Veteran Kannada actor Abhinaya Sharade Jayanthi passes away

Veteran Kannada actor Jayanthi, popularly known as ‘Abhinaya Sharade’, passed away on Monday due to age-related ailments at her residence in Bengaluru. The 76-year-old actor was known for her notable contribution to the Kannada cinema and acted in over 500 movies in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and Marathi. The actor received substantial publicity during her lifetime and was hailed as the Kannada cinema’s boldest and most beautiful actress by various media outlets. 

Born in Karnataka’s Bellary in 1950, Jayanthi’s original name was Kamala Kumari. Her movie debut happened when Director YR Puttaswamy gave her the first chance in the movie Jenugoodu after spotting her during one of her dance rehearsals and gave her the stage name Jayanthi. She enjoyed a good run in the Kannada film industry and co-starred with the Kannada movie icon Rajkumar in more than 30 movies. 

After the first commercial success with Jenugoodu, her next film as an actor was T. V. Singh Thakur’s Chandavalliya Thotathe first film that paired her with Rajkumar. Based on T. R. Subba Rao’s novel the film was a huge success and even won the President’s Medal for Best Film in Kannada. Since then she has acted in several movies whose theme was boldness. She was seen as a strong independent lead heroine in a conservative Kannada cinema, credited for being the first Kannada actor to wear a swimsuit on screen in her 1965 movie Miss Leelavathi, directed by M. R. Vittal. The movie again won her the President’s award.

Her fame led her to land major roles in the Tamil cinema and she acted with major stars including M.G. Ramachandran, Gemini Ganeshan, Muhuraman and Jaishankar. 

She received various accolades throughout her life for her breakthrough performances. She was awarded with Karnataka State Film Awards seven times, and four times as Best Actress and twice as the Best Supporting Actress. She had been in a conjugal life with Film Director Peketi Sivaram for a few years but later separated. The actor is survived by her son Krishna Kumar. 

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