Name: GOPI SHANTHA
- FEMALE SIVAJI GANESAN (As she had been acting in dramas and movies with full concentration, perfection and devotion with unique dialogne delivery, all comparable to ‘Nadigar Thilagam’ Sivaji Ganesan)
- PALLATHOOR PAAPA (Manorama had been called by her son and other family members as ‘Paapa’ and her place of domicle was Pallathoor, Chettinadu near Karaikudi)
- SURAIYA OF THE SOUTH INDIAN CINEMA ( As Manorma had been singing and acting in Tamil Movies like the popular Bollywood Singer-cum-Actress Suraiya , who had been singing and acting in Bollywood Movies)
Date of Birth: 26th May 1937
Aachi Manorama had been reluctant in telling the year of her birth. In the interviews at many places, including Colombo- Srilanka and Toronto- Canada, when she had been asked by the interviewer/s about her date of birth, she told that she was born on ’26th May’. When the interviewer/s asked what was the year of her birth, she used to tell jokingly, that ‘One should not ask the Income of the Males and the Age of the Females’.
Aachi Manorama had been maintaining her body and mind ever young and it was difficult to guess her correct age.
Place of Birth :
RAJAMANNARGUDI, TANJORE DISTRICT, TAMILNADU.
Place of Domicile :
Pallathoor, Chettinadu near Karaikkudi, Pudukkottai District, Tamilnadu. Gopi Shanta’s mother moved from Rajamannargudi to Pallathoor, Chettinadu with the 10 months old Baby Gopi Shantha, subsequent to her divorce from her husband, who married the younger sister of Manorama’s mother.
Date of Death :
10th October 2015-Died at Chennai- At the age of 78 years due failure of multiple organs.
Father: KASI KILAKUDAIYAR
Husband: S.M.Ramanathan, who had been the ‘Manager of a Drama Company’, loved and Married Manorama in the year 1964 and the couple got Divorced in the year 1966
Son: Bhoopathy-Actor-cum-Singer was Born in the year 1965
Gopi Shantha attended Elementary School at Pallathoor, Chettinadu and Discontinued Studies after the 6th Standard, due to poverty and her interest in singing and acting in Stage-Dramas.
Manorama neither had school /college education nor she had proper training in singing.
Occupation: Tamil Cinema Actress and Singer
Gopi Shantha started singing as Playback Singer for the Drama Actors and she started acting in stage dramas from the age of 12 years.
In the ‘Stage Dramas’, Gopi Shantha was renamed as ‘Manorama’ by the ‘Harmonist’- Thiayagarajan, who had been like a guardian to Gopi Shantha.
Manorama had been acting in small roles in the ‘Vairam Nataga Sabha’ dramas, staged in Chettinadu and the surrounding places, including Pudukkottai.
S.S.Rajendran/ SSR, Drama Actor-cum-Producer / Director had been staging dramas of his drama company-‘SSR Nataka Mandram’ at Pudukkottai, Tamilnadu.
At Pudukkottai, Manorama saw a drama of SSR, at Pudukkottai. After the end of the drama show, Manorama was introduced to SSR. Manorama, was inducted into the ‘SSR Nataka Mandram, after having satifactory ‘Voice and Acting tests’..
Manorama had been associated with S.S.Rajendran and his ‘SSR- Nataga Mandram’ for many years and she had been acting as the heroines of the ‘SSR Nataga Mandram’’s dramas.
Manorama has acted in more than 100 dramas of the ‘SSR Nataga Mandram’, including:
Manorama entered the ‘Silver Screen’ / Cinema Field, from the ‘Stage Dramas Field’ with aspirations to become a popular heroine in the Cinema Field.
According to Manorama, ‘Kavignar’- Kannadasan had told her that if she would act in movies as the heroine only, she would get chances and her stay in the cinema field would be for only a span of 4 or 5 years and if she acted in comedy roles, she would continue in the movie field for many years.
‘Kaviyarasar’-Kannadasan, told that Manorama was a talented singer and actor and he hoped and wished that she would become a very good comedian in the Cinema Field, which became true, in course of time.
