One of the influential stars of the black and white era, veteran actress, Anjali Devi, 86, died of a cardiac arrest on Monday January 13, 2014.
She is one of the few actresses who had a successful career as a leading star even after being a married. She was known for both glamorous roles and pious roles mostly in mythological feature films. She always credited her husband Adhi Narayana Rao’s encouragement for her success.
Anjali Devi had received flak for her bold scenes in her first film “Gollabhama” by director C.Pulliah. It had created a stir with her kissing scene which was just a trick shot. She went on to establish herself in various roles, pairing with leading stars of Telugu films like NTR, Nageswara Rao at that time. She also produced her own films under her production house Aswini Pictures.
Her portrayal of goddess Sita in “Lava Kusha” in the year 1963 caused huge euphoria. Many women in rural Andhra Pradesh treated her like a goddess, prostrating at her feet. In Tamil too she had a good run starring opposite M.G.Ramachandran, T.R.Mahalingam and Gemini Ganesan.
She had produced the Sivaji Ganesan’s first role for the film “Poongothai” but “Parasakti” got released first. Her career spanned over five decades with over 350 films mostly in Telugu and around 50 in Tamil.
Final rites of the actress will be held at her house in Raja Annamalaipuram and the cremation will take place at the Besant Nagar crematorium in Chennai on Thursday.