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Soundarya actress.jpg
Native name ಸೌಂದರ್ಯ
Born K.S. Sowmya Satyanarayan
(1976-07-18)18 July 1976[1][2]
Mulbagal, Kolar, Karnataka, India
Died 17 April 2004(2004-04-17) (aged 27)
Bengaluru, India
Cause of death Aircraft crash
Years active 1992–2004
Spouse(s) G. S. Raghu (m.2003-2004)
  • K.S. Satyanarayan (father)
  • Manjula Satyanarayan (mother)

Soundarya Raghu (Kannada: ಸೌಂದರ್ಯ) (18 July 1976 – 17 April 2004)[2] was an Indian multilingual actress and producer who predominantly worked in Telugu cinema besides Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi films in lead roles.[3]

In 2002, she received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film as 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) and Aaptamitra (2004).[3][4] At the peak of her career, Soundarya died in an aircraft crash near Bangalore on 17 April 2004, when she was on her way to Andhra Pradesh to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party.[5][6] Soundarya's first movie was the Kannada movie Gandharva in 1992, produced and directed by Hamsalekha. In the same year, she entered Telugu movies ("Tollywood") through the movie Raithu Bharatham opposite Krishna.

Personal life[edit]

Soundarya was born to industrialist and Kannada film writer-producer K. S. Satyanarayan. She discontinued her M.B.B.S. first year in Bangalore. She married G. S. Raghu who is a childhood friend and a Software Engineer. She had wide popularity and tremendous goodwill among Andhra Pradesh, Telangana ,Tamilnadu and is probably the most successful actress after Mahanati Savitri in the history of Telugu cinema and is often called the "Savitri of modern Telugu cinema". She died in 2004 aircraft crash along with her brother Amarnath in Bangalore during an election campaign.[7]

Early career[edit]

Soundarya's first movie was the Kannada film Gandharva in 1992. Then in the same year, she acted in the Telugu movie Raithu Bharatham, opposite superstar Krishna, directed by Tripuraneni Sriprasad alias Varaprasad. She made more than 120 movies, predominantly in Telugu, in a span of 12 years. Telugu actor Venkatesh once described her as "a thorough actress" of Indian cinema.[8] Tamil actor Kamalahassan paid tribute by revealing that "she came forward to do the movie, when the rest of the industry was unwilling to work with me".5

She'd started off hoping to be a doctor but ended up an actress. She began with insignificant roles in Kannada, her mother tongue, and went on to become the most popular actress in Telugu films. In her first hit in Telugu, in 1993, she acted in the leading role alongside Rajendra Prasad in Rajendrudu Gajendrudu, directed by S.V. Krishna Reddy.[citation needed] The real commercial recognition came with Hello Brother (1994), directed by commercial director E.V.V Satyanarayana, in which she starred alongside Nagarjuna and Ramya Krishna.[citation needed] She had an award-winning role in Ammoru, directed by Kodi Ramakrishna. She starred alongside Ramya Krishna and Suresh where she played the role of Bhavani, a devotee of Goddess Ammoru. She had eleven movie releases in 1995.[8] In Tamil, she was introduced by Ammoru dubbing as Amman. She got major acclaim with Ponnumani, starring with Karthik and Sivakumar. She played the role of a mentally disabled person and received good reviews for her acting.

Continuous success, critical acclaim and popularity (1995–2002)[edit]

According to Mughal D. Ramanaidu, the "Most Beautiful Pairs of Telugu cinema" are NTR and Savitri, ANR and Vanisri, Chiranjeevi and Vijayashanti and Daggubati Venkatesh and Soundarya.

In 1997, she continued her success with Pelli Chesukundam, Pavitra Bandam, Amma Donga, Maa Aayana Bangaram, Osi Na Maradala and Aaro Pranam, winning acclaim from all over the industry for her performances. She also starred alongside South Indian superstar Rajinikanth in Arunachalam, which became the highest-grossing film of 1997 in Tamil cinema. This stardom made her come out of the shadow of mainstream heroines and she chose scripts which had a wide potential of performance even alongside big stars which was clearly reflected in her movies.. Though the industry regarded her to be the golden hand, as a former director's daughter, she always regarded the success not as a one-man show, but the teamwork between 36 departments.[8]