In the year 1958, Manorama acted in a comedy role in her first Tamil Movie-‘Maalaiyitta Mangai’, produced by Kannadasan, starring T.R.Mahalingam, Pandaribai and Mynaavathi.
Though Manorama was not an ‘Aachi’-meaning an elderly lady of Chettinadu, she had been called as ‘Aachi’ because:
- Her mother moved from Rajamannargudi, Tanjore District, after Gopi Shantha’s birth, and subsequent to her divorce by her husband, to Pallathoor, Chettinadu near Karaikkudi, people thought that she was a native of Chettinadu.
- Further, as Manorama had acted in one of the dramas, as an ‘Aachi’, speaking in the same manner as how an ‘Aachi’ would speak, her audience started calling her as ‘Aachi’.
- In the Dramas and the Cinema Fields the co-actors started calling Manorama as ‘Aachi’,with a respect.
In the year 1963, Manorama acted as the heroine in the Tamil Movie- ‘Konjum Kumari’, produced by the ‘Modern Theatres’ with R.S.Manohar as the hero.
However, after ‘Konjum Kumari’, which was not well received by the audience, with Manorama as a Heroine and R. S.Manohar as the Hero, Manorama started acting mostly in comedy roles and character roles and later in mother characters.
Manorama had been mainly acting in Tamil Movies and she has acted in a few Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam Movies.
The only Hindi Movie, Manorama acted is ‘Kunwara Baap’, directed and starred by the popular Bollywood Comedy Actor-Mehmood.
Vinodh Mehra and Bharathi Vishnuvardhan-Kannada Actress also acted in the movie.
‘Aachi’- Manorama started singing in her songs as playback for herself. She has sung more than 300 songs in the movies.
‘Aachi’-Manorama has acted as a Female comedian pairing with the following popular Male Comedians of Tamil Cinema of yester-years and also with the present day’s Actors and Comedians:
- J.P.Chandra Babu,
- Suruli Rajan and
Aachi Manoram has acted in more than 1500 Tamil Movies.
The following is a list of some of the notalbe movies acted by Aachi Manorama:
“Vallavannukku Vallavan”-1965 –Acted along with Gemini Ganesan &Savithiri- Paired with ’Danaal’ K.A.Thangavelu
“Anbe Vaa”-1965-Acted along with MGR &B.Saroja Devi-Paired with Nagesh
“Thiruvilayaadal”-1965-Acted along with Sivaji Ganesan, Savithiri, K.B.Sundaraambaal, omedy Actor A.Karunanidhi and Nagesh
“Saraswathi Sabhatham” -1966-
Acted along with
Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Gansesan, Savithiri,Devika, Padmini, K.R.Vijaya and Nagesh – Acted as the lover of one of the 2 twins of the Nagesh brothers
“ThenMazhai’-1966-Acted along with Gemini Ganesan, K.R.Vijaya and Nagesh -Paired with ‘Cho’-Ramasamy
“Ehir Neechal”-1968-Director K.Balachander’s Movie – Acted along with Nagesh, Muthuraman, Jayanthi and M.R.R.Vasu
“Thillaanaa Mohanaambal’ -1968-Acted along with Sivaji Ganesan & Padmini – Acted in a unique character role of Rosa Rani alias Jill Jill Ramamani -Acted along with Comedy Actors ‘Danaal’ K.A.Thangavelu, T.S.Balaiah and Nagesh
“Galaatta Kalyaanam”-1968-Acted along with Sivaji Ganesan, Jayalalitha, ‘Danaal’ K.A.Thangavelu and Nagesh
“Pattikkaadaa Pattanamaa” -1972-Acted along with Sivaji Ganesan, Jayalalitha, M.R.R.Vasu and V.K.Ramasamy
“Chittukkuruvi” -1978-Acted along with Sivakumar, Sumithra, Comedy Actors Suruli Rajan and Vennira Aadai Moorthy
“Manal Kayiru”-1981-Acted along with S.V.Sekhar, Shanthi Krishna and Visu
“Vaazhve Maayam”-1982- Acted along with Kamal Hassan, Sripriya, Sreedevi,Jayshankar – Acted as a Spinster-Senior-Air Hostess-helping Kamal Hassan in his love affairs with Sreedevi
“Samsaaram Adhu Minsaaam” -1986-Acted along with Raghuvaran, Lakshmi, Visu, Kishmu, Delhi Ganesh and Omakkuchi Narasimhan
