18 July 1972
Mulbagal, Kolar, Karnataka, India
|Died||17 April 2004
|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. 
In 2002, she has received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film as producer for the Kannada film, Dweepa. She is down to earth.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). During 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.
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 wide popularity and tremendous goodwill among Andhra pradesh and Telangana and probably the most successful actress after Savitri in the history of telugu cinema and is often called "Savitri of modern telugu cinema".She died in the 2004 aircraft crash, which happened in Bangalore, during an election campaign.
Early career and stardom in Telugu cinema
Soundarya is one of the most popular heroines in the history of Telugu cinema on the lines of Savitri, Vanisri and Jayasudha. She is particularly regarded as the "Savitri of Modern Telugu cinema" because of her screen presence, grace and phenomenal success, all in common with Savitri. She is a versatile actress of her time, enacting strong, positive and responsible characters in each of her movies. She took a clear stand on glamour, preferring performance-oriented roles throughout her career. These unique features worked out completely in her favor and struck a chord with a wide audience base, earning her immense popularity in the state of Andhra Pradesh. She made 114 movies, predominantly in Telugu, in a span of twelve years. Her brilliant performances made her critically and commercially the most successful heroine of modern times. Telugu Superstar Venkatesh once described her as "a thorough actress". The legendary Akkineni Nageshwara Rao regarded Soundarya as the apt replacement to Savitri's role in Mayabazar.
In her first hit in Telugu, in 1993, she acted the leading role alongside Rajendra Prasad in Rajendrudu Gajendrudu, directed by S.V.Krishna Reddy. She had a decent start with another pair of releases in the same year. The real commercial recognition came with Hello Brother (1994) in which she starred 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 remake of the Tamil film Nattamai, alongside Mohan Babu for the first time, and the movie was critically appreciated and highly successful. Following this success, she starred with all Tollywood's biggest stars like Chiranjeevi in Rikshavodu, with Venkatesh in Super Police, with Balakrishna in Top Hero. Top Hero was a super hit while Super Police and Rikshavodu did not click well at the box office. She had an award-winning role in Ammoru, where she played the pivotal role of a selfless devotee to Goddess Ammoru; the film was a big success and it specially showcased her acting skills. She stood ahead with eleven movie releases in 1995.
In 1996, Soundarya had another 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 and Ramudochadu have given her a credit of golden hand. This continuous success and popularity made Soundarya the reigning Queen of Telugu cinema, and she was referred popularly as NUMERO UNO by the Telugu media and magazines.
Continuous success, critical acclaim and popularity (1997–2001)
Soundarya paved a way for strong performances and led the change in the framing of characterizations of heroines.Though her contemparary Ramyakrishnan too displayed versatility in genres besides bigtime glamour, Soundarya with her strong, positive and high intense performances emerged out with continuous string of successes and thundering applause unmatched to any of her rivals.
In 1997, she continued her success with Pelli chesukundam, Maa Aayana Bangaram, Osi na maradala,Aaro pranam 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 fan following emerged out to be the golden hand with her continuous successes when 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 alongside biggest stars which clearly reflected later in her movies. Soundarya's phenomenal success and humungous popularity made her the first choice for any performance role and made her act 10 films each following year till 2001 with biggest successes in her way.Though 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 team work between 36 departments.Besides roaring success of her films,.Soundarya's intensity in performances,expressions,her beautiful face,her lady fanfollowing and phenomenal success were all in common with Savitri and she was able to earn fame as a replacement to Mahanati Savitri.The telugu media which is known for it's critical attitude suprisingly was highly appreciative of her performances and was very positive throughout her career and magazines. 
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 in telugu,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. 
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.
She had around 10 film releases each year most of them in telugu from 1993 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.
Kannada Cinema and National Film Award
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.
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 accidental death
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 for the upcoming elections.She was pregnant when she died.
|1992||Baa Nanna Preethisu||Kannada|
|1993||Amma Naa Kodala||Telugu||Neelima|
|1993||Asalae Pellaina Vanni||Telugu|
|1995||Ammoru||Telugu||Bhavani||Nandi Award for Best Actress
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu
Dubbed in Tamil as Amman
|1995||Amma Naa Kodala||Telugu|
|1995||Balaraju Bangaru Pellam||Telugu|
|1996||Pavithra Bandham||Telugu||Radha||Nandi Award for Best Actress|
|1996||Maa Voori Maraju||Telugu|
|1996||Intlo Illalu Vantintlo Priyuralu||Telugu||Seeta|
|1996||Maa Inti Adapadachu||Telugu|
|1997||Maa Aayana Bangaram||Telugu|
|1997||Oosi Na Maradala||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
|1999||Raja||Telugu||Anjali||Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu|
|1999||Anaganaga O Ammayi||Telugu|
|1999||Premaku Velayara||Telugu||Madhavi and Malathi|
|1999||Naanu Nanna Hendthiru||Kannada|
|2000||Jayam Manade Raa||Telugu||Uma|
|2001||Sarduku Podam Randi||Telugu|
|2001||Naa Manasisthaa Raa||Telugu|
|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||Apthamitra||Kannada||Ganga / Nagavalli||Posthumously released
Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Kannada
- Pandya, Haresh (2004-05-10). "Soundarya". Online edition (The Guardian). Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- "International Film Festival of India-2002". Pib.nic.in. 2002-09-26. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "Indian Actress Soundarya Dies in Plane Crash". online edition (Voice of America news). 2004-04-17. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Hemant Raj, Ashwin (2005-04-17). "Soundarya dies in plane crash". Online edition (Times of India). Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Press Trust of India (2004-04-17). "Soundarya killed in plane crash. its a tragedy". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Kumar, Ch Sushil (1998-03-28). "Child, woman, star". Interview (Rediff.com). Retrieved 2009-06-20.