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For the director, see Soundarya Rajinikanth.
Soundarya actress.jpg
Native name ಸೌಮ್ಯ
Born Sowmya Satyanarayan(Munna)
(1972-07-18)18 July 1972
Mulbagal, Kolar, Karnataka, India
Died April 17, 2004(2004-04-17) (aged 31)
Bengaluru, India
Years active 1992–2004
Religion Hinduism
Spouse(s) G. S. Raghu (m.2003-2004)

Soundarya Raghu (born Sowmya Satyanarayan) (18 July 1972 – 17 April 2004) was an Indian film actress and producer known for her works predominantly in Telugu cinema. She was also starred in few Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, and Bollywood films in lead roles. [1]

In 2002, she has received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film (producer) for the Kannada film, Dweepa. She received two Karnataka State Film Awards for Best Actress, several Filmfare Awards South, and the Nandi Awards, for her performances in films, such as Ammoru (1994), Anthapuram (1998), Raja (1999), Dweepa (2002), Aaptamitra (2004).[1][2] During the peak of her career, Soundarya died in an aircraft crash near Bangalore on April 17, 2004 when she was on her way to Andhra Pradesh to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Soundarya, was born to industrialist, and Kannada film writer K. S. Satyanarayan in Kolar, Karnataka, India. She discontinued her M.B.B.S., and then married to G. S. Raghu, who is a Software Engineer. She had unmatched popularity than any of her contempararies and bigtime successes throughout her career making her one of the most successful actresses in the history of telugu cinema. She is compared to legendary actress Savitri and is often called as "Savitri of modern telugu cinema".She died in the 2004 aircraft crash, which happened in Bangalore, during an election campaign.[5]

Early career and Stardom in Telugu Cinema[edit]

She is distinct in multiple ways than a regular heroine due to strictly No-glamour show,wonderful screen presence and above all the strong,positive and responsible characters she enacted in each of her movies.These unique features worked out in her favour and striked a chord with wide base of audience and earned her immense popularity in the states of Andhrapradesh and Telangana.[6]

Her first hit in telugu came in the form of Rajendrudu Gajendrudu in 1993 directed by S.V.Krishna Reddy.She had a decent start with a pair of another releases in the same year.The real commercial recognition came by Hello Brother(1994) starring alongside Nagarjuna and Ramyakrishna.The film became the biggest blockbuster of 1994. Most of her other releases in 1994 had a decent run.In 1995,she had acted in Pedarayudu, a tamil remake of Nattamai alongside Mohanbabu for the first time, and the movie was critically appreciated and highly successful.Following the success,She starred with tollywood's biggest stars Chiranjeevi in Rikshavodu,Venkatesh in Superpolice and Balakrishna in Tophero.The first of these was a superhit but the rest of the two did not do well at the box office. Then she came up with Ammoru,where she played the pivotal role of a selfless devotee to Goddess Ammoru and the film was a big success and it specially showcased her acting skills.She stood ahead with 11 movie releases in 1995.[6] In 1996, Soundarya had another similar critical and commercial success through Pavitra Bandham alongside Venkatesh where she acted as a woman who signs for a contract marriage for supporting her family. Intlo Illalu Vantintlo priyuralu, Ramudochadu and few other releases made a decent run and made Soundarya outperform another versatile actress Ramyakrishna to become the virtual Number One of Telugu Cinema.

Continuous Success,Critical Acclaim and Popularity (1997-2001)[edit]

