Seema is a famous actress of South Indian films. She has done about two hundred and fifty films in Malayalam, nine in Tamil, seven in Telugu, three in Kannada and one in Hindi and still active in movie industry.
She began her career in Tamil film at the age of fourteen as a dancer. Around five years she continued as dancer. At the age of 19, as heroine, her first movie released in Malayalam titled "Avalude Raavukal" ("Her Nights"), directed by I.V.Sasi. She took a break in her career life in 1988 after the Malayalam movie "Mahayaanam", and again became active in 1998 through "Olympion Antony Adam".
Seema won the best actress award of Kerala State Govt in 1984 and in 1985, she is also a four time winner of the FilmFare awards. Three times she was nominee for national film awards . She, at her time was considered the "Queen" and "Dream Girl" of Malayalam film industry , and she is well known for her versatality.
She married I.V. Sasi, the veteran South Indian director and is blessed with a daughter and son. The family is settled in Chennai, India.
Early Life & Career
Seema born in Eranakulam, Kerala on 1957 as a single child of her parents.At the age of twelve she joined to learn dance and learned many dancing steps from Kamal Hassan, who was the assistant of her dance master, Thankappan.
She entered in to Film Field, as a normal group dancer, under dance master Chopra when she was at fourteen.Later she became upto the level of dance master and worked in film industry as composer also as dancer around five years of time. Meanwhile at the age of 17 she was asked to act in a Kannada movie as a second heroine with Kannada actor Amresh. I. V. Sasi spotted her and given the chance to act in his film "Avalude Raavukal" (literal translation: Her Nights)as heroine. The shooting of this movie started on 1977 and released on March 3rd 1978. The classic movie with Sherif's script and I.V.Sasi's direction, created waves in malayalm audience because of its soft porn nature and the challenging subject. The name Shanthi changed to Seema through this movie.The very daring and challenging role that any other actresses were reluctant to do has been done by Seema, helped her to get noticed by other directors. But movie given sexy and glamorous image to the actress, and audience were always expecting such kind of roles from her. She became the heartthrob of malayalam film industry and got noticed by other directors.
During that time Malayalm film industry was ruled by yesteryear's actresses Sheela, Sharada, Jayabharathi, K.R.Vijaya and Sreevidya. Seema received roles from many directors, but most of them were glamorous with exposing type, or as a second heroine always behind the shadows of others. She accepted all kind of roles and given confidence to directors that any kind of role is safe in her hand. But situation is changed when her movies with Super Star Jayan became mega hit. Jayan and Seema pair attracted people to theatres. This made her to become the independant heroine of the movies. Angaadi, Kaanthavalayam, Sakthi,Manushyamrugam, Bens Vasu, Meen, Karimpana, Thadavara, Anupallavi etc are some of Jayan-Seema Hit movies.Though she bacame the first and super heroine still she couldnt come out of glamorous role. Mini skirts and Swim suits were part of her costumes always!The hit pair couldn't stay for a long time, the unexpected demise of Jayan was a great loss for the industry and the most loved and accepted pair got an end .
Directors wanted to find another star to fill the gap given by Jayan, many movies were planned for Jayan, one such a movie is "Sphodanam" directed by P.G.Viswambharan. He given chance to Mammooty to take the role of Jayan, same Movie Seema also acted. Later Ratheesh had come, here also Seema paired. Seema continued acting paired with them.
A novel from popular magazine "Vanitha" was decided to take as a movie by the director P.G.Viswambharan, who chosen Seema as Dr.Bala, though the readers selected Lakshmi for the same. Director was very confident about Seema and movie is released with name "Sandhyakku Virinja Poovu" with Mammootty as a negative hero and Mohanlal as the villain.Movie was super hit and it changed Seema's image.Seema noticed as a heroine to handle character type roles and she received many serious, female oriented and good characters of Malayalam Cinema.Mammooty-Seema pair become very popular through this movie. Sandhyakku Virinja Poovu, Naanayam, Sandhyakkenthinu Sindhooram,Rugma, Onnanu Nammal, Maniyara, Manithaali,Aa neram Alpadooram, Akshrangal, Aalkoottathil thaniye, Athiraathram, Anubandham, Adiyozhukkukal, Idanilangal, Kaanamarayathu,Gandhinagar Second Street, Karimbin Poovinakkare, Mahaayaanam etc are some of the hit movies. Seema proved her versatility through all these movies.
Seema done many characters of veteran writer MT.Vasudevan Nair.This itself is a great award for her. Her versatality given all sort of roles, if she acted as a bold heroine who driven car in a stunt scene of movie "Naanayam", the same year she had acted as a pathetic mother in "Rugma". She done comedy in "Ayalvasi oru Daridravasi" also she done villain role in "Oru Sumangaliyude Kadha". She done as a jobless widow with a kid in Anubandham, the same time she done as a revenging widow as in "Athiraathram". Malayalam movie industry never had seen such a verstaile heroine. She is well known for her emotional scenes.Her dialogue presentation and different face expressions are noticeable. Listed some movies that proves her versatality
Heroes and Co-actresses
Her heroes include most or all heroes of malayalm movie from 1978 to 1988. She paired more movies with Mammootty, Jayan and Ratheesh.Also well done with with Prem Nazir, Madhu, Kamal Hassan,Raghavan, Ravi Menon, Sukumaran, Soman, Mohanlal, Nedumudi Venu,Capt.Raju, Devan , Jose,Venu Nagavalli, Balachandra Menon, T.G. Ravi etc.
It is difficult to include all her co-actresses but need to mention Sharada, Sheela, Jayabharathi, Sreevidya, Sukumari, KR Vijaya, Vidhubala, Kanaka Durga, Mallika Sukumaran, Meena, Kaviyoor Ponnamma of 1970s Suhasini,Rajalekshmi, Swapna, Oorvasi, Geetha,Nalini, Sabitha, Jalalja, Unnimeri, Subha, Sumithra, Shobhana, Nanditha Bose, Surekha,Parvathy, Ambika, Radha, Kalaranjini,Chithra, Sithara, Lakshmi,Lizi,Karthika,Poornima Jayaram, Menaka, Ahalya,Rani Padmini,Saritha, Farah, Shobhana, Rohini of 1980s,in 1990s and 2000s she acted with Abhirami, Meena, Manisha Koirala, Soundarya etc.
Of all Sreevidya shared a special affection with her. Seema used to casll her Vidya Chechi. Sreevidya helped Seema discover the nuances in make-up and hair styles. Seema had mentioned that Sreevidya would personally sit up and plait Seema's long hair whenever they acted or travelled together for a shooting.
She worked with many directors like I.V.Sasi, Sasikumar, P.G.Viswambharan, Priyadarsan, Sathyan Anthikkadu, Joshi, Sibi Malayil etc With I.V Sasi she has done 59 films as heroine, and with Sasikumar she done 29 movies as heroine.It is difficult to find or may be a record that an actress acting as heroine of 59 movies of a director.
Voice Behind the Seema
Seema has a very beautiful, lovely and sexy voice in her movies. This credit goes to her favourite dubbing artist, the late Mrs.Kottayam Shantha who has given voice to Seema's characters. Till 1988, except two movies, Avalude Raavukal and Adavukal Pathinettu, all Seema's characters were dubbed by Kottayam Shantha. Seema, while signing call sheet itself request the directors to use Kottayam Shantha's voice. That voice is really suitable to her, especially with her lip movements. That sound is nurtured for Seema, though Kottayam Shantha dubbed for other actresses like Lakshmi, Swapna, sumalatha etc.