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Anjali Devi (24 August 1927 – 13 January 2014) was a Telugu & Tamil actress and producer. She is well known for her mythological role as Sita in Lava Kusha and roles in movies like Suvarna Sundari and Anarkali. In Hindi cinema, she is better known for her roles in ‘Devta’ opposite Gemini Ganeshan and ‘Sati Savitri’ opposite Mahipal and ‘Bhakta Prahlad’. The songs picturised on her like ‘Tum gagan ke chandrama ho’, ‘jeevan dor tumhi sang bandhi’, ‘kabhi to miloge, jeevan sathi’ from ‘Sati Savitri’ are still quite popular.
Anjali Devi will not be remembered only for her brilliance on screen but also for her commanding presence behind the scenes, say her contemporaries from the film industry. The veteran actress and producer, who was born in Peddapuram, Andhra Pradesh on 24th August 1927, died of a cardiac arrest at a Chennai city hospital on Monday. She was 86 years old.
On screen, Anjali Devi made her debut in the Telugu film ‘Gollabhama’, directed by C. Pulliah (Father of C. S. Rao), who incidentally, gave the actress her screen name (she was born Anjana Kumari). She then went on to act in more than 300 films in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Kannada, featuring with superstars such as N T Rama Rao and Gemini Ganesan. Perhaps her most famous role was that of Goddess Sita in the mythological movie ‘Lava Kusha’ (1963) starring N T Rama Rao.
According to film historian VAK Ranga Rao, Anjali Devi was as an exceptional dancer as well. “In the first seven years of her career from 1947 to 1953, she did a baker’s dozen of films with the most captivating dance essays,” he says, adding that her dance skills were so exceptional she could go from classical like in the movie ‘Raksharekha’ to Latin American in ‘Mayavathi’.
Off screen too Anjali Devi was known for her “boldness”. Whether it was the fact that she was the first woman president of the Nadigar Sangam or the way she handled herself as a producer. As a producer, she always made sure women got interesting roles to play. There are several actresses in the industry who owe their growth in the field to her.
In 1940, Anjali Devi married music director Sri. P. Adinarayana Rao (1915-1991) and together they produced 27 films under the banner of Anjali Pictures. The funeral will be held on 16th January, 2014.
24 August 1927
Peddapuram, East Godavari district, Madras Presidency, British India
|Died||13 January 2014 (aged 86)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Other names||Anjamma, Anjali Kumari, Anjali Devi|
|Spouse(s)||P. Adinarayana Rao (Film Producer & Music Director)|
Other Rare HQ Photos of Anjali Devi:
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