Veteran actor Jayanti, 76, who passed away on Monday, was one of the most popular and critically acclaimed female actors of her time.
Born as Kamala Kumari in Ballari on January 6, 1945, she was groomed by her mother Santanalakshmi to become a classical dancer from a very young age, for which she shifted to Chennai, then Madras. But it was movies that became her calling.
Small roles as a teenager
As a student at a dance school, the teenage girl acted in small roles with other girls, including Tamil veteran actor Manorama who was her batchmate. Spotted by filmmaker Y.R. Swamy, she debuted in Kannada cinema with the screen name he gave her — Jayanti. Jenu Goodu in 1963 was her first film and she never looked back.
Her second film Chandavalliya Thota opposite Dr. Rajkumar was a huge hit and she also won a national award for it. She started acting in both Tamil and Telugu films.
She has acted in more than 500 films in five languages — Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. She…