She came, she worked, she paved a path, and she owned the show. That’s the legacy that late actor-filmmaker Vijaya Nirmala has left behind. Born on February 20, 1946, this lady proved herself to be an actor, a director, a producer, a dotting wife and mother, and more importantly, a good human being. Today is a bittersweet day for the Telugu film fraternity and devout followers of Telugu cinema. Having lived a graceful and eventful life, Vijaya Nirmala breathed her last on June 27, 2019.
As we witness the void that she left, here are few lesser-known facts about the widely-celebrated iconic woman.
1. Vijaya Nirmala was born as Nidudavolu Nirmala. But she adopted ‘Vijaya’ as a gesture of gratitude, after the name of the production house that launched her as an artist.
2. It was at the age of seven when Vijaya Nirmala faced the camera. It was for a Tamil film which released in 1950, titled Machcha Rekhai. In 1957, she made her debut in a Telugu film named Panduranga Mahatmyam.
3. Despite a long history, she rose to stardom after her Malayalam debut alongside Prem Nazir, 1964. The film, titled Bhargavi Nilayam, continues to be the one horror film that viewers enjoy revisiting. With Rangula Ratnam, 1966, she came to Telugu cinema as a leading lady.
4. The actor went on to become a director at the young age of 21, and brought out Kavitha. It was this film that drove her passion for direction. Then, she went on to direct almost 40 films.
5. This feat achieved by her continues to be an untouched benchmark. In 2002, Vijaya Nirmala made it to the Guinness Book of World Records, for the highest number of films directed by a woman.
6. She completed her Malayalam directorial venture, Kavitha, on a budget of Rs. 3 lacs. There on, she went on directing the Telugu film, Meena and Tamil film, Kungumachimizh, in 1973 and 1985 respectively.
7. Vijaya Nirmala met actor Krishna on the sets of her sophomore Telugu film, titled Saakshi. Apart from finding love on the sets, the couple went on to star in 47 films together, through their acting careers.
8. The iconic actor was a part of 200 films, across South Indian film fraternities. She was a part of 25 films in Malayalam and 25 in Tamil, while she completed 150 films in Telugu. During this course, she also made her small-screen debut with Pelli Kanuka.
9. 15 of the films directed by this lady were produced under her own banner, Vijaya Krishna Movies.
10. Vijaya Nirmala is one of the two ladies who directed the Tamil cinema’s iconic actor Sivaji Ganesan. The other happens to be Savitri.
11. The actor was felicitated with Raghupathi Venkaiah Award for her contributions to Telugu cinema by the government of Andhra Pradesh.
12. Unlike many others, she did not face criticism or hatred for having married Krishna. The reason behind it was the unconditional affection she showered over everyone who crossed paths with her.
13. Being an avid reader, she directed many of her films based on novels, or the books referred to by her journalist friends. She also enjoyed discussing them with people.
14. While being a multi-talented professional, she was also said to be a lovely host with incredible culinary skills. She also took pride the organic fruits and veggies she hand-picked from her gardens. In fact, the actor carried meals, prepared by her, to the sets and fed everyone.
15. When non-vegetarian meals were a rarity, this lady whipped up Gongura Mutton and delighted everyone with the delectable surprise. When she established her own hotel, named after her grandson, she also sent meals to the journalist would come for press meets.
We’re sure, wherever she is, this iconic woman is spreading her light and making everyone smile. You can check out some amazing films and enjoy your time here on ZEE5.