In 1997,She continued her success with Pelli chesukundam, Maa Aayana Bangaram, Osi na maradala winning acclaims from all over the industry for her performances.She also starred alongside South Indian Superstar Rajinikanth in Arunachalam which made up as the highest grossing film of 1997 in tamil. Soundarya, apart from good performances and growing lady fanfollowing was a bit lucky for the continuous row of successes all long while her rivals faced constant debacles. This stardom made her come out of the shadow of mainstream heroine and chose scripts which had a wide potential of performance even alongsside biggest stars which clearly reflected in her movies.[6] Furthur the critical success of Chudalani Vundi opposite Chiranjeevi in 1998 made her reach the pinnacle of her career.She also starred along Kamal Hassan in Kaathala Kaathala in tamil in the same year.Pelli Peetalu,Sri Ramulayya,Doni Saagali in kannada were commercially highly successful.Anthapuram directed by Krishnavamshi stood as one of the finest performances of Soundarya in her career winning her state Nandi award and also secong consecutive filmfare award.The producers and directors realized Soundarya's ability to be a crowd puller and a biggest plus for the promotion of the movie.Her 1999 release Raja opposite Venkatesh was another blockbuster and won her third filmfare. Her other releases Padayappa opposite Rajinikanth,Azad opposite Nagarjuna,Premaku Velayera and Arundathi furthur solidified her position.In the same year she starred opposite Amitabh Bachchan in Suryavansham.The movie was not successful thus obstructing her to enter the fray of bollywood. [6] In 2000,she starred in yet another commercial success Annayya opposite Chiranjeevi,Jayam Manadera and Deviputrudu opposite Venkatesh, Ninne premista opposite Nagarjuna and several others and went on displaying her acting abilities continuing her successful journey with films like Eduruleni manishi, Sri manjunatha, Narasimha, Pelli peetalu, Dongata, Nagadevatha etc.[6] She had 10 film releases each year most of them in telugu from 1995 to 2001 which reflect her path breaking success. After the entry of budding next generation, she slowed down but even later she went on acting 7 films each year till 2004. Besides being recognized for her talent, her directors and costars describe her as an honest, grounded and a friendly person.[6]

Kannada Cinema and National Film Award[edit]

In 2002, she has received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film (producer) for Dweepa. Her last film was the Kannada film Apthamitra, a run away hit with Vishnuvardhan. This film also won her the Filmfare Award for Best Actress posthumously in 2004.

Other Languages[edit]

Soundarya acted in the Hindi film, Sooryavansham, alongside Amitabh Bachchan. She was also starred in Tamil super hits, such as Arunachalam, Padayappa alongside Rajinikanth, and Kaadhala Kaadhala alongside Kamal Haasan.

Politics and Death[edit]

Soundarya died in an aircraft crash near Bangalore on April 17, 2004 when she was on her way to Andhra Pradesh to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party for the upcoming elections.[3][4][5]


