Veteran Telugu actor Geetanjali passes away

CHENNAI : Veteran film actor Geetanjali, 72, passed away during the early hours of Thursday. She died from a cardiac arrest while she was under medical care at a private hospital in Film Nagar in Hyderabad.

Born in Kakinada as Mani, she made her screen debut at a very young age. It is the makers of Hindi film Parasmani (1963) who rechristened her as Geetanjali as the title of the film also had ‘mani’ in it. She made her Tollywood debut in the early 60s, which was considered as the “golden period” of the Telugu film industry. She entered the industry with the mythological drama Seetharama Kalