Daijiworld Media Network - Bengaluru
Bengaluru, Dec 8: The film industry and cinephiles alike mourns the loss of veteran Kannada actress Leelavathi, who passed away at the age of 85 on Friday, December 8. The seasoned artist had been grappling with age-related ailments and had been admitted to the hospital in recent days. According to reports, her last rites will be conducted at her estate in Nelamangala.
To pay respects, her mortal remains will be available for public viewing at her farmhouse on Friday evening. Leelavathi's illustrious career spanned over six decades, during which she graced around 600 films across Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam languages. Her versatile acting prowess earned her numerous accolades, including the esteemed Dr Rajkumar Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1999-2000 and an honorary doctorate from Tumkur University in 2008.
Hailing from Beltangady, Leelavathi discovered her love for theater at a young age. Before dedicating herself entirely to acting, she managed household responsibilities. Her cinematic journey commenced in 1949, and she swiftly rose to prominence in the Kannada film industry. Leelavathi is survived by her son, Vinod Raj, a renowned actor in the Kannada film fraternity.
Leelavathi marked her cinematic debut in Shankar Singh's Nagakannike in 1949 and later ventured into the Kannada film industry. She initially acted alongside Subbayya Naidu in Mahalinga Bhagavatar's theatrical troupe, portraying various roles in numerous plays. Notably, she essayed the role of Sakhi in Bhakta Prahlada, a production staged by Subbayya Naidu. Although she initially took on smaller roles, she eventually made her mark as a lead actress, with Mangalya Yoga being her first film in that capacity.
Her collaboration with Dr Rajkumar began with Ranadheera Kanteerava. Over her illustrious career, Leelavathi received several awards and honors, including the prestigious Dr Rajkumar Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999-2000. She also secured an honorary doctorate from Tumkur University in 2008.
Awards and honors
2008 - Honorary Doctorate from Tumkur University, 2006 - Best Supporting Actress Filmfare Kannada - Kanasu Manasu, 1999-2000 - Dr Rajkumar Lifetime Achievement Award at Karnataka State Film Awards and best supporting actress awards in 1960-70 for Gejje Pooje, 1971-72 for Sipayi Ramu and 1989-90 for Doctor Krishna.