6 October 1940|
Nagercoil, Southern Division, Travancore
|Died||26 March 2013
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Spouse(s)||A. Bhimsingh (1959–1978)|
|Children||Dr. Suresh Bhimsingh|
|Parent(s)||Madhavan Nair, Sathyabhama Amma|
|Awards||Kerala State Best Supporting Actress
1974: Various films
1978: Various films
1985: Arappatta Kettiya Gramathil
She began acting at the age of 10. In 2003, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions toward the arts. She won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Tamil film Namma Gramam (2010).
Sukumari died on 26 March 2013, following a heart attack while under treatment for burn injuries she received while lighting the pooja lamp at her residence in Chennai.
Sukumari was born on October 6, 1940 in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, to Malayali parents Madhavan Nair (a bank manager) and Sathyabhama Amma. She studied at Poojappura LP School until second grade; she then moved to Madras, where she studied until fourth forum. She had four sisters and one brother.
She left home at a young age to study dance with her aunt Saraswathi Amma in Chennai, alongside her first cousins the Travancore Sisters: Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini (their mothers were sisters). She learned dance with the sisters and mastered dance forms like Keralanadanam, Kathakali and Bharathanatyam. She went for an all-India tour with the sisters.
Sukumari was noticed by a director when she visited the sets of a film with Padmini, and she made her film debut in the lead role in the Tamil film Or Iravu. She acted in various Malayalam films of the black and white era, like Udhyogastha by P. Venu, Chettathi, Kusruthikkuttan, Kunjali Marakkar, Thacholi Othenan, Yakshi and Karinizhal. She later became popular after starring in various films of Priyadarshan like Poochakkoru Mookkuthi, Oodarathuammava Aalariyam, Boeing Boeing and Vandanam. She also appeared in various films directed by Balachandra Menon like Manicheppu Thurannappol and Karyam Nissaram. In later years she played a major role in Nizhalkuthu (2002) directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan. She played many notable mother roles. She acted in films in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Simhala, Oriya and Bengali, and used her own voice in all languages without using dubbing artists.
She starred in many television serials in Malayalam and Tamil, including Swapnam, Thulabharam, Swamiye Saranamayyappa, Madhavam, Daivathinu Swantham Devootty, Vandanam, Mayamma, Sreeguruvaayoorappan, Malakhamar, Aakashadhoothu, Velankanni Mathavu, Megham, Manasi, Amma Thamburaatti, Amme Devi, Swarnamayooram, Avicharitham, Thalolam, Manthrakodi, and Coimbatore Ammayi. She appeared in many serials by Sreekumaran Thampi. She appeared in some advertisements and albums. She was a good singer. She conducted many concerts. She participated in many stage shows, cultural programmes, public functions and talk shows. She served as a judge on various popular reality shows, including Minnum Tharam on Asianet, Idea Star Singer on Asianet, Comedy Festival on Mazhavil Manorama, Amma Ammayiyamma on Kairali TV, and Pachaka Rani on Kairali TV.
She acted in many short films, including the popular Sheetha Kaattu. Her Bengali movie with Gopi Krishna included seven dance numbers. She learned to play some musical instruments in her childhood including the Mridangam and Veena. She danced in many Sinhala movies. An award named named "Sukumari Smaraka Puraskaram" has been instituted in her memory. From the age of seven years, she danced on stages throughout India, U.S.A., Singapore, Malaysia, Ceylon, etc. She performed in different troupes like "Dances of India" along with the Travancore Sisters (Lalitha, Padmini, Ragini), Pushpanjali: Along with Mrs. Raja Sulochana (film artiste) did more than 5000 stage shows, Kuchala Kumari Troupe: Did about 1000 stage shows. She was an active stage drama artiste for the past 40 years in MR.Y.G. Parthasarathy Troupe (1000 stage shows), Viveka Fine Arts Club: More than 5000 stage shows, directed by Cho. Ramaswamy. She attended many cultural stage shows all over the world in places like Singapore, Malaysia, Ceylon, Dubai, U.S.A., Germany, etc.
Sukumari married director A. Bhimsingh in 1959. He died in 1978. She was 38 when her husband died. The couple had a son, Suresh, who has acted in films like Amme Narayana, Yuvajanotsavam, and Cheppu, and is a professional doctor. Suresh got married to Uma, a costume designer. Suresh and Uma have a son named Vignesh. Malayalam actors Ambika Sukumaran, Vineeth, Shobana and Krishna are her relatives.
On 26 March 2013, Sukumari died from a cardiac arrest at a hospital in Chennai where she was receiving treatments for burns she had sustained while lighting a traditional lamp at her residence in February 2013.
||This section may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. (March 2013)|
Following her death, several South Indian personalities offered their condolences. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who had co-starred with Sukumari, said in a condolence message that Sukumari had left a unique imprint on South Indian cinema and theatre with her talents. Kerala's Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy called Sukumari a "phenomenon in Malayalam cinema". Actor and Minister for Cinema K.B. Ganesh Kumar said actors in the Malayalam film industry had lost "the loving presence of a mother in the sets". Leader of the Opposition V. S. Achuthanandan called Sukumari's death a "huge loss for Indian cinema". Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Ramesh Chennithala said Sukumari would be remembered for "the diversity of characters that she gave life to". Communist Party of India State Secretary Pannian Ravindran said Sukumari was "an unforgettable acting genius". Union Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs K. V. Thomas described Sukumari as an actor who conquered the film scene with her unique acting style. South Indian Film Artistes Association president R. Sarathkumar remembered the actor as being an inspiration to others. Actor and renowned television producer Raadhika Sarathkumar recalled Sukumari's many dance performances. Actor and president of Association of Malayalam Movie Artists Innocent said at a condolence meeting at Kochi that her death was an irreparable loss to Malayalam film industry. South Indian film star Mohanlal likened her death to the loss of "a mother, sister and a good friend". Speaker G. Karthikeyan also expressed grief at her death. Director Shaji Kailas deemed her loss an "irreparable one for the film industry".
