You ask any 90s kid from South India, especially Tollywood, who they grew up watching and many of them would say Soundarya. The late actress ruled the charts for an entire decade and her demise was one of the most shocking and heartbreaking ever.
After stealing hearts across Tollywood, the star faced an untimely death when the helicopter she was travelling in crashed. What hurt more was the fact that she was pregnant with her first child. Even today, Soundarya is remembered for her grace, innocence and talented performances. She was named, ‘Savithri of modern cinema’ by her fans in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. As we remember the star, we list out few of the most memorable roles from her movies! We love all of them, but this is just a tiny pick out of the hundreds that she has done!
Soundarya debuted opposite the then superstar Rajendra Prasad in S.V. Krishna Reddy’s movie Rajendrudu Gajendrudu. She played the role of Alaka who has a love-hate relationship with the lead actor Rahendra Prasad. Though this was her first movie, Soundarya carried this role with great humour and skill onscreen. Many thought Rajendra Prasad would overpower her but she was that amazing in her performance that people stood by and noticed that a star is born.
Soon Soundarya started acting with every top star in Tollywood and this time it was the heartthrob Nagarjuna. Hello Brother was a multi-starrer and the most commercially successful film of 1994. She put up a great show alongside Ramya Krishna who was an established star in the Telugu film industry by then! Soundarya soon became the most sort after stars for family-drama scripts in Tollywood.
Acting opposite a veteran is not as easy as it looks. Mohan Babu’s movie Peddarayudu was and will always remain one of the most memorable movies of his career and the leading actress’ role went to Soundarya. She plays the role of a spoiled-brat who hates her father-in-law played by Mohan Babu! Even though her character had grey areas, she received praises for her role from critics and audiences.
Soundarya was one of the most favorite actresses of ace filmmaker Kodi Ramakrishna. He didn’t have to try to hard to look for the leading actress in his blockbuster movie Rikshavodu. With megastar Chiranjeevi playing the lead role, Soundarya was the perfect choice. The movie was well received and her performance won her a line up of movies with superstars Balakrishna and Venkatesh.
Soundarya was known for her versatility and this time she went all out and experimented. She played the role a devotee in Ammoru, again with Ramyakrishna. Her role as an orphan and ardent worshiper of goddess Ammoru was just beyond brilliant. The movie was one of the first few movies which relied heavily on female cast, which was rare 20 years ago.
If you ask any Soundarya fan, whom did she have the best onscreen chemistry with; they would say Daggubati Venkatesh. The pair acted in dozens of films together and the most memorable one was Pavithra Bandham. She plays the role of a middle-class girl who marries a spoiled rich kid. Stuck in a loveless marriage she stands by her husband and proves to be the perfect daughter-in-law. Post this movie, Soundarya was the most eliigible spinster and every family wanted a daughter-in-law like her.
Intlo Illalu Vantintlo Priyuralu
It’s surprising how her popularity grew even though sometimes she played the role of the most proud person in her movies. In this movie she played the role of Venkatesh’s wife who struggles to give him a child. Her husband’s accidental second marriage and her performance when the truth is revealed, is one of the most powerful scenes ever.
One of our personal favorites! Audiences loved seeing Soundarya and Chiranjeevi together onscreen again. She played the role of a Telugu girl based in Kolkata who helps Chiranjeevi reunite with his son. We just love how easily she slips into her character of a strong woman from the innocent neighbour.
One of her last movies, Dweepa won a National award and Soundarya not only produced but also acted in the movie. She played the role of Nagi, a very optimistic woman. Soundarya also won Filmfare award for her amazing performance in the movie. This one is a must watch!