The Ethereal Amrapali – Vyjayanthimala

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She is one of the most prominent actresses of the golden era, Bharat Natyam dancer, Carnatic singer, Golfer and Parliamentarian. Her iconic film career lasted for more than two decades and she was known as the “feminine superstar” of the Indian screen.

We are talking about none other than Vyjayantimala, the ethereal Amrapali of Indian Cinema.

Vyjayantimala was born to actress and dancer Vasundhara Devi in a Tamil-speaking family in Chennai, India, on August 13, 1936.

At the age of 4, she got the rare chance of performing a dance before the Pope. Then at the age of 15, while in her final year at school, she was signed-up by family friend, M.V. Raman, for a role in a Tamil film ‘Vazhkai’. This movie was successful at the box office and was re-made in Hindi during 1951 and released as ‘Bahaar’. She was known as one of Bollywood’s finest dancers of her time. Vyjayantimala, trained in Bharatanatyam dance, performed some super-hit song and dance numbers in Hindi films. She refused the Best Supporting Actress Filmfare Award, as she felt that her role as ‘Chandramukhi’ in Devdas (1955) was not a supporting one; the strong-headed actress felt she was as much the heroine of the film as Suchitra Sen, who played ‘Paro’.
Vyjayanthimala won the Best Actress Filmfare Award three times, for her roles in Sadhana (1958), Gunga Jumna (1961), and Sangam (1964). She was honored with the Sangeet Natak Akademi award by the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement award for her distinguished contribution to Indian cinema.

Defying age, time and space, she’s still dancing in the new millennium. For Vyjayantimala, everything begins and ends with dance. With the sheer purity of her movement, dignity of her personality, and a keen sense of balance, Vyjayantimala charms the audience.
Dancing, acting, golfing, marriage, motherhood… a life that continued to pose challenges to keep performing at every given stage, weathering many a storm, she personifies grace and beauty that is timeless. Precisely the stuff legends are made of…!

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

1 Comment

  1. tgrsc

    August 14, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I would say the MOST BEAUTIFUL & GRACEFUL actress bollywood has ever produced.She retired at the peak of her career which few will dare to do.

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