In film industries across the world including Kollywood, comedy has always been perceived as male bastion. In Tamil cinema, actresses are mainly used for glamour quotient and character roles.
However, while actors like N S Krishnan, Nagesh, Goundamani, Vivekh and Vadivelu held their flag high in Kollywood’s comedy department and also in the hearts of the audience, women actors in this part too have proved their mettle in humour.
Comediennes, as they called, they had established themselves in the otherwise male-dominated segment of cinema. Mykollywood takes pride in throwing light on them.
T A MADHURAM
Madhuram was actress and singer. She was born in Srirangam in 1918 in a family of artistes. Her first Tamil film was ‘Rathnaavali’ released in 1935.
Her next film was ‘Vasantha Sena’ and it was released in 1936. She paired with legendary comedy actor ‘Kalaivanar’ N S Krishnan in this film. She married him later.
She has acted in more than 500 films in five different languages and a few television serials. She is a character actress/comedian who has nonchalantly blended into the roles she has portrayed over five decades.
She made her début in film’s in 1953 in the film ‘Rani’ at the age of four, and has since then been a prominent face on the silver screen.
Sachu was born into a large family in Mylapore. Hailing from an orthodox family of musicians, lawyers and teachers, it was not smooth sailing for the young actress, but her talent acted as the decisive factor. Permission was granted by her lawyer-father. As she teamed up with her sister for Bharatanatyam recitals, her film career forged ahead.
An actress par excellence, she doesn’t need any introduction. Fondly called Aachi, she had appeared in more than 1,500 films, 5,000 stage performances and several television series until 2015.
She entered the Guinness World Records for acting in more than 1000 films in 1985. By 2015, she had acted in more than 1,500 films.
She was a recipient of the Kalaimamani award, Padma Shri (2002), National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in film ‘Pudhiya Padhai’ (1989) and Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South (1995).
In a career spanning more than 30 years, Sarala has appeared in over 750 films. She has won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian three times, for her performances in ‘Sathi Leelavathi’ (1995), ‘Poovellam Un Vasam’ (2001) and ‘Uliyin Osai’ (2008).
She has also won the Nandi Award for Best Female Comedian for her performance in ‘Ori Nee Prema Bangaram Kanu’ (2003) and the Vijay Award for Best Comedian for her performance in ‘Muni 2: Kanchana’ (2011).
Born in Coimbatore, Sarala had developed interest in acting, after watching MGR’s films. She completed her studies and entered the film industry with the support of her sister and father.
She began her career as a television anchor before venturing into acting, first in television and later in films. She predominantly appears in supporting roles and often performs comic roles.
She has done leading roles in some popular television serials like ‘Marmadesam’ and ‘Athipookal’. She has also participated in ‘Jodi Number One’ a dance reality show along with her real life partner Chetan. She is also part of ‘Sunday Galatta’ on Sun TV.
While still in college, she began anchoring television shows. She was then offered an opportunity to act in the Doordarshan serial ‘Kanavugal Ilavasam’, which led to her landing a role in the successful mystery series ‘Marmadesam’ by Naga.
Daughter of actor Mohan Raman, Vidyullekha made her debut in Gautham Vasudev Menon’s 2012 film ‘Neethaane En Ponvasantham’.
She did her schooling in Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School and later went to MCTM Matriculation, where she developed an interest for theatre and acting. She gained her popularity doing stage productions during her college years at MOP Vaishnav College, where she graduated with a degree in Visual Communication.
She made her debut in Gautham Menon’s 2012 bilingual films ‘Neethaane En Ponvasantham’ and ‘Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu’, appearing as Jenny, a friend of the character portrayed by Samantha.
The actress has since played pivotal roles opposite N Santhanam in Sundar C’s ‘Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru’, in ‘Malini 22 Palayamkottai’ and the Telugu film ‘Ramayya Vasthavayya’. She was seen in minor roles in both 2014 Pongal releases ‘Jilla’ and ‘Veeram’.
Madhumitha appears in Tamil films after gaining fame through Vijay TV’s comedy series, ‘Lollu Sabha’.
Her first feature film was ‘Oru Kal Oru Kannadi’ in which she was paired opposite to Santhanam. Her role as Jangiri in the film made her popular.
She also acted in ‘Kan Pesum Vaarthaigal’, ‘Raja Rani’ and ‘Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara’. She also made few guest appearances in the popular Vijay TV comedy show, ‘Kalakka Povathu Yaaru’.