Santha Kumari

For the Malayalam film actress, see Santhakumari (Malayalam actress).
P. Santha Kumari
Born Vellala Subbamma
17 May 1920
Proddatur, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died 16 January 2006
Occupation Actress
Years active 1936-1979
Spouse(s) P. Pullaiah

Vellaala Subbamma (better known as Santhakumari) (17 May 1920 – 16 January 2006) was an Indian musical artist and film actress. She was married to the Telugu film director and producer P. Pullaiah.

Early years

Vellaala Subbamma was born in Proddatur town, (Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh) to Sreenivasa Rao and Pedda Narasamma. Her father was an actor and her mother was a classical music singer. Santhakumari learned classical music and violin under the guidance of Professor P. Sambamurthy and was a classmate of D. K. Pattammal. She joined a drama troupe and was an AIR artiste by the age of sixteen. She came to Madras (now Chennai) to pursue a career in music. She found employment in Vidyodaya School for a remuneration of Rs 2 per month. She sang along with music director S. Rajeswara Rao for AIR.

Film career

Santhakumari debuted in Telugu Cinema with Mayabazar (also known as Sasirekhaa Parinayam) in 1936. In the following year she was a member of the cast of Sarangadhara, a film that was directed by P. Pullaiah, whom she met and married in the same year.

The couple used the name of PadmaSree Pictures, named after their daughter Padma, for some of their movies and had success with films such as Jayabheri (1959), Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam (1960), and Preminchi Choodu (1965). Santhakumari acted in most of the movies that were made by her husband, including Shavukaru (1950), Ardhangi (1955), Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam (1960), Shanti Nivasam (1960), and Ramudu Bheemudu (1964).

In 1947, the couple started the Ragini Pictures banner with Bheemavarapu Narasimha Rao and Bhakta Jana. They made 22 films on both PadmaSree and Ragini banners put together.

She played many lead and supporting roles, with around 250 appearances in total.[1]

Awards and recognition

For her contributions to Telugu Cinema, Santha Kumari was awarded the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award in 1998.


This is partial filmography of Santha Kumari. Kindly help expanding it.

Year Film Language Credits Character
1936 Sasirekha Parinayam Telugu Actress Sasirekha
1937 Sarangadhara Telugu Actress and playback singer Chitrangi
1938 Bhakta Jayadeva Telugu Actress
1939 Balaji Telugu Actress and playback singer Consort of Venkateswara
1941 Dharmapatni Telugu Actress and playback singer
Parvati Kalyanam Telugu Actress
1943 Krishna Prema Telugu Actress and playback singer Radha
1945 Mayalokam Telugu Actress and playback singer
1948 Baktha Jana Tamil Actress
1949 Gunasundari Katha Telugu Actress Rupasundari
1950 Shavukaru Telugu Actress and playback singer Santhi
1952 Dharmadevata Telugu Actress Kathyayini
1953 Ponni Tamil Actress
1955 Ardhangi Telugu Actress and playback singer
1955 Pennin Perumai Tamil Actress
1957 Sarangadhara Telugu Actress Queen Rathnangi
1958 Sarangadhara Tamil Actress Queen Rathnangi
1958 Bommai Kalyanam Tamil Actress Thangam
1958 Bommala Pelli Telugu Actress
1959 Jayabheri Telugu Actress Annapoorna
1959 Kalaivanan Tamil Actress Annapoorna
1960 Sri Venkateswara Mahatmyam Telugu Actress Vakula
1960 Vidivelli Tamil Actress Chandru's Mother
1962 Siri Sampadalu Telugu Actress
1962 Policekaran Magal Tamil Actress
1964 Ramudu Bheemudu Telugu Actress
1965 Preminchi Choodu Telugu Actress
1967 Prana Mithrulu Telugu Actress Jagadamba
1970 Akka Chellelu Telugu Actress Mother of Judge Ramachandra Rao
1970 Talla Pellamma Telugu Actress
1971 Prem Nagar Telugu Actress
1972 Koduku Kodalu Telugu Actress
1972 Vasantha Maligai Tamil Actress Anand and Vijay's mother
1976 Secretary Telugu Actress
1979 Muttaiduva Telugu Actress

See also


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