L. Vijayalakshmi

L. Vijayalakshmi Datta
Born Vijayalakshmi Lakshmanan
Ernakulam , Tirunelveli, British India,
(now in Tamil Nadu, India)
Residence Virginia, United States of America
Other names L. Vijayalakshmi, Vijayalakshmi, Viji, Vijayalakshmi Datta
Occupation Film actress, Indian Classical Dancer, Budgeting Officer in Virginia Polytechnic University
Years active 1952 to present
Spouse(s) Surajit Kumar De Datta (m. 1969)
Children Raj Kumar De Datta
Parent(s) Lakshmanan (father)

L. Vijayalakshmi is an Indian film actress and classical dancer whose career was in the 1960s and 1970s.[1] She appeared in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi films.[2][3] Her debut film was Marumakal (1952).

Early life and training

"I remember I used to take bus route 21C to Ramaiah Pillai house. Often lessons went on for six hours. E. V. Saroja was learning from him too that time.

Suganthy Krishnamachari[4]

Vijayalakshmi was born in Ernakulam and was raised in Tirunelveli. Her family then moved to Pune. There, at six years, Vijayalakshmi, was inspired when she saw Vyjayanthimala, Lalitha and Padmini dance at the South Indian Association and she would practice dancing in the backyard of her house.[4] Vijayalakshmi's father noticed her talent for dancing and sent her to a mentor, Sukumara Pillai.

Vijayalakshmi's first performance was at a temple in Andhra Pradesh when she was nine years old. When Vijayalakshmi needed advanced dance training the discipline of Bharathanatyam, her family moved to Madras. They lived in South Mada Street, Mylapore and Vijayalakshmi was mentored by Kamala.[5]

Then, quite by accident when walking near the Kapaleeswarar Temple Vijayalakshmi met K. J. Sarasa who sent her to the dance teacher, Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai. E. V. Saroja was also his student.[4] Ten months later, on 28 October 1955, Vijayalakshmi gave her arangetram (debut) at the Rasika Rajya Sabha (a cultural organisation hall).

Vijayalakshmi was not from a wealthy family. She had just one costume for the three hour performance. The family could not offer more than tea as refreshments to the audience and there were no printed invitations. Despite these disadvantages, the concert was well attended. Vijayalakshmi was introduced by E. Krishna Iyer, a classical artist. The filmmaker, V. Shantaram and the performer, Kamala Lakshmanan were in attendance.

Following her debut, Vijayalakshmi was offered employment at no less than four cultural organisations (sabha).[4] However, her teacher suggested she advance her dance skills through tuition with T. K. Swaminatha Pillai.[4]

Acting career

Vijayalakshmi's debut film performance was in S. K Chaari's film, Marumakal (1952). In 1959, she acted in a character role and danced in the Telugu language film Sipayi Kuthuru. This involved training and performing in a modified classical dance style.[4] Vijayalakshmi's beauty and dance skill made her suitable for that film and other films of the time and so she became very well known. She was cast with NTR , ANR and other well known performers.

Vijayalakshmi was also cast in many Malayalam language movies. Three of these were with Prem Nazir and others were with Jnana Sundari, Laila Majnu and Sathya Bhama. In Tamil films, Vijayalakshmi was cast with actors such as M. G. Ramachandran , Sivaji Ganesan , Jaishankar, Gemini Ganesan , R. Muthuraman and Ravichandran.[4]

Many of Vijayalakshmi's films included the Bhangra dance form. One such film is Kudiyirundha Koyil which features the song, Aadaludan Paadalai Kettu Rasipathilethan Sugam Sugam.[6]

Vijayalakshmi's Tamil language film debut was Paadhai Theriyudhu Paar (1960) in which she played Aalukkoru Veedu. Although it won a National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil the movie was not a commercial success. Some suggested Vijaylakshmi should have danced in this movie but the director indicated she had not because her character did not know how to dance.[4]

In 1964, Vijayalakshmi was cast in the S. Balachandar movie Bommai, a Tamil suspense thriller. It was shown for at least 100 days in Madras theatres.

Ooty Varai Uravu (1967) from AVM Productions was Vijayalakshmi's last film.

Personal life

Whilst shooting Ooty Varai Uravu Vijayalakshmi was married to her brother's friend, Surajit Kumar De Dutta, an agricultural scientist working in Philippines.[4] After her marriage, Vijayalakshmi took the Benores Hindu matriculation exam as a private candidate.[4] In 1969, she moved to Manila, Philippines. In 1977, when Morarji Desai, the prime minister of India (1977 - 1979) visited Manila, the Indian Embassy asked Vijayalakshmi to dance at an official function. In 1991, Vijayalakshmi moved to the United States. She became an auditor and was employed as a budgeting officer at Virginia Polytechnic University.





Year Movie Character/song
1955 Neethipathi Ananthame Ananthame
1959 Panchaali o
1960 Kavalai Illaadha Manithan J. P. Chandrababu wife
1960 Aalukkoru Veedu
1960 Paadhai Theriyudhu Paar Movie won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil
1960 Kalathur Kannamma Dancer
1961 Thayilla Pillai Suguna
1962 Manithan Maravillai
1962 Sumaithaangi Gemini Ganesan sister
1963 Koduthu Vaithaval Nalini
1964 Bommai Mallika
1964 En Kadamai
1965 Enga Veetu Pillai Kangalum Kavadi Sinthagattum - dance]
1965 Oru Viral
1965 Aayirathil Oruvan M.N. Nambiar wife
1965 Panchavarna Kili Azhagan Muruganidam
1965 Kakkum Karangal Viji
1966 Vallavan Oruvan Thara
1966 Naam Moovar
1966 Mahakavi Kalidas
1966 Iru Vallavargal Rani
1967 Sabash Thambi Shanthi
1967 Ethirigal Jakkirathai Prabha
1967 Ooty Varai Uravu Vijaya
1967 Bhavani
1968 Kudiyirundha Koyil Aadaludan Paadalai
1968 Anbu Vazhi
1970 Noorandu Kalam Vazhga
1971 Sabatham Drapadi



  1. L. Vijayalakshmi Internet Movie Database website.
  2. L Vijayalakshmi Malayalachalachithram.com Accessed 29 March 2015.
  3. Vijayalakshmi Malayalasangeetham.info 26 January 2009 Accessed 29 March 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Krishnamachari S. Interview with L Vijayalakshmi "The Hindu" 5 February 2015. Accessed 18 December 2015.
  5. Babu S. Vijayalakshmi A blog about Indian screen stars. 18 December 2015.
  6. Narasimhan T. A. Magr learnt the Bhangra for a month to dance with Vijayalakshmi "The Hindu" 24 December 2007. Accessed 18 December 2015

External links

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