Year Film Language Role Notes
1992 Gandharva Kannada
1992 Baa Nanna Preethisu Kannada
1992 Manavarali Pelli Telugu Soundarya
1993 Nanna Thangi Kannada
1990 Vijaya Kranthi] Kannada
1993 Ponnumani Tamil Chinthamani
1993 Rajendrudu Gajendrudu Telugu Lalitha
1993 Amma Naa Kodala Telugu Neelima
1993 Number One Telugu Soundarya
1993 Mayalodu Telugu Sree
1993 Inspector Jhansi Telugu
1993 Asalae Pellaina Vanni Telugu
1993 Donga Alludu Telugu
1994 Thooguve Krishnana Kannada
1994 Madam Telugu
1994 Hello Brother Telugu Ooha
1994 Allari Premikudu Telugu Jhansi
1994 Top Hero Telugu
1994 Super Police Telugu Bharathi
1994 Priyaragalu Telugu
1995 Amma Donga Telugu
1995 Muthu Kaalai Tamil Poonjolai
1995 Rikshavodu Telugu
1995 Jagadekaveerudu Telugu
1995 Ammoru Telugu Bhavani Nandi Award for Best Actress
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu
Dubbed in Tamil as Amman
1995 Bhale Bullodu Telugu
1995 Amma Naa Kodala Telugu
1995 Peddarayudu Telugu
1995 Chilakapacha Kapuram Telugu
1995 Raja Simham Telugu
1995 Vetagadu Telugu
1995 Balaraju Bangaru Pellam Telugu
1996 Pavithra Bandham Telugu Radha Nandi Award for Best Actress
1996 Maa Voori Maraju Telugu
1996 Ramudochadu Telugu
1996 Intlo Illalu Vantintlo Priyuralu Telugu Seeta
1996 Puttinti Gowravam Telugu
1996 Maa Inti Adapadachu Telugu
1996 Sipayi Kannada
1996 Senathipathi Tamil Aishwarya
1996 Prema Pranayam Telugu
1997 Pellichesukundam Telugu Shanti
1997 Adirindi Guru Telugu
1997 Taraka Ramudu Telugu
1997 Maa Aayana Bangaram Telugu
1997 Oosi Na Maradala Telugu
1997 Aaro Pranam Telugu
1997 Arunachalam Tamil Vedhavalli
1998 Choodalani Vundi Telugu Padmavathi
1998 Pelli Peetalu Telugu
1998 Sri Ramulayya Telugu
1998 Sooryudu Telugu
1998 Doni Saagali Kannada Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress
1998 Anthapuram Telugu Bhanumati Nandi Award for Best Actress
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu
1998 Jagadeka Veerudu Telugu
1998 Thambulalu Telugu
1998 Dongata Telugu
1998 Subha Vaartha Telugu
1998 Rayudu Telugu
1998 Kaathala Kaathala Tamil Sundari
1999 Raja Telugu Anjali Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu
1999 Aryabhata Kannada
1999 Anaganaga O Ammayi Telugu
1999 Arundhati Telugu
1999 Premaku Velayara Telugu Madhavi and Malathi
1999 Manavudu Danavudu Telugu
1999 Padayappa Tamil Vasundra
1999 Naanu Nanna Hendthiru Kannada
1999 Sooryavansham Hindi Radha Singh
1999 Mayadari Mosagadu Telugu
2000 Annayya Telugu Devi
2000 Jayam Manade Raa Telugu Uma
2000 Azad Telugu Anjali
2000 Devi Putrudu Telugu
2000 Ninne Premistha Telugu
2000 Moodu Mukkalata Telugu
2000 Ravanna Telugu
2000 Mannavaru Chinnavaru Tamil
2000 Naga Devatha Kannada/Telugu
2000 Postman Telugu
2001 Sri Manjunatha Kannada/Telugu Katyayini
2001 Eduruleni Manishi Telugu
2001 Sarduku Podam Randi Telugu
2001 Naa Manasisthaa Raa Telugu
2001 9 Nelalu Telugu Savitri
2001 Adhipati Telugu
2001 Eshwar Allah Telugu
2001 Pedamma Talli Telugu
2001 Thavasi Tamil Priyadarshini
2001 Kalisi Naduddam Telugu
2002 Kondaveeti Simhasanam Telugu
2002 Premaku Swagatham Telugu
2002 Yathrakarude Sradhakku Malayalam Jyothi
2002 Gelupu Telugu
2002 Ivan Tamil Dikshanya
2003 Chokka Thangam Tamil
2003 Prema Donga Telugu
2003 Seethayya Telugu
2003 Kilichundan Mampazham Malayalam Amina
2003 Dweepa Kannada Nagi Also as Producer
National Film Award for Best Feature Film
Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Kannada
Filmfare Award for Best Film – Kannada
2004 Shiva Shankar Telugu Posthumously released
2004 Shwetha Naga Kannada / Telugu Posthumously released
2004 Madhumathi Tamil
2004 Apthamitra Kannada Ganga / Nagavalli Posthumously released
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Kannada


  1. ^ a b Pandya, Haresh (2004-05-10). "Soundarya". Online edition (The Guardian). Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  2. ^ "International Film Festival of India-2002". 2002-09-26. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  3. ^ a b "Indian Actress Soundarya Dies in Plane Crash". online edition (Voice of America news). 2004-04-17. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  4. ^ a b Hemant Raj, Ashwin (2005-04-17). "Soundarya dies in plane crash". Online edition (Times of India). Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  5. ^ a b Press Trust of India (2004-04-17). "Soundarya killed in plane crash. its a tragedy". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Kumar, Ch Sushil (1998-03-28). "Child, woman, star". Interview ( Retrieved 2009-06-20. 

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