Mothers’ Day was celebrated recently and our film celebrities shared beautiful posts about their moms. From ‘Manohara’ era to the present, Tamil cinema has always given importance to motherhood and ‘amma’ sentiment is a crucial factor in many of our movies.
This week, as part of its Friday special articles series, Mykollywood.com takes a look at some popular on-screen mothers of Tamil cinema in the current times.
Saranya Ponvannan is the numero uno artiste when it comes to present day mother roles in Kollywood. Some of her memorable movies as mom include ‘Ram’, ‘VIP’, ‘Oru Kal Oru Kannadi’ and ‘Em Magan’.
Saranya Ponvannan, born as Sheela Christina Raj has predominantly appeared in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam language films and a few Kannada language films. Saranya made her debut in a lead role in Mani Ratnam’s ‘Nayakan’ (1987) and went on to play lead roles from 1987-1996.
Following an eight-year sabbatical, she returned to films as a character actor, specializing in ‘mother of the hero’ roles. She made her first Telugu appearance in 1988 film ‘Neerajanam’; her Malayalam debut was a year later in the 1989 film ‘Artham’ starring opposite Mamooty.
After marriage in 1995, she semi retired from acting. In 2000 she appeared playing the lead role in the comedy television series, ‘Veettukku Veedu Lootty’, and subsequently accepted some supporting roles in other projects.
After a break from films she made a comeback in 2003 Tamil film ‘Alai’ opposite Raghuvaran as Silambarasan ‘s mother. Since then she has appeared in many films.
Kovai Sarala’s memorable mother roles include the ones she played in ‘Mersal’, ‘Komban’ and ‘Kanchana’ series etc. She is basically a comedian, who prominently plays supporting roles in Tamil and Telugu films.
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). She is now part of Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam Party.
Kovai Sarala was 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 got her first film offer when she was in the 9th standard and acted with Vijayakumar and K R Vijaya in the film ‘Velli Ratham’.
As mother of protagonists, Radikaa Sarathkumar had acted in films including ‘Theri’, ‘Poojai’, ‘Dharma Durai’, ‘Mr Local’ and ‘Vaanam Kottattum’. Radikaa is an actress, entrepreneur, and producer who works in the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and Kannada film industries.
She is the founder of the Radaan Mediaworks India Limited, which has produced serials such as ‘Chitti’, ‘Annamalai’, ‘Selvi’, ‘Arasi’, ‘Chellamay’, ‘Vaani Rani’, ‘Thamarai’, ‘Idi Katha Kadu’ (Telugu), and ‘Chithi – 2’.
Radikaa has acted in over three hundred films in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada. She was a judge on Vijay TV’s ‘Jodi Number One Season 3’. She has also produced a film titled ‘Meendum Oru Kaadhal Kathai’, which won the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director.
In April 2019, Radikaa Sarathkumar narrowly escaped from a bomb explosion on Easter Sunday which happened at Cinnamon Grand Hotel where she was present after wrapping up shooting for a film.
Popular mother roles of Renuka are in films like ‘Ayan’, ‘Alex Pandian’, ‘Vanakkam Chennai’, ‘Karuppan’ and ‘Psycho’. She is a television and film actress who is known for playing the lead role Premi in K. Balachander’s Tamil tele-serial of the same name.
She has also acted in lot of Malayalam and some Hindi films in her career. According to an interview given by Renuka, her family hailed from the town of Srirangam.
Due to adverse circumstances caused by the early death of her father, she was compelled to move to the city of Chennai at an early age in search of work. In a short while, she was able to get a job as a drama artiste with Komal Swaminathan’s troupe.
Renuka got a break in Tamil films with the 1989 movie ‘Samsara Sangeetham’ directed by T Rajender. She did few episodes in Telugu Dooradarshan at her early stage. Renuka had done a few Tamil films and about 75 Malayalam movies when she was introduced to Tamil film director K Balachander by colleague Geetha.