Kannapanunni, she plays the role of a powerful yet humane princess forced to marry a poor woodcutter. In Kadathanattu Makkam, she plays the role of a princess who is cheated by her sisters-in-law and false allegations of being in love with a boatman are leveled against her. She and the boatman are both given the death sentence.

In the 70s and 80s, she directed two films Yakshaganom and Shikarangal. She wrote the story and screenplay for Shikharangaland Yakshagaanam, which was also remade in Tamil. Sheela wrote the story and screenplay for Mammooty starrer Onnu Chiriku. Besides films, she has directed a tele-film titled Ninaivukale Neengividu, co-starring Jayabharathi. Her other films include Vishnu Vijayam and Eeta. She retired from the film industry in the 1983 and settled at Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu.[6] After a long sabbatical, she returned to acting, playing a prominent role in Sathyan Anthikkad's Manassinakkare (2003). The same year, she acted in the Tamil film Chandramukhi.

Sheela, along with Prem Nazir, hold the Guinness World Record for acting in the largest number of films (107) together. In 2005, she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress and Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Actress for her role in the Malayalam film Akale. She received the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress thrice in her film career in 1969, 1971 and 1976. She has won awards such as Kerala State Film Awards, the Lux award and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement award. Sheela made an exhibition of her paintings at hotel Le- Meridian in Ernakulam and 93 paintings were sold, most of which was bought by Snehatheeram Baby Mathew and Mr. Ravi Pillai. The amount collected from these paintings were donated as flood relief fund for the people in Chennai.


National Film Awards
Kerala State Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Asianet Film Awards
Other Awards
  • 2007 Lux Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2006 Amrita TV Lifetime Achievement Award






Story, screenplay, and direction[edit]



Shows as host
  • Jeevitham Sakshi (Kairali TV)[8] as presenter
  • Sthree (Asianet News) as presenter
  • Valutha Kathreena (Kairali TV)
As judge
  • Malayali Veetamma(Flowers TV)
  • Ugram Ujjwalam (Mazhavil Manorama)
Other shows
  • Ningalkkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran
  • JB Junction
  • Onnum Onnum Moonnu
  • Laughing Villa
  • Close Encounter
  • Nammude Swantham Karuthammayude Onam
  • Badayi Bunglavu
  • Comedy Super Nite
  • Nere Chovve
  • Ithihasa Nayikakkoppam
  • Thara Raja Thara Rani
  • Lime Light
  • Hello Europe
  • Star Chat
  • Merry Sheela


  • Neenivayukale Neengi Vidu (Story, Screenplay, Direction; Doordarshan)
  • Aayiram Janmangal starring Rajnikanth (written by Sheela)
  • Rusi Kanda Poonai starring Saritha (written by Sheela)


  1. ^ "Records Application Search Longest Screen Partnership". Guinness World Records. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  2. ^ "Comeback queen". The Hindu. 27 May 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2007. 
  3. ^ "മലയാളത്തിന്റെ അഭിനയസൗന്ദര്യം". Mathrubhumi. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Nithyaharitha Nayika". Mangalam Publications. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Comedy Super Nite with Sheela – Full Episode#58". Flowerstv. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "നിത്യഹരിത നായിക ഷീലയ്‌ക്ക് 70 വയസ്‌". Mangalam Publications. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Doing Malayalam proud". The Hindu. 22 July 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2007. 
  8. ^ "Actress Sheela to be a TV anchor – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-01-11. 

External links[edit]