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Photos: Malayalam actresses who ruled South Indian screen

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Indian cinema has completed 100 years and the South Indian film industry, which consists of four languages like Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam, has made an enormous contribution to it. There was a time when Punjabi girls ruled the South Indian screen! But gone are the days and hardly a few girls from this part are featured on screen today. The thrones have been usurped by a bunch of ambitious Malayali girls.

These Malayalam actresses are educated and uninhibited, talented and beautiful! They first debuted in Malayalam film industry and proved their metal. They impressed the filmmakers in other South Indian languages with their wonderful performances and glamour and won chance to feature in their respective languages. Some of them proved successful in other languages and they never looked back to Mollywood, while few others returned home without having successful career in other languages.

A host of Malayalam actresses like Nayantara, Bhavana, Meera Nandan, Meera Jasmine, Mamta Mohandas, Bhama, Ananya, Asin, Gopika, Kavya Madhavan, Padmapriya, Navya Nair, Remya Nambeesan, Shweta Menon, Sindhu Menon, Amala Paul and Parvathy Omanakuttan have invaded the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industries and become top actresses there.

We pay a pictorial tribute to these Mallu girls, who have invaded the South Indian celluloid! Continue to see them in the slide show.


Nayantara began her acting career with Malayalam movie Manassinakkare in 2003. She entered Tamil films with the Sarathkumar's Ayya. Rajinikanth's Chandramukhi catapulted her to stardom. Then onwards, there is no look back for this actress, who is one of the highest paid actresses in South India today. She has acted in several super-hit movies in Telugu, Tamil and Kannada.


Hailing from Thrissur in Kerala, Bhavana debuted in films with Malayalam movie Nammal. After featuring in a dozen Mollywood films, she entered Tamil with Mysskin's Chithiram Pesuthedi in 2005. She scored a superhit with Jayam Kondaan. Later, she has lead a successful career in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.

Meera Jasmine

Meera Jasmine made her movie debut with Lohithadas Malayalam film Soothradharan in 2001. She hit Kollywood screen with Run in 2002. Since then, she has acted in many hit movies in all the four South Indian languages. She is a superstar heroine in South India. She has won many awards in each of these languages including a National Award.

Mamta Mohandas

Mamta Mohandas, who hailed from Kozhikode in Kerala, is basically a singer, and she made acting debut with 2005 Malayalam flick Mayookham. After starring in a half a dozen films in Mollywood, she forayed into Tamil with Sivappathigaram, Telugu with Yamadonga and Kannada with Gooli. Her beauty and talent has been keeping her busy in all these four South Indian languages till today.

Amala Paul

Amala Paul entered films with 2009 Malayalam Neelathamara and her performance in it fetched her several offers in Tamil and Telugu, where she is very busy today with handful of projects. She is one of the most sought after actresses in these two languages.


Asin has been the most successful crossover actress from Malayalam. She started her acting career with Narendran Makan Jayakanthan Vaka in 2001. That was her first and last movie in this language. She went busy in Tamil and Telugu. After tasting success in Bollywood, she bid good bye to South Indian films to pursue her career in Hindi. Superhits Ghajini and Pokkiri made her a superstar!


Bhama started her film career in 2007 through Nivedyam directed by Lohithadas. Before her entry to film industry, she was doing a matrimonial programme on television titled Thaali. She debuted with Ellam Avan Seyal, which has been declared a superhit.


Ananya made her debut with the Malayalam film - Positive. Recently, she acted with Jayaram in Rahasya Police. She has played a very important role in the Tamil hit Nadodigal. Her debut film in Telugu is Amayakudu. Ananya is balancing her career between academics and films. In her final year of BA specialising in Journalism, Visual Communication Ananya has a very professional attitude towards films.


Gopika, who was born and brought up in Thrissur, entered films with Malayalam movie Pranayamanithooval in 2003. Her wonderful performance in it brought her several offers from Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. In just seven years, she has featured in more than 20 films in all these languages. She has won many awards also. But she quit acting after her marriage. During her period, she was one of the most sought after actresses in South India.

Navya Nair

Navya Nair began her acting career with the Mollywood film Ishtam in 2001. After starring in more than a dozen Malayalam films, she forayed to Tamil with Azhagiya Theeye and proved successful. Later, she acted in several Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada films and said goodbye to acting after marriage.

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