23 September 1962
|Died||1 May 1980
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Other names||Shoba Mahendra, Urvashi Shoba, Baby Mahalakshmi, Baby Shoba|
|Years active||1966–1971, 1977–1980|
|Spouse(s)||Balu Mahendra (1978–1980) her death|
|Parent(s)||K. P. Menon (Father)
Shobha (23 September 1962 – 1 May 1980) was a South Indian film actress. She started her career as a child artist in the Tamil film Thattungal Thirakkappadum. Her first film as a heroine was Utrada Raatri. Shobha's real name was Mahalakshmi. She won the National Film Award for Best Actress for her role in the Tamil film Pasi at the age of 17.
In 1966, Shoba made her screen debut in Tamil Thriller film Thattungal Thirakkappadum directed by actor J. P. Chandrababu. In the film she was credited as Baby Mahalakshmi where she played the role of Lakshmi opposite actress Savitri, K. R. Vijaya, R. S. Manohar and Chandrababu himself. The following year she made her debut in Malayalam cinema through Udhyogastha by P. Venu where she was named as Baby Shoba. Touted as the first "multi-starrer", with five top actors, in Malayalam cinema, the film had Sathyan, Prem Nazir, K. P. Ummer, Padmini, Sharada, Sheela and Rajasree in the lead along with Shobha. The film was a big hit and gained Shoba recognition as a child actor in South Indian cinema.
In 1978 she was cast as a heroine in Uthradarathri, a film directed by Balachandra Menon. She received the Kerala government's Best Actress award for the 1978 films Bandhanam and Ente Neelakasam. The same year she earned the Best Actress award by Filmfare for the Kannada-language film Aparichita. In 1979 she was recipient of the National Award for Best Actress for the Tamil film Pasi, which was produced by Lalitha, the eldest of the Travancore sisters. She also received the Filmfare Best Actress award for Pasi and received the Second Best Actress award from the Kerala government in 1977 for the film Ormakal Marikkumo.
Shobha committed suicide at the age of 17. She was married to Balu Mahendra. In an interview to Anu Haasan in Koffee with Anu, Balu Mahendra has said that the tragedy of how Shoba was suddenly snatched away from his life by destiny, as quickly as she came, formed the plot for his next movie Moondram Pirai. The 1983 Malayalam film Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback directed by K. G. George is loosely based on her life and death.
- Jeevitha Yathra (1965)
- Karuna (1966)
- Penmakkal (1966)
- Ollathu Mathi (1967)
- Pareeksha (1967)
- Kadal (1968)
- Adyapika (1968)
- Aparadhini (1968)
- Kuruthikkalam (1969)
- Vettamrigam (1969)
- Udhyogastha (1967) – child artist
- Aval Alpam Vaikipoyi (1971)
- Yogammullaval (1971)
- Sindooracheppu (1971) .... Ammalu
- Makane Ninakku Vendi (1971)...Young Sophia
- Taxi Car (1972)
- Gandharavakshetram (1972)....Young Lakshmi
- Aradimanninte Janmi (1972).... Minikutty
- Udayam (1973)... Young Geetha
- Badradeepam (1973)... Lekha
- Ayalathe Sundari (1974).... Shobha
- Night Duty (1974).... Ammini
- Ayodhya (1975).... Shanthi
- Chottanikkara Amma (1976)
- Amruthavahini (1976) .... Rani
- Dweep (1977)
- Ormakal Marikkumo (1977)....Ammini/Parvathi
- Nurayum Pathayum (1977)
- Rajaparambara (1977)
- Padasaram (1978) .... Shoba
- Randu Penkuttikal (1978)
- Wayanadan Thampan (1978)
- Utradaraatri (1978)
- Ulkkadal (1978)
- Ekakini (1978)
- Bandhanam (1978)
- Lillyppookkal (1979)
- Ishta Praneshwari (1979)
- Ente Neelakasham (1979)
- 'Shalini Ente Koottukaari (1980)
- Daliapookkal (1980)
- Aniyatha Valakal (1980)
- Soorya Daham (1980)
- Yovvanam Daham (1980)
- Manju Moodal Manju (1980)
- Thattungal Thirakkappadum (1966) – child artist
- Achani (1978)
- Nizhal Nijamagiradhu (1978)
- Oru Veedu Oru Ulagam (1978)
- Mullum Malarum (1978)
- Veetuku Veedu Vasappadi (1979)
- Oru Vidukathai Oru Thodarkathai (1979)
- Eani Padigal (1979)
- Pasi (1979)
- Azhiyadha Kolangal (1979)
- Agal Vilakku (1979)
- Chakkalathi (1979)
- Veli Thandiya Velladu (1980)
- Moodu Pani (1980)
- Ponnagaram (1980)
- Samandhippoo (1980)
- Anbulla Athan (1981)
- Tharam Marindi (1977)
- Manavoori Pandavulu (1978)
- 1978 – Filmfare Best Kannada Actress Award for Aparichita
- 1979 – Filmfare Best Tamil Actress Award for Pasi
- 1971 – Best Female Child Artist for Yogammullaval and Aval Alpam Vaikippoyi
- 1977 – Second Best Actress for Ormakal Marikkumo
- 1978 – Best Actress for Ente Neelakasham
- United Press International (2 May 1980). "All the city is a stage". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "The agony and ecstasy of being – Chandrababu". Southside. 2007. Archived from the original on 19 May 2008.
- Randor Guy (2 October 2009). "A voice that mesmerised". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- Special Correspondent (26 May 2011). "Film director P. Venu dead". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 8 August 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "P Venu dies of heart attack in Chennai". Oneindia.in. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- S. R. Ashok Kumar (3 May 2002). "It's a heavy price to pay". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "A story on suicides and actresses". Behindwoods.com. 4 January 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "Why South Indian heroines are embracing death". Mid Day. 20 April 2002. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- S. R., Ashok Kumar (3 May 2002). "It's a heavy price to pay". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- Sindooracheppu (1971)
- Naturalism was his signature
- Kokila was Balu’s first as director
- Balu Mahendra (1939–2014)
- It's a heavy price to pay