J Jayalalithaa, revered as Tamil Nadu’s beloved ”Amma, passed away last night and the news of her death plunged her supporters into a state of deep grief and sorrow.
Most of us have read or watched TV channels discuss Jayalalithaa’s life, but there are tiny details we do not know about. For instance, do you know that Jayalalithaa was not just a talented actress and dancer but she was a good playback singer too? She has sung several songs in Tamil movies and made a mark as a singer but how many of us know that?
Here are five things to know about former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s early years
1. Jayalalithaa’s grandfather was the royal physician to the Mysore Maharaja (King) and as a mark of respect to the King, he called his grand-daughter as ‘Jayalalitha.”
2. Jayalalithaa’s original name was ”Komalavalli,” put by her mother Vedavalli (later known as Sandhya in the Tamil film industry). At home, Jayalalithaa’s nickname was ”Ammu.”
3. She began to learn dance at a young age and had learned Kathakali, Mohiniyattam and Manipuri dance. She had also done her ”arangetram” (debut dance performance) as a Bharatanatyam dancer.
4. According to Asianet News TV reports, Jayalalithaa passed Class X with first position in her class but due to financial difficulties, she was unable to continue her education further and was forced to act in films – something she was reportedly not keen on.
5. Jayalalithaa was only 16 years old when she acted in her first movie with Tamil Nadu’s reigning heart-throb and King of Cinema – MGR. MGR was 48 years old at the time. Thereafter, they acted in 28 Tamil movies together – their on-screen appearances became a huge hit with the masses and 24 movies were super hits at the box office. In 1966, Jayalalithaa was not only the most successful and sought after actress in the Tamil film industry but she was also the most highly paid.
As Kerala’s superstar Mammootty pointed out, “She joined politics at a time when she was a shining star in cinema. Her demise is a great loss for the people of Tamil Nadu.”