Thesp starred in 'Aval oru thodar kathai'

LONDON – Indian actress Sujatha died April 6 in Chennai, India, following a heart attack. She was 58.

Thesp, who was raised in Sri Lanka debuted as the lead in the Tamil-language “Aval oru thodar kathai” in 1974. Directed by K. Balachander, the film was a departure from the song-and-dance melodrama that dominated Tamil films in the past.

Another such film was “Avargal,” in which she played the wife of a sadistic man recalling a past romance.

Balachander’s daughter says Pushpa Kandasamy, a film producer told the Hindu newspaper: “My father thought of her as a director’s delight. She would understand what exactly the director wanted, internalize the character and perform accordingly,”

Sujatha went on to act in more than 50 films in the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi languages. She acted with most of the popular South Indian stars of the ’70s and ’80s including Kamal Hassan, Rajnikanth, Sivaji Ganesan and Akkineni Nageswara Rao.

Toward the end of her career, she switched to playing character roles, including mother to her former romantic lead Rajnikanth in “Baba” (2002).

Her last release was hit 2006 devotional “Sri Ramadasu.”

Survivors include her husband, Jayakar, a son and a daughter.

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