A still from the movie Padayappa.
Soundarya who rose to fame with the movie Arunachalam died at the age of 31. Although her first movie was Gandharva in 1992, she became famous in Kollywood only through Arunachalam which had Rajinikanth play the male lead. The movie became the highest-grossing film of 1997 and her performance won her several movies. She also starred alongside Kamal Haasan and Prabhudeva in Kaathala Kaathala. Her other releases, Padayappa opposite Rajinikanth was also a success. Soundarya was killed in an aircraft crash on 17 April 2004. She was on her way to Karimnagar to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party and Telugu Desam Party candidate for the upcoming elections.