News has come in that the popular actor ‘Nallenai’ Chitra passed away at the age of 56 on 21st August, Saturday. Reports say that she was staying with her family in Chennai’s Saligraman where she suffered a sudden heart attack. Her family supposedly arranged for her funeral at 4 pm on Saturday. Chitra was the second child born to her parents Madhavan and Devi in 1965. She did her schooling in Chennai itself. Later, after the 10th standard, she moved on to acting in films.
Chitra’s career at a young age
Chitra started her career at a very young age. She starred as a child artiste in K Balachandar’s 1975 film Apoorva Raagangal. The other actors in the film were Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Srividya. This film is among Balachander’s biggest hits and won the National Award for the best feature film in Tamil. She was also featured as a child artist in the Tamil Film Rajaparvai.
The turning point in Chitra’s career
Chitra lip-synched to a more popular song in a film. That was a turning point in her career. Her namesake K.S Chithra sang the beautiful melody in the film Panchagni, ‘Aa raathri manju poyi’. She acted out very well in what was a great role in the film the famous director Hariharan directed.
Chitra- her career as an adult
As an adult, her first film was Attakalasham in 1983. She starred opposite Mohanlal and Prem Nazir. As years went by, she got a chance to act in more films. She acted out in some of the major Malayalam hits like Amaram with Mammooty, Panchgani (starring Mohanlal and Geetha), Ekalavyan, Devasuram, Ustaad, Aaram Thamburan, Commissioner, Rajavazhcha, Nayam Vyakthamakunnu, and Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha.
In the late 90s, she was at the peak of her career. However, she stopped working due to personal problems. She married a businessman named Vijayararaghavan as per her family’s wishes and also has a daughter named Mahalakshmi.
How she became ‘Nallenai’ Chitra
Chitra was not ‘Nallenai’ forever. She earned that nickname after a very successful television commercial. The commercial was for an oil brand she starred in. This very successful actress made her comebacks in films such as Mazhavillu in 1999 and Soothradharan in 2001.
Chitra mostly worked in Malayalam films but she also made her mark in Tamil. Her career-changing films in Tamil were Cheran Pandiyan, Ethir Kaatru, En Thangachi Padichava, Putham Pudhu Payanam, and many others.
Over two decades, she acted in more than 100 films including Cheran Pandian, Madhumati, Urkavalan, Pontati Rajyam, and others along with the famous actor Rajinikanth. Even in Hindi, she worked on two projects which were Razia and Ek Nai Paheli.