Veteran actress Maheshwari Amma, better known by her stage name of KPAC Lalitha who starred in over 500 films primarily in Malayalam cinema, passed away in Kochi late Tuesday night. She was 74. Malayalam is the language spoken in Kerala state, located on the southern tip of India.
Lalitha, though active in the film industry until recently, was ailing for a long time. She was hospitalised in December last year for liver-related ailments.
Lalitha, who began her career with the Left-oriented Kerala People’s Arts Club (KPAC), a theatre collective in Alappuzha, entered the film industry in the year 1969 through ‘Koottukudumbam’, a film by KS Sethu Madhavan.
Due to her acting prowess, she continued to remain the mainstay of the film industry through the 80s, 90s, 2000s and 2010s through a diverse array of roles unmatched in the industry. She proved that she could handle any kind of role with ease across multiple genres. But, she excelled in the family dramas, donning roles of mother, sister, sister-in-law and daughter. Her comedic timing particularly was impeccable.
Some of Lalitha’s prominent and noteworthy roles came in films like Kodiyettam, Chattambikalyani, Rajahamsam, Sanmanassulavarku Samadhanam, Vietnam Colony, Manichitrathazhu and Aniyathipravu.
She bagged the National award for best supporting actress twice in Amaram (1990) and Shantham (2000). She has served as the chairperson of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi.
She was married to noted film director Bharathan who passed away in 1998. Her son Siddharth is an actor and director.
Reference : Malayala Manorama, Times of India, Indian Express & Deccan Herald.