Hyderabad : Veteran South Indian actor-filmmaker Vijaya Nirmala, who had starred in over 200 films and had directed 44 films in her illustrious career of over three decades, breathed her last on Thursday at Continental Hospital, Hyderabad where she was undergoing treatment for a while. The 75-year-old actor died due to natural causes related old age.
She has made her acting debut at the age of five as a child artist in 1950 Tamil film Machcha Rekkai and by age of 11 she made her Telugu debut with the film Panduranga Mahatmyam. She rose to stardom when she starred opposite Prem Nazir in 1964 Malayalam film Bhargavi Nilayam, and went on to work again with him in Udhyogastha.
As a leading lady, she made her Telugu debut with Rangula Ratnam alongside Vanisri and Anjali Devi. In 1967, she starred in Telugu film Saakshi and it’s on the sets of this film she met actor Krishna with whom she worked in 47 films and eventually ended up marrying. However, it was her second wedding.
Vijay Nirmala was a trailblazer as she was one of the very few female filmmakers to really make a mark as a director. In 1971, she made her directorial debut via the Telugu film Meena, which was based on the eponymous popular novel written by Eddanapudi Sulochana Rani. Two year later, she directed her first Malayalam film Kavitha.
She holds a Guinness Record for most number of films directed by a female filmmaker.
Vijaya Nirmala is survived by her son Vijaya Naresh, who is a popular actor in Telugu filmdom and husband Krishna. Superstar Mahesh Babu is her step son.