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Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
Assumed office
17 June 2019
Preceded byL. R. Shivarame Gowda
Personal details
Born27 August[1]
Madras, Madras State, India
(m. 1991; died 2018)
ChildrenAbhishek Gowda
  • Actress
  • politician

Sumalatha is an Indian film actress, politician who is the current Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha from Mandya, Karnataka. She has acted in more than 220 films in Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Hindi. Her most recognised role was as Clara from the 1987 film Thoovanathumbikal along with Mohanlal, directed by P. Padmarajan. The film was ranked #8 by IBN Live in its list of greatest Indian films of all time. She gained popularity in Malayalam cinema and later married Kannada actor-politician Ambareesh and has a son Abhishek Gowda.

In March 2019, Sumalatha announced that she would seek election for Lok Sabha from Mandya constituency of Karnataka as an independent candidate. On May 23 2019, Sumalatha won against Nikhil Gowda by a margin of 128,725 votes in the Lok Sabha election.


Sumalatha began acting at age 15, after winning an Andhra Pradesh beauty contest in 1979. After her pictures began circulating in the magazines, film producer D. Ramanaidu expressed interest in casting her in his film and offered her a signining amount of 1,001 in 1979.[2] However, she made her film debut in Tamil with Thisai Maariya Paravaigal (1979). She was named the Best New Face following the film. Her Kannada entry was through Ravichandran opposite to Rajkumar. She entered Telugu through Samajaniki Saval (1979), and Malayalam through Moorkhan (1980). She appeared in films in many languages Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu early in her career. She was Rajinikanth's second heroine besides Rati Agnihotri in films like Murattu Kaalai and Kazhugu. She was the heroine of legendary Malayalam actor Jayan's last film Kolilakkam (1981). In her Malayalam entry film Moorkhan, she acted as Jayan's second heroine. Her most memorable Malayalam films include Thazhvaram, Isabella, Nirakkoottu, Dhinarathrangal, Thoovanathumbikal, Parampara and New Delhi.[3] She has acted in many Kannada movies like Aahuti, Avatara Purusha, Tayi Kanasu, Karna, Hong Kong nalli Agent Amar Tayiya Hone, Kallarali Hoovagi, Ravichandra in which she acted with actor Rajkumar. Malayalam is the language in which she acted the most number of times, followed by Telugu.

She received the best actress Nandi Award for her role in Shrutilayalu in 1987. She is a close friend of actress Suhasini Maniratnam, her co-star in a Telugu movie. The friendship between the two provided the material for a candid scene in the film, when director Kodandarami Reddy noticed Suhasini combing Sumalatha's long hair on the train journey to the film set. Reddy asked his cameraman, Ashok Reddy, to film the two and added the scene to the movie's final cut.[4]

Sumalatha reportedly speaks six languages, and has acted in five.

Personal life[edit]

She married Kannada actor and politician Ambareesh on 8 December 1991 and they have a son Abhishek born in 1993.[5] She acted with Ambareesh[6] in movies like Aahuti, Avatara Purusha, Sri Manjunatha and Kallarali Hoovagi which went on to win a National Award. They supposedly met on the sets of a movie, and she was attracted to his bold personality. In an interview with TV9 Kannada she mentioned she was very much attracted to his rebellious attitude. It seems[according to whom?] she used to be very silent and be to herself on the sets; he encouraged her to be talkative and mingle with the crew and the people around her.[7][8]

Political life[edit]

In March 2019, Sumalatha announced that she would be contesting as an independent candidate in Mandya for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections against Nikhil Kumarswamy from the JD(S).[9] Many actors like Darshan, Yash, Rockline Venkatesh, Prem Kumar supported and helped her campaign. The Bharatiya Janata Party decided not to field a candidate in Mandya and instead opted to support Sumalatha. The Congress Party workers also supported her indirectly by disobeying orders of Congress leaders from the high command.[10]She won defeating Nikhil with a margin of 1,28,725 votes in Mandya. She is the first Independent woman MP from Karnataka.


  • Devar's Best New Face Award: Thisai Maariya Paravaigal (1979) (Tamil)
  • Nandi award (Best Actress): Shrutilayalu (1987) (Telugu)
  • Film Fans Award for Best Actress: Shrutilayalu (1987) (Telugu)
  • Kerala Film Critics Award for Best Actress: New Delhi and Thoovanathumbikal (1987) (Malayalam)
  • Lux Award for Best Actress: New Delhi (1987) (Malayalam)
  • Film Fans Award for Best Actress: New Delhi (1987) (Hindi)
  • Kerala Film Critics Award for Best Actress: Isabella (1988) (Malayalam)[11]





Paris pranaya (2003)




  1. ^ "Sumalatha's wishes for her darling Darshan". The Times of India. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  2. ^ Shivakumar, S. (27 March 2015). "On the road of flowers". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Malayalam News, Kerala News, Latest Malayalam News, Latest Kerala News, Breaking News, Online News, Malayalam Online News, Kerala Politics, Business News, Movie News, Malayalam Movie News, News Headlines, Malayala Manorama Newspaper, Breaking Malayalam News,". ManoramaOnline.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Ambi not interested in films - Sumalatha". IndiaGlitz. 27 February 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2009.
  6. ^ "Ambarish, Mrs.Sumalatha to act together". OneIndia. 6 May 2006. Retrieved 14 June 2009.
  7. ^ Rebel-Star ಅಂಬರೀಶ್Sumalatha ,PRAMAPALLAVI. 11 August 2009 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ "personal".
  9. ^ "Sumalatha to contest Mandya LS polls as an independent". Deccan Herald. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Actor Ambareesh's Wife Sumalatha Gets BJP Backing In Karnataka's Mandya". 23 March 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Biodata".

External links[edit]