“Paatti Sollai Thattadhe” -1988-Acted along with Pandiarajan &Oorvashi-Acted as the “Paatti”/Grand Mother of Pandiarajan
“Pudhiya Paadhai” -1989-Acted along with R.Parthiban & Seetha – Manorama received the ‘National Film Award’- 1989 for the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for the year for the movie ‘Pudhiya Paadhai’
“Kizhakku Vaasal” -1990-Acted along with Karthik, Revathy,Kushboo,Chinni Jayanth,Manorama,Vijayakumar and Janagaraj – Acted as Karthik’s mother
“Michael Madhana Kamarajan”-1990-Acted along with Kamal Haasan, Urvashi, Rupini, Kushboo, Nassar,Delhi Ganesh, Crazy Mohan, Venniradai Moorthy, Santhana Bharathi and Nagesh -Acted as Rupini’s mother
“Nadigan” -1990-Acted along with Sathyaraj, Kushboo, and the comedy Actors Goundamani&Vennira- Acted as a 50 years old spinster aunty falling in love with the father of the hero, the hero himself in disguise of an old man
“Chinna Thambi”-1991-Acted along with Prabhu, Kushboo, Radha Ravi, and Goundamani-Acted as the mother of Prabhu
“Chinna Goundar”-1992-Acted along with Vijaykanth, Sukanya, and the comedy actors Goundamani&Senthil
“Singaara Velan “-1992-
Acted along with
Kamal Haasan, Kushboo, Jaishankar, Goundamani , Charlie and Vadivelu-Acted as ‘Thaayamma, the guardian/foster mother of Kushboo
“Annamalai” -1992-Acted along with Rajinikanth, Kushboo, Sarath Babu,Radha Ravi,Janagaraj and Nizhalgal Ravi-Acted as a sensational mother of Rajinikanth
“Mannan” -1992-Acted along with Rajnikanth, Kushboo,Vijayashanthi, Visu, V.K.Ramasamy and Goundamani
“Raasu Kutty” -1992-Acted along with K.Bagyaraj & Aishwarya-Acted as Rasukkutty’s sensational and possessive mother along with Kalyan Kumar as Rasukkutty’s father
“Nattamai”-1994-Acted along with Sarath Kumar, Meena, Kushboo, Sangavi, Goudamani and Senthil -Acted as Sarthkumar’s Paternal Aunt
”, “Kadhalan”/ Prabhu Deva, Nagma, Girish Garnadd, Raghuvaran and Vadivelu/Acted as Nagma’s grandmother/1994
“Arunachalam”-1997- Acted along with Rajinikanth,Sounarya, Rambha, Senthil and Janagaraj
“Vetri Kodi Kattu” -2000-Acted along with Murali, Parthiban, Meena,Maalavika- Acted as Murali’s Mother
“Gemini”-2002-Acted along with Vikram, Kiran Rathod, Vinu Chakravarthy,Charlie, Ramesh Krishna, Omakkuchi Narasihman and Vaiyapuri- Acted as old woman wishing to take revenge on the person/s who killed her son
“Saamy”-2003-Acted along with Vikram, Trisha, Vivek- Acted as Trisha’s Grand Mother
“Perazhagan” -2004-Acted along with Surya in Double Roles, Jyothika, Vivek and Manobala-Acted as Surya’s Mother
“Singam” -2010-Acted along with Surya, Anuksha, Nasser-Acted as Anuksha’s Grand Mother
“Singam 2” -2013-Acted along with Surya, Anuksha, Hanshika -Acted as Anuksha’s Grand Mother
The following are some of the notable songs sung by Manorama in Tamil Movies:-
- The Song:“Thaatha Thaatha Podi Kodu, Indha Thalladha Vayadhilaa Sadugudu”-in the Movie: ’Magale Un Samarthu’-This is the first song sung by Manorama in cinema in the music of G.K.Venkatesh along with popular Tamil Singer L.R.Easwari
- The Song: “Vaa Vaathyaare Oottaande, Nee Varaangaatti Naan Uda Maatten” – in the Movie:’ Bommalaatam”-This is Manorama’s First hit song, sung in the music of V.Kumar, in which she danced with her pair ‘Cho’ Ramasamy
- The Song: “Dillikku Rajaanaalum” in the Movie of Pandiyarajan:’Paatti Sollai Thattadhe’
Manorama has acted in the Dramas and Cinemas, Written / Acted by the following 5 Writers / Actors who subsequently became the Chief Ministers of Tamilnadu / Andhrapradesh:
- ‘Perarignar’-Dr.C.N.Annadurai –Manorama has acted in the dramas / cinemas written by C.N.Annadurai, who subsequently became the Chief Minister of Madras / Tamilnadu.
