One actress who has definitely left a strong impression at her first attempt is undoubtedly Savitri Nissankara, affectionately known by the nickname “Mahanati.” In her short but fruitful span of existence, this epic actress has given enough potential and material for her biographers to create a rocket that flew beyond the moon and landed amongst the stars. Looked up to as the “Demigoddess” in the southern territory, Savitri was famous ever since the time of her most tender years in her childhood. Unfortunately, the overwhelmingly talented actress faced a tragic death when she was 45 years old after being in a coma for almost 20 months. As we celebrate the birth anniversary of Nata Siromani, Kalaimamamani and Nadiyagar Thilakam, these are few amazing facts about the legendary actress.
A Worthy Equal To NTR And ANR When It Came To Acting Skills, Popularity Appeal AND Remuneration
During the hotspots of her career in South cinema, Savitri was naturally treated like a goddess with her many worshippers (filmmakers) who would stand in queues before her temple to fix dates and to recommend various roles. Her salary and fame were almost equal and similar to that of NTR, ANR and Sivaji Ganesan. With the aim of raising funds for the victims of the 1977 Diviseema Cyclone, Senior NTR had put up a garland offer by his fans in auction. To the amusement of people, Savitri bought the garland for Rs.10,000 and had proved her generosity and kind-heartedness when it came to helping those who were underprivileged.
Intense Passion And Love For Racing And Vintage Cars
Going against her homely, innocent roles played by her in films like “Raktha Sambhandham” and “Gundamma Katha” Savitri was a daring, tomboyish and arrogant woman behind the screens who won’t hesitate to make a decision and sustain it. Apart from being a sports fan, she possess a wide range of vintage cars at her Chennai home and was deeply passionate towards high-end four-wheelers and was also known to have won quite a number of car-racing competitions in Old Madras.
Kamal Haasan Made Her Debut In “Kalathur Kannamma” As Savitri’s Son
Kamal Haasan had entered the world of cinema as a child artist- at the tender age of 6- with his first ever film being “Kalathur Kannamma”, acting alongside Gemini Ganesan and Savitri. During an interview with Jaya Prada, the 65-year-old superstar had recalled his Savitri “Amma” as a woman who would always live life according to her own wishes and maintained the same dignity and respect during her successes and failures. Kamal also revealed that Mahanati had a very special style when it came to driving cars and chewing paan.
Accidentally Exposed Her Secret Marriage With Gemini Ganesan
During the time of her marriage with Gemini Ganesan, Savitri was at the peak of stardom. She had kept her marriage a secret and did not reveal it to anybody, save for her family and closest friends. Nevertheless, she mistakenly exposed the secret herself while agreeing to be the brand ambassador of an international soap brand, the actress had accidentally signed the papers as Savitri Ganesan. This blew her cover and the news engulfed the city like flames within a matter of seconds.
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Her Biopic “Mahanati” Bagged A National Award
In spite of the countless disagreements few critics had claimed on the authenticity and legitimacy of the content in Savitri’s life, Nag Ashwin’s applaudable work of dedication and passion in “Mahanati” does great justice to the legendary actress. Despite getting spat at for critical acclaim and low star ratings, the biopic managed to win three national awards, for the best movie, best actress and best costumes categories. Actress Keerthy Suresh did a splendid job at portraying Savitri’s life by owning striking resemblances to the late actress’s mannerisms, emotions and the aura emancipated from her screen presence. There were rumours of Keerthy almost declining the offer as she was not sure if she could do justice to an actress of immense influence such as Savitri, but was assured by her mother and accepted to do the role. Dulquer Salman had starred alongside Keerthy Suresh as Gemini Ganesan.