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Vyjayanthimala Biography

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Vyjayanthimala
Madras, Tamil Nadu

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Vyjayanthimala won the Best Actress Filmfare Award three times, for her roles in _Sadhana (1958)_ , Gunga Jumna (1961), and Sangam (1964/I). She also helped pave the way for more agile and beauteous South Indian actresses, from Hema Malini to Aishwarya Rai, to conquer the Hindi film industry.

Was known as one of Bollywood's finest dancers of her time. Vyjayanthimala, trained in Bharatanatyam dance, performed some super-hit song and dance numbers in Hindi films, and her influence on films has been far-reaching: with her, semi-classical dance became an integral part of almost every Hindi film heroine's credentials.

Was launched by M.V. Raman, a family friend, in AVM's Tamil film, Vazhkai (1949). The film was such a huge hit that it continued its success when remade in Hindi as Bahar (1951), also starring Vyjayanthimala.

Once refused the Best Supporting Actress Filmfare Award, as she felt that her role as 'Chandramukhi' in Devdas (1955) was not a supporting one; the strong-headed actress felt she was as much the heroine of the film as Suchitra Sen, who played 'Paro'.

Formed a popular on-screen pair with both the intense Dilip Kumar in films like Devdas, and the jocular Kishore Kumar in hits like New Delhi (1956) and Aasha (1957).

Fell in love with Raj Kapoor's personal physician, Dr. Bali, who treated her for pneumonia after she fell into the lake while shooting for a film. The two grew close and later married and had a child, Suchindra Bali. Vyjayanthimala subsequently decided to leave films while still at the top, and immersed herself in raising her son.

Joined politics for a while, and was close to Indira Gandhi. Vyjayanthimala was elected twice to the Lok Sabha (Indian Parliament's House of the People) and was a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha (Indian Parliament's Council of States). She resigned in 1999, however, as she thought the party was drifting from its avowed principles after the death of Rajiv Gandhi.

Honored with the Sangeet Natak Akademi award by the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement award for her distinguished contribution to Indian cinema.

An excellent golf player, Vyjayanthimala was introduced to the game by her husband. She has even played in the National Golf Championship (15 Handicap).




 
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