Furthermore, the critical success of Chudalani Vundi, directed by Gunashekar, opposite Chiranjeevi in 1998 made her reach the pinnacle of her cinema career. She also starred along Kamal Haasan and Prabhudeva in Kaathala Kaathala in Tamil in the same year, dubbed in Telugu as Navvandi Lavvandi, directed by Singeetam Srinivas. Pelli Peetalu and Sri Ramulayya, Ninne Premista in Telugu and 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 a State Nandi Award for Best Actress and also her second consecutive Filmfare Award for Best Actress. The producers and directors realized Soundarya's ability to be a crowd puller and the biggest plus for the promotion of the movie. Her 1999 release Raja, opposite Venkatesh, was another blockbuster and won her her third Filmfare Award. Her other releases, Padayappa opposite Rajinikanth, Azad opposite Nagarjuna and Premaku Velayera, Premaku Swagatam and Arundathi further solidified her position. In the same year, she starred opposite Amitabh Bachchan in Sooryavansham, which was one of the few failures of her career, and prevented her from entering into the Bollywood business.[8]

In 2000, she starred in yet another commercial success, Annayya, opposite Chiranjeevi, Jayam Manadera and Deviputrudu, opposite Venkatesh, Ninne premista, opposite Nagarjuna and Srikanth and several others and went on displaying her acting abilities, continuing her successful journey with films such as Eduruleni Manishi and Sri Manjunatha, opposite Chiranjeevi, Arjun Sarja, Ambareesh and Sumalatha and Narasimha, opposite Rajinikanth and Ramyakrishna, Pelli peetalu, Dongata and Nagadevatha.[8]

She has also given special songs in a few movies. alongside Akkineni Nageswara Rao in Mayabazar, directed by Dasari Narayana Rao, In Adhipathi, alongside Akkineni Nagarjuna and in Shubalagnam, alongside Ali Also. She had about 10 film releases each year, most of them in Telugu, from 1993 to 2001, which reflects her path-breaking success. After the entry of the budding next generation, she slowed down, but even later she went on acting in eight films each year till 2004. She has never been proud about stardom, she has been recognized for her super talent, her directors and costars describe her as an honest, grounded and friendly person.[8]

During the period, Balakrishna is announced plans to act and direct in the remake of Nartanasala, and a launch event was held in Hyderabad during March 2003. Soundarya was signed to play Draupadi.[9] The remake was shelved later due to the death of Soundarya in an flight accident.

She worked with almost all the top Directors of Film Industry's like Dasari Narayana Rao, K. Raghavendra Rao, Singeetam Srinivasa Rao, A. Kodandarami Reddy, Priyadarshan, Girish Kasaravalli, S.V. Krishna Reddy, K.S.Ravikumar, Krishna Vamsi, Kodi Ramakrishna, E. V. V. Satyanarayana, Muthyala Subbaiah, Gunasekhar, P.Vasu, Muppalaneni Shiva, Bharathi Kannan, Sundar C. and many more.

She starred along with many actors such as megastar super-star Krishna for 5 movies, Chiranjeevi for 4 in Telugu and 1 in Kannada movies, Balakrishna in only one movie, Nagarjuna for 5 movies, Venkatesh for 8 movies, Jagapathi Babu for 7 movies, Mohan Babu for 5 movies, Rajashekar for 5 movies, Suman for 3 movies, Harikrishna for 2 movies, Srikanth, Saikumar for 5 movies and Rajendra Prasad for 4 movies and has given films with all heroes such as Vinod Kumar, Naresh, Suresh, Harish, Abbas, Vineeth, Vadde Navven, Ramesh Babu, Avinash, Bhanu Chander and J.D. Chakravarthy.[8]

In Tamil, she also collaborated with superstar Rajinikanth for 3 movies, Kamal Hassan for one movie, Karthik for 3 movies, Arjun Sarja for 4 movies, Vijaykanth for 3 movies, Parthiban for 3 movies,and along with chiyaan vikram , Anand ,Rehman, etc. and also she shared screen with Shivaji Ganesan in Padayappa[8]

Kannada Cinema[edit]

In Kannada movies, she has acted with Vishunuvardhan, Anant Nag, Ravichandran, Shashikumar, Ramesh Arvind and Avinash. In 1996, she acted in the musical blockbuster Sipayi, along with Ravichandran and Chiranjeevi, dubbed in Telugu as Major. In 2002, she received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film (producer) for Dweepa. She also acted beside Ambareesh in Sri Manjunatha. Her last film was the Kannada film Apthamitra, a runaway hit with Vishnuvardhan. The film 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 Kollywood super-hits such as Arunachalam and Padayappa, alongside Rajinikanth and Kaadhala Kaadhala, alongside Kamal Haasan. She acted in Mollywood as female lead in Kilichundan Mambhazham, with Mohanlal and Sreenivasan. And also with Jayaram in Yathrakarude Shradaykku in 2002, which was her first movie in Malayalam.

