She was one of the most popular actresses in South India and number one actress in Telugu film industry in 1970s. She had starred alongside most of the veteran actors in South India. She fell in love with noted Tamil actor Vijayakumar and married him. We are talking about none other than legendary actress Manjula Vijayakumar, who died in Chennai on Tuesday, following a brief illness.
Manjula Vijayakumar made her debut as a child actor in Tamil film Shanthi Nilayam in 1969. She entered Telugu film industry with the movie Jai Jawan in 1970. Later, she acted in more than 30 Telugu movies. She had worked with legendary Telugu actors like Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Shobhan Babu. Alluri Seetarama Raju, Manchi Manasulu, Mahakavi Kshetrayya, Magadu, Monagadu and Manushulu Chesina Dongalu are some of her memorable movies in Tollywood.
Manjula enjoyed huge success as heroine in 1970s, but in the 1980s, she began appearing in supporting roles like mother and sister. In the 1990's the number of films came down. Recently, she was diagnosed with jaundice and was undergoing treatment for it. She was admitted to Sri Ramchandra Medical College (SRMC) in Chennai a week ago after she suffered a severe fall in her house. She breathed her last this morning (July 23).
We bring you rare pictures of Manjula Vijayakumar and some interesting facts about her Telugu movies. Continue to see them in the slideshow.
Alluri Seetarama Raju (1974)
The 1974 film Alluri Seetarama Raju is a historical Telugu film based on the life of Indian freedom fighter Alluri Sitaramaraju. It is the 100th film of Ghattamaneni Krishna. Manjula played an important role, Vijaya Nirmala essayed the role of the heroine.
Manchi Manasulu (1974)
Manjula had played the heroine opposite Shoban Babu in the 1974 Telugu film Manchi Manushulu, which was a remake of Hindi film Aa Gale Lag Jaa, which in turn is remade into Tamil language entitled Uthaman in 1976 starring Shivaji Ganesan.
In 1975, Manjula once again joined hands with Shobhan Babu for the movie Gunavanthudu, which was a family entertainer with a good comedy, action and romance. Shobhan played a dual role in the movie.
Mahakavi Kshetrayya (1976)
Mahakavi Kshetrayya was a based on the life of Kshetrayya. Produced by Anjali Pictures, the movie starred Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Anjali Devi in lead roles. Manjula had played a devadasi (prostitute) in the movie.
Bhale Dongalu (1976)
Manjula played female lead in the movie Bhale Dongalu, which featured her alongside Krishna. Directed by KSR Das, the film also featured Mohan Babu and Nagabhushanam in the leads.
Monagadu was on of the big hits of the year 1976. Manjula, who played the female lead in it, had teamed up with Shoban Babu for the second time after the huge success of Manchi Manasulu.
Magadu was superhit film of the year 1976. Manjula played the heroine opposite Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao.
Pichi Maaraju (1976)
Manjula's chemistry with Shoban Babu proved to be very successful. So they were roped in again for the movie Pichi Maaraju, which went to became decent hit at the Box Office.
Manushulu Chesina Dongalu (1977)
Unlike other heroines of her time, Manjula hogged the limelight very soon. The back-to-back success of her films brought her an offer to play heroine alongside superstar Krishna in the movie Manushulu Chesina Dongalu, which was a big of the year.
Following the success of Manushulu Chesina Dongalu, Manjula once again teamed up with Krishna for the movie Mayadaari Malligaadu, which was also a big hit at the Box Office.
Bangaru Bommalu (1977)
Manjula had paired with Akkineni Nageswara Rao for Bangaru Bommalu, which was about Gopi, a widower whose encounter with his wife's spitting image (Manjula) triggers memories of how his family life took a horrible turn.
In 1990s, Manjula had played supporting roles in several Telugu movies including Chanti and Vaasu.