- ‘Kalaignar- Dr.M.Karunanidhi-Manorama has acted in the dramas / cinemas written by M.Karunanidhi, and also acted along with him and even paired with him in some dramas, who subsequently became the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu.
- ‘Makkal Thilagam’-Dr.MGR – Manorama has acted in the movies of MGR, who subsequently became the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu.
- ‘Puratchi Thalavi’ / ‘Amma’-Selvi- Dr.Jayalalilitha- Manorama has acted in the movies of Jayalalitha, who subsequently became the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu and who is the present Chief Minister of Tamilnadu.
- Dr.N.T.Ramarao –Manorama has acted in the Telugu movies of N.T. Ramarao, the popular hero of Telegu Cinema Field, who has acted in some of the Tamil Movies also, who subsequently became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
In the year, 2013, ‘Aachi’-Manorama has acted in a Short Film titled “Thaaye Nee Kannurangu”/ “Mummy Please Sleep”, directed by LGR Saravanan in which she has acted as a Cancer Patient/ the mother of Srikaanth.
Achievement of Aachi Manorama in Acting in the Maximum Number of Movies:
‘Aachi’-Manorama is next only to the Malayalam Actress Sukumari, in having acted in the maximum number of Movies. She has acted mostly in comedy roles and some character roles and in the later years in sentimental mothercharacters. She has acted in some of the Television Serials and Television Advertisements.
The Malayalam Actress Sukumari (1940-2013) has danced in Sivaji Ganesan-Savithiri’s “Paasa Malar” in the popular Song – “Vaaraay En Thozhi Vaaraayo”. She has acted in more than 2500 movies in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.
Awards/Honours Given To ‘Aachi’- Manorama:
Name of the Award/Given by/Year:
- Padma Shree/Union Government of India/2002
- The Best Supporting Actress-For Acting in the Movie-‘Pudhiya Padhai’/National Film Awards/1989
- Kalaimamani Award/State Government of Tamilnadu/
- Film fare Lifetime Achievement Award – South/Film Fare/1995
- Featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for for having acted in more than 1000 Movies. From the year 1958 to 1985-1200 Movies, By the year 2003- 1200 Movies and by the year 2013-1500 Movies- Also acted in more than 1000 Stage Dramas, Television Series.
‘Aachi’ Manorama has featured on 11th Februray 2010 in the ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’ News
with her photo published with a remark-“Aachi Manorama, a veteran of India’s Tamil Film Industry, has been appeared in more than 1500 Movies and more than 1000 Stage Performances.
Quotes by ‘Aachi’-Manorama -From the Interviews with ‘Aachi’ Manorama at various occasions.:
” I am satisfied in my life, and I have no regrets and I wish to be ‘Manorama’ in my ‘re-births, if any.”
“My mother has suffered a lot to bring me up, as she was abandoned by my father, who married the younger sister of my mother”
“My mother and my son has been behind my success in my career.”
” As the Face is the Index of the Mind, I think as my heart is full of happiness, contentment and youthfulness, I have been ever young, as you say”
“I am very happy now after recovering from my illness; I will be happy if I have to die now”
(After being discharged from the hospital just earlier to the last hospitalization)