Politics and accidental death[edit]

Soundarya joined in Bharatiya Janata Party in the year 2004. Vijayashanti (joined in 1998) and Soundarya are star actresses to host the meetings of Lal Krishna Advani in Nirmal and Adilabad.[10] Soundarya and her brother Amarnath died in an aircraft crash near Bangalore on 17 April 2004, when she was on her way to Karimnagar to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party and Telugu Desam Party candidate for the upcoming elections. She was 5 months pregnant when she died.[5][6][7] The aircraft took off at 11:05 a.m. and turned in a westerly direction before crashing on the campus of the Gandhi Krishi Vigyan Kendra of the University of Agricultural Sciences. It had reached only a height of 100 feet before it crashed and burst into flames. B.N. Ganapathi, one of the two persons working on the experimental fields of the university, who rushed to the aircraft to save the occupants, said the plane wobbled before the crash.

Social reforms[edit]

Before death, only Soundarya started 3 schools for orphan children in Bangalore in the name of her father, after Soundarya's death, her mother Manjula started schools, institutions and orphanages in the name "AMARASOUNDARYA VIDYALAYA'S" in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.


Year Film Role Language Notes
1992 Nanna Thangi Kannada Debut movie
1992 Gandharva Sudha Kannada
1992 Raithu Bharatham Soundarya Telugu
1992 Baa Nanna Preethisu Kannada
1992 Manavarali Pelli Soundarya Telugu
1993 Vijaya Kranthi Kannada
1993 Ponnumani Chinthamani Tamil
1993 Rajendrudu Gajendrudu Lalitha Telugu
1993 Amma Naa Kodala Neelima Telugu
1993 Number One Soundarya Telugu
1993 Mayalodu Siri Telugu
1993 Inspector Jhansi Jhansi Telugu
1993 Asalae Pellaina Vanni Telugu
1993 Donga Alludu Latha Telugu
1993 Urmila Cameo Role Telugu
1994 Thooguve Krishnana Kannada
1994 Madam Soundarya Telugu
1994 Hello Brother Ooha Telugu
1994 Allari Premikudu Jhansi Telugu
1994 Top Hero Chitra Telugu
1994 Super Police Bharathi Telugu
1995 Amma Donga Kumari Padma Priya Telugu
1995 Muthu Kaalai Poonjolai Tamil
1995 Dear Son Maruthu Raani Tamil
1995 Rikshavodu Narasakka Telugu
1995 Ammoru Bhavani Telugu Nandi Award for Best Actress
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu
Dubbed in Tamil as Amman
1995 Bhale Bullodu Raadha Telugu
1995 Amma Naa Kodala Neelima Telugu
1995 Peddarayudu Bharathi Telugu
1995 Chilakapachcha Kaapuram Satyavathi Telugu
1995 Raja Simham Sundari Telugu
1995 Vetagadu (1995 film) Telugu
1995 Balaraju Bangaru Pellam Telugu
1995 Maya Bazaar Herself Telugu
1996 Jagadekaveerudu Soundarya Telugu
1996 Pavithra Bandham Radha Telugu Nandi Award for Best Actress
1996 Maa Voori Maraju Satyavathi Telugu
1996 Ramudochadu Soundaryaananda Aravindha Vadhana SundaraLakshmi Telugu
1996 Intlo Illalu Vantintlo Priyuralu Seeta Telugu
1996 Puttinti Gowravam Telugu
1996 Maa Inti Adapadachu Janaki Telugu
1996 Sipayi Kannada
1996 Urmila
1996 Senathipathi Aishwarya Tamil
1996 Prema Pranayam Telugu
1997 Pellichesukundam Shanti Telugu
1997 Adirindi Guru Telugu
1997 Taraka Ramudu Taraka Telugu Dubbed in Tamil as "Velli Nilave"
1997 Maa Aayana Bangaram Vennela, Sruthi Telugu
1997 Oosi Na Maradala Manisha Koirala, Kanchana Mala Telugu
1997 Aaro Pranam Maknaa, Aakaanksha Telugu
1997 Arunachalam Vedhavalli Tamil
1997 Priyaragalu Priya Telugu
1998 Choodalani Vundi Padmavathi Telugu
1998 Pelli Peetalu Anjali Telugu
1998 Sri Ramulayya Seethamma Telugu
1998 Sooryudu Panthulamma Prameela Telugu
1998 Doni Saagali Kannada Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress
1998 Anthapuram/Anthapuram Bhanumathi Telugu/Tamil Nandi Award for Best Actress
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu
1998 Thambulalu Telugu
1998 Dongata SubbaLakshmi Telugu
1998 Subha Vaartha Meghana Telugu
1998 Rayudu Madhavi Telugu
1998 Kaathala Kaathala Sundari Tamil
1999 Mannavaru Chinnavaru Tamil
1999 Raja Anjali Telugu Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu
1999 Aryabhata Bharathi Kannada
1999 Anaganaga O Ammayi Sandhya Telugu
1999 Arundhati Arundhati Telugu
1999 Premaku Velayara Madhavi, Malathi Telugu
1999 Manavudu Danavudu Telugu
1999 Padayappa Vasundhara Tamil Dubbed in Telugu as "Narasimha"
1999 Naanu Nanna Hendthiru Seetha Kannada
1999 Sooryavansham Radha Singh Hindi
1999 Mayadari Mosagadu Latha Telugu
2000 Annayya Gajjela Kanaka Maha Lakshmi Devi Telugu
2000 Jayam Manade Raa Uma Telugu
2000 Ninne Premistha Meghamala Telugu
2000 Moodu Mukkalata Shravani Telugu
2000 Ravanna pirralamma Sirisha Telugu
2000 Azad Anjali Telugu Dubbed in Tamil as "Gurushethram" and Dubbed in Hindi as "Mission Azad"
2000 Naga Devathe/Naga Devatha Goddess Nagamma Kannada / Telugu bilingual Dubbed in Tamil as "Nagadevathai"
2000 Postman Archana Telugu
2001 Devi Putrudu Karna Telugu Dubbed in Tamil as "Paapa" and Dubbed in Hindi as "Aaj Ka Deviputra"
2001 Sri Manjunatha Katyaayini Kannada / Telugu bilingual
2001 Eduruleni Manishi Vasundhara Telugu
2001 Sarduku Podam Randi Raadha Telugu
2001 Naa Manasisthaa Raa Nandhini Telugu
2001 9 Nelalu Savithri Telugu Dubbed in Tamil as "Kanden Seethaiyai"
2001 Adhipati Jagan's fiancee Telugu
2001 Eshwar Allah Telugu
2001 Vijayadasami/Thaye Bhuvaneswary Goddess Bhuvaneswary Kannada / Tamil bilingual Dubbed in Telugu as "Peddamma Talli"
2001 Thavasi Priyadarshini Tamil
2001 Kalisi Naduddam Vijaya Telugu
2002 Kondaveeti Simhasanam Chitti Telugu
2002 Premaku Swagatham Lahari Telugu
2002 Yathrakarude Sradhakku Jyothi Malayalam
2002 Gelupu Telugu
2002 Ivan Dikshanya Tamil
2002 Dweepa Nagi Kannada 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
2003 Chokka Thangam Pavala Tamil
2003 Prema Donga Telugu
2003 Seetayya Seetha Telugu
2003 Kilichundan Mampazham Amina Malayalam
2003 Sri Renukadevi Goddess Renuka Devi Kannada Dubbed in Tamil as "Namma Ooru Ellaiamman" and Dubbed in Hindi as "Ma Ka Chamatkar"
2004 Shwetha Nagu/Shwetha Naagara Madhu Telugu / Kannada bilingual Posthumously released. Dubbed in Tamil as "Madhumathi"
2004 Shiva Shankar Padma Telugu Posthumously released
2004 Apthamitra Ganga / Nagavalli Kannada Posthumously released
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Kannada


National Film Awards
Karnataka State Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Nandi Awards


  1. ^ Pandya, Haresh (10 May 2004). "Obituary: Soundarya". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b Pandya, Haresh (2004-05-10). "Soundarya". Online edition. The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  4. ^ "International Film Festival of India-2002". 2002-09-26. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  5. ^ a b "Indian Actress Soundarya Dies in Plane Crash". online edition. Voice of America news. 2004-04-17. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  6. ^ a b Hemant Raj, Ashwin (2005-04-17). "Soundarya dies in plane crash". Online edition. Times of India. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  7. ^ a b Press Trust of India (2004-04-17). "Soundarya killed in plane crash. its a tragedy". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Kumar, Ch Sushil (1998-03-28). "Child, woman, star". Interview. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  9. ^
  10. ^

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