A Tribute To The Smiling Beauty

By - July 23, 2013 - 04:23 PM IST

More Stories

Actress Manjula is very well remembered by the audience who followed Telugu Cinema of the 70s.  After K.R. Vijaya, it was Manjula who was noticed for her stunning smile.  Exhibiting tenderness, and having a picture perfect rounded face, she debuted with Annapurna Studios production film ‘Jai Jawaan’ (1970) in a small role but yet making an impact.  Audience felt that she had a great future in the film industry.  A year before this, she acted in Tamil film Shanti Nilayam (1969) as grown up daughter of Gemini Ganesan’s character.  But the film which took her to new heights was Rickshaw Kaaran (1971) where she acted beside M.G.R. After that film Manjula never looked back.  The same film was dubbed in Telugu as Rickshaw Wala and tasted success in Telugu lands as well.  

Right from then marathon journey began as an actress both in Telugu and Tamil film industries.  When Adurthi Subbarao made a comeback from Hindi Films to Telugu with Krishna starrer Mayadari Malligadu, Manjula’s beauty and her peppiness made the film a tremendous hit commercially.  Songs like Burru Pitta, Vastha Yellostha, Talaku Neelloskomani made the audience re-visit the theatres again and again.  Right from then she acted along with all top heroes of Telugu Cinema then such as Sr.NTR, ANR, Krishna and Sobhan Babu in numerous films. Vaade Veedu (1973), Palletoori Chinnodu (1974), Manushulantha Okkate (1976), Neram Naadhi Kadhu Athanidhi (1976), Maa Iddari Kadha (1977) were the films which came with Sr.NTR and Manjula’s comination while Marapuraani Manishi (1973), Dorababu (1974) , Mahakavi Kshetrayya (1976), Bangaru Bommalu (1977) had her act with ANR. The song Nenadarini  Nuvvadarini from Bangaru Bommalu was highly popular.

Manjula and Sobhan Babu were also regarded as a hit combination with many films in their side.  The first movie in their combination was Jagapathi Art PicturesManchi Manushulu’ (1974) was highly successful.  Songs like Padaku Padaku Venta Padaku, Hariyoranga Hari, Nenu Leka Neevu Levu, Pellaindhi Premavindhuku Velaindhi were amazingly popular commercially. Jebu Donga (1975), Iddaru Iddare (1976), Manchi Maaraju (1976) where Manjula acted beside Sobhan Babu were well received and earned Manjula a great name as actress.
At an age when Vanisri was busy with various film projects, producers and directors used to ask for Manjula to be casted beside top heroes.  Irrespective of the hero, if Manjula was the female lead, it was considered as minimum guarantee.  Manjula was well known for her great presence in songs, and it was the reason why they used to select her. After getting married to Tamil actor Vijayakumar, Manjula continued her acting career by appearing in character roles. By her sudden demise at the age of 60, Manjula made all the older generation revisit the golden days of 70s and the wonderful memories her films gave them.