Saturday, June 22, 2024

From films to politics — a journey on her own

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K. Ramya Sree

Actress Jamuna made her debut into the film industry in 1953 with the film Puttillu. In 1953, Dr. Garikipati Raja Rao of the Indian People’s Theatre Association, saw her stage show Maa Bhoomi and offered her a role in his film Puttillu. She rose to fame after appearing in LV Prasad’s Missamma (1955). It did not even take her a span of three years to become a household name in the southern states.

After Missamma, there was no looking back for the actress. She then went on to appear in over 200 films, including Sri Krishna Tulabharam, Sampoorna Ramayanam, Pandanti Kapuram, Bhookailas, Gundamma Katha, Mooga Manasulu, Ramudu Bheemudu and many other super hit films.

Jamuna whose real name was Jana Bai, was popularly known as Satyabhama because of the mythical films that she was part of. She began performing in stage plays at an early age, during her school days itself before transitioning to film. Her mother taught her vocal music and harmonium.

Not just Telugu cinema, she gained immense craze and popularity in all southern Indian cinema. While the majority of her films were in Telugu, she also worked in Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi. She received the Filmfare Award for her performance in the Hindi film Milan.  In 1972, she won Filmfare Special Award – South for Pandanti Kapuram.

Furthermore, she acted in 11 other Hindi films. She was last seen in Ammamma Gari Manavadu in 2021. She was also the recipient of Tamil Nadu State Film Honorary Award, NTR National Award, and Padmabhushan Dr. B. Saroja Devi National Award.

She was called the perfect pair opposite NTR and ANR. And all their movies were a super hit of those times.Even in real life she was a hyperactive person. Even at the age of 70, Jamuna was seen dancing to one of her songs and the video went viral in no time with netizens heaping praises for the actresses’ work.

Political foray:

After a successful journey in the movies, Jamuna made her political entry in 1980, however it didn’t last for long. She told in one of the interviews that she was inspired by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her work, which pushed her to join the Congress party in 1980. After serving in the party for nine years, she contested the Lok Sabha elections in 1989 and won from Rajahmundry parliamentary constituency. However, in the 1991 election, Jamuna lost the elections leading to her quitting politics. But she campaigned for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the late 1990s.

She is the mother of Telugu Artist Association, which she founded about 25 years ago. She has been providing humanitarian services to the movie association members ever since.

Jamuna was very liberal

Having been born into a family who are very progressive, Jamuna was a very liberal person throughout her life. She was born to a Brahmin father Nippani Srinivasa Rao and a Vysya mother Kowsalya Devi in Hampi in 1936. Her parents had an inter caste marriage even before independence that led to her having a progressive upbringing at home.
Not just acting, she was also trained in classical music and dance.

In many interviews Jamuna confessed that late actress Savitri was like her elder sister, who showed her the way in the industry and guided her whenever needed.Jamuna’s parents wanted her to marry a well-read intellect and they were in the look out for IAS and IPS officers. But she married a Zoology professor J Ramana Rao and the couple had two children — J Sravanthi, who is now a renowned painter and her son Vamsi, who is a Media Studies Professor in San Francisco.

Several Tollywood celebrities poured in their deepest condolences As a bubbly mischievous girl, fiery sister-in-law, homemaker and above all. As the on-screen Satyabhama of Telugu people, Jamuna garu is unforgettable. My homage to the departed soul.

– Nandamuri Balakrishna

For almost 30 years she reigned over the silver screen. Prayers for her soul.
– NTR Jr

Although her mother tongue was Kannada, she conquered the hearts of Telugu audiences with her performances in several Telugu hit movies.

– Chiranjeevi

Senior actress and former Lok Sabha member Jamuna’s death is sad. She has left an indelible impression as Satyabhama in the mythological movies. My condolences to her family.

– Pawan Kalyan

Saddened to hear about the demise of Jamuna garu . Will fondly remember her for her immense contribution to the industry.

– Mahesh Babu

Jamuna Garu. One of most beautiful woman with a childlike heart, a legend in Telugu cinema. Will miss her dearly.

-Vishnu Manchu

Saddened by the passing of  legendary actress #Jamuna garu. Will fondly remember her for all her iconic roles and her immense contribution to the  industry. My condolences to her family and loved ones.

– K Raghavendra Rao

Heart broken to hear about the demise of Jamuna garu . Condolences to the family , near & dear . Her contribution in the era of classical telugu cinema can never be forgotten . May her soul rest in peace. Om Shanthi.

– Allu Arjun

Heart broken to hear about the demise of Jamuna garu . Condolences to the family , near & dear . Her contribution in the era of classical telugu cinema can never be forgotten . May her soul rest in peace. Om Shanthi.

– Sudheer Babu

Saddened to hear the demise of legendary actress #Jamuna garu, May her soul rest in peace.

-Ananya Nagalla

Shocked to hear about the demise of legendary actress #Jamuna Garu. May her soul rest in peace. Sending my deepest condolences to her near and shanti

– Nithiin

One of the most impactful actors in the golden age of south cinema, Smt. Jamuna garu. Rest in peace.

– BVS Ravi

#Jamuna garu will be remembered forever for all those iconic roles she outlived.

– Gopichand Malineni

We lost a gem! My heart goes out to Shravanthi and Koosu. We will miss you amma. Thank you for being what you are!

– Lakshmi Manchu

The story of a legend came to an end. She stood as an inspiration to all of our new generation artists. We will cherish you forever #Jamuna garu. My condolences to her family and dearest ones.Om Shanti

– Sai Dharam Tej

Puttillu (1952)
Iddaru Pellalu (1954)
Donga Ramudu (1955)
Missamma (1955)
Tenali Ramakrishna (1956)
Chiranjeevulu (1956)
Muddu Bidda (1956)
Bhagya Rekha (1957)
Jalsa Rayudu (1960)
Gundamma Katha (1962)
Manchi Manishi (1964)
Mooga Manasulu (1964)
Ramudu Bheemudu (1964)
Sri Krishna Tulabharam (1965)
Leta Manasulu (1966)
Chadarangam (1967)
Poola Rangadu (1967)
Pandanti Kapuram (1972)

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