Veteran actress Manorama, who regaled multitudes of filmgoers with her fine sense of humour, passed away in the city late on Saturday of cardiac arrest. She was 78.
Her relative Thamilarasu told TOI that she had dinner and was trying to sleep when she complained of breathlessness. “She was fine till then,” he said. Manorama was rushed to Apollo Hospitals on Greams Road but she did not respond to treatment and doctors pronounced her dead around 11pm.
Manorama acted in more than 1,200 movies in five languages. Born Gopishantha in Mannargudi on May 26, 1937, she started her career as a stage artiste in an era when women acting in plays was rare.It was on the stage that she adopted the name Manorama which stuck. While working in a drama troupe she met and married SM Ramanathan and they had a son named Bhoopathi.
Making her film debut in 1958 in “Malaiyitta Mangai”, a role offered by poet-lyricist Kannadasan, she went on star in nearly 1,200 movies in the four South Indian languages, chiefly Tamil, as well as in Hindi.
In her later life, she also starred in several television series and came to be known as Aachi (granny in Chettinad slang). A recipient of numerous awards, including Padma Sri and Kalaimaamani, Manorama is probably the only actor who had worked in movies with chief ministers C N Annadurai, M Karunanidhi, MGR, NTR and J Jayalalithaa.
As news of the demise spread, condolences began to pour on to social networking sites. Actors Khushbu and Radhika Sarathkumar were among the first to tweet. Khusbhu tweeted, ” A sad day in the history of Tamil cinema. One of the greatest actors Manorama fondly known as Aachi is no more with us….a legend has left us. A vacuum will remain forever…nobody can ever replace her.”
Radhika Sarathkumar’s tweet mentioned the shock she experienced. “What a great loss Manorama aachi passed away. RIP to a great person. So many memories, time shared, great laughs spoke to her yesterday .Thoughts running across my head, so shocked,” she tweeted. (Courtesy Times of India)