- Civilian Awards
- Padma Shri - 2003
- Second Best Actress - 1974 -Chattakkari
- Second Best Actress - 1979 - Various films
- Second Best Actress - 1983 - Koodevide,Karyam Nissaram
- Second Best Actress - 1985 - Arappatta Kettiya Gramathil (directed by Padmarajan)
- Tamil Nadu State Awards
- Kalaimamani Award (Given by Govt. of Tamil Nadu): 1991-1992
- Kalai Selvam Award (Given by Govt. of Tamil Nadu): 1990
- 1998: ASIANET AWARD: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – SAMANDHARANGAL
- 2005: Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2006: ASIANET AWARD: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
- Kerala Film Critics Award
- 1979: Best Supporting Actress - Ezhu Nirangal (directed by I. V. Sasi)
- 1982: Best Supporting Actress - Chiriyo Chiri
- 1985: Best Supporting Actress - Arappatta Kettiya Gramathil
- Chalachithra Ratnam by Kerala Film Critics Association
- 2000: KERALA FILM CRITICS AWARD: SPECIAL AWARD FOR CONTRIBUTION TO THE FILM INDUSTRY
- 2011: Chalachitra Pratibha by Kerala Film Critics Association
- 2011: KERALA FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARD
- KERALA FILM FANS ASSOCIATION AWARD
- 1967: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – VARIOUS FILMS
- 1974: SPECIAL AWARD – CHATTAKARI
- 1980: BEST CHARACTER AWARD
- 1981: BEST CHARACTER AWARD
- FILMS FANS ASSOCIATION – MADRAS
- 1971: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – THORAIMUGAM
- 1974: BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – CHATTAKARI
- Other awards
- 1997: PRACHODANAM AWARD
- 2000: ALL ROUNDER OF THE MILLENNIUM: GULF MALAYALEE CINE AWARDS
- 2001: SPECIAL AWARD: KALAKAIRALI
- 2001: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: DUBAI KAIRALI KALA KENDRA ASSOCIATION
- 2002: FELICITATION FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO INDIAN CINEMA: SOORYA STAGE & FILM SOCIETY
- 2002: Special honour at Gurupooja, Soorya Festival for lifetime achievement
- 2002: "TAMIL THIRAI ULAGA SAGAPTHANGAL": BHARATH CINE AWARDS
- 2004: BEST CHARACTER ARTIST - AVICHARITHAM: KERELA WOMAN BEAUTICIANS ASSOCIATION: T.V SERIAL AWARD
- 2007: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: SICA AWARD
- 2007: P.S. JOHN ENDOWMENT AWARD
- 2007: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: MALAYALA CHALACHITRA PARISHAD
- 2007: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: ERNAKULAM PRESS CLUB: P.S. JOHN ENDOWMENT AWARD
- 2007: Kala Ratnam Award of KALA Abu Dhabi
- 2007: Prem Nazir Award
- 2008: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: MATHRUBHUMI AMRITA FILM AWARD
- 2008: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: NIPPON PAINTS
- 2009: BEST ACTRESS - MIZHIGALSAKSHI: TELEFEST
- 2009: ATLAS CRITIC AWARD
- 2011: Bahadoor Award
- ICCI Honour
- FICII Honour
- ABHINAVA PURASKARAM BY SANGEETHA, UK - OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO ARTS & CULTURE (especially in the field of dance & acting)
- SHIVAJI GANESHAN AWARD
- JANEGIYA FILM AWARD: BY TRICHUR NAGAR SABHA
- Abhinaya Bharathi by Kalakairali, Chennai
- Cinema of India
- Avar Kandumuttumbol (Mathrubhumi News)
- Nere Chovve (Manorama News)
- On Record (Asianet News)
- Tharathinoppam (Asianet News)
- Thirakkukalil Alpam Neram (Amrita TV)
- A Chat With Celebrity (Amrita TV)
- Katha Ithuvare (Mazhavil Manorama)
- Veettamma (Kairali TV)
- Aavanitharam (Kairali TV)
- Sthree (ACV)
- Madhurikkunna Ormakal (Surya TV)
- Sukumari Guest (Surya TV)
- Indiaglitz Presentation
- Peggy eggs.com
- Ammathan Onam Thiruvonam
- Siddique Lal's Cinegalaxy 94 Thalamurakalude Sangamam - Stage Show
- The Mammootty Stage Festival 96 - Stage Show
- Lux Asianet - Stage Show
- Aamchi Mumbai - Stage Show
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- Article - The Hindu[dead link]
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-  Archived 22 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived 22 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
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- "Sukumari, veteran Malayalam actress, dies". Times of India. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
- Gopi, Vinod (27 March 2013). "Ammavilikannanju: Sukumari Inni Orma". Malayala Manorama.
- "Grief over Sukumari’s death". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
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- "Actor and Padma Shri awardee Sukumari passes away". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
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- "Critics award: 'Gaddama' adjudged best film". Indian Express. 2011-02-26. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- "സുകുമാരിക്ക് ബഹദൂര് പുരസ്കാരം". (in Malayalam). Veekshanam. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
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