T. P. Rajalakshmi

For the Telugu film actress, see Rajalakshmi (actress).

Thiruvaiyaru Panchapakesa Rajalakshmi (11 November 1911[1] – 1964) was the first Tamil and Telugu film heroine, female director and producer in the South Indian cinema industry.

Early life

T.P.Rajalakshmi was born on 11 November 1911 in the town of Thiruvaiyaru in the then Tanjore district of the Madras Presidency.

At the age of 20, Rajalakshmi married her co-star T. V. Sundaram. As soon after their wedding, the Couple adopted a female child, in order to save the girl child from "Girl Child Assassination", that was practiced in those days. Also Rajalakshmi acted in several stage plays showing the protest for the British people, who were ruling over the India in those days, which made Rajalakshmi to be imprisoned several times by the British Government. Rajalakshmi was a role model for the people and she initiated the social awareness to fight against the Female Child Assassination and to fight for the Freedom of the Nation through her life style that she led.

Later the couple gave birth to a female child and named the child as "Kamala" in 1936. T.P.Rajalakshmi also directed a film named Miss Kamala' and inaugurated the birth of her daughter Kamala. The movie Miss Kamala turned out to be a blockbuster hit of those days and Rajalakshmi was a leading star of those days, which made the people to expect and wait anxious for Rajalakshmi's upcoming movies. She was the top star of those days and continued her role in several films.

She owned several Properties at Kilpauk and became a wealthy woman. She resided at the Palace house, that she purchased at the very first. TPR also permitted her brothers and their families too to reside at her palace "Raj Mahal" that was located at No.1.Rajarathinam street. Followed by, she owned several Properties in Rajarathinam Street and Professor Subramanian street Vasu Street etc. atKilpauk. As a wealthy woman, she continued her roles in several films and she had a strong welcome by the people for her movies and songs.Indhiya Thaai was her last film. Rajalakshmi fell sick and died by 1964.

Stage career

In order to support her family, Rajalakshmi joined a drama troupe and acted in stage plays. She learnt dance and music from Sankaradas Swamigal, a popular dramatist. Rajalakshmi got her big break in 1931, when she was cast as the heroine in the first Tamil talkie, Kalidas. Later on, Rajalakshmi turned out to be the star cast of those days. Many directors and producers requested Rajalakshmi to provide her call sheet for the upcoming films.

She was honored with the title "Cinema Rani" and later, she was awarded the "Kalaimamani" award for her excellence towards the Cine Industry, for which Puratchi Thalaivar Dr.M.G.Ramachandran, who was the Chief Minister honored T.P.Rajalakshmi by sending his own car to Rajalakhmi's house in order to invite the pioneer to the venue, where Rajalakshmi was facilitated and awarded.

Other leading stars like Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan, M.G.Chakrapani, T.R.Mahalingam, Nambiar and many people had a great respect on T.P.Rajalakshmi and the entire South Indian Film Industry of those days were so proud for T.P.R.

As a novelty, Rajalakshmi introduced a sequence in which a song is heard over the radio. It was a period when radio was not yet a familiar medium of entertainment.

Rajalakshmi employed stunt sequences to portray the kidnapping of the heroine by a hired gang for which she engaged well known stunt actors of the day — ‘Battling’ C. S. D. Singh and ‘Stunt’ Rajoo.

A staunch patriot, Rajalakshmi was associated with the Freedom Movement and the Indian National Congress. To express her devotion to the cause, she produced a film India Thai. The British Indian censors objected to the title of the film, but TPR never minded the protest and she released the film daring in the name of the "Indhiya Thaai". Heavily mauled by the censors, this film fared badly at the box office but she did not mind the loss for her, rather she felt it was her contribution to the Freedom Movement.

She later switched to matronly roles in movies such as Idhaya Geetham. Rajalakshmi became wealthy, owning sizeable properties in Kilpauk. In one of her movies, Nandakumar, T. P. Rajalakshmi objected to wearing a "katcham" (a bra-like costume). Noted star Durga Khote wore it for the Marati version without a murmur of protest. However, Rajalakshmi threatened to walk out of the movie, and left with no option, a 1930s – Poona-fashion "jumper" blouse was used for the replacement of Katcham.


T.P.Rajalakshmi's birth Centenary was celebrated recently by the Government of Tamil Nadu. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu stated, "Tamil Nadu feels pride in gifting to the Indian Cinemas, the first female director, producer and heroine honored with the title - CINEMA RANI T.P.Rajalakshmi. Her birth centenary was celebrated recently as a Government Function to honor the pioneer."

The Nadigar Sangam of South India honored TPR by constituting an award in her name(T.P.Rajalakshmi award) for the forthcoming generations in the 63rd Annual General Body Meet. Senior Actress Smt.M.N.Rajam was the first recipient to receive the T.P.Rajalakshmi award.

Several other functions were conducted by the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Naadagam Mandram, Ulagaayutha Tamil Talkies, Barathi Tamil Foundation. Smt.Kamala was honored in behalf of Cinema Rani TPR.

Sun TV honored Cinema Rani TPR on the occasion of the World women's day by organizing a show named Penmayai Potruvom.

Podhigai TV conducted a special star cast interview of Cinema Rani T.P.R's Daughter- Kamala along with the famous Cine Actor, Shri.Mohanraman in the show named Muthal Thiruppam.


Film Name Year Director Role
Uthami 1943 Actor
Paranjoti 1945 T. R. Raghunath Actor
Kalidas 1931 H. M. Reddy Actor
Bhama Parinayam 1936 V. V. Rao Actor
Simanthini 1936 Ellis R. Duncan Actor
Tamil Thayi 1939 Actor
Poornachandra 1935 D. R. Das Actor
Saguna Saraasa 1939 Narayan Deware Actor
Rajeshwari 1930 Raja Sandow Actor
Anadhai Penn 1938 Raghupathy S. Prakasa Actor
Idhaya Geetham 1950 Joseph Taliath Actor
Miss Kamala 1936 T. P. Rajalakshmi Actor.Director
Lalithangi 1935 Actor
Usha Sundari 1930 Raja Sandow Actor
Bhakta Kuchela 1935 K. Subrahmanyam Actor
Bhakta Kumaran 1939 K. Rangarao Actor
Madurai Veeran 1938 T. P. Rajalakshmi Actor.Director
Gul-e-bakavali 1935 S. Soundararajan Actor
Kausalya Parinayam 1937 C. S. V. Iyer Actor
Savitri Satyavan 1933 Actor
Nandakumar 1938 N. D. Sarpotdar Actor
Kovalan 1929 Raghupathy S. Prakasa Actor
Jeevajyoti 1947 K. M. Multani Actor

REFERENCES: [2]==References==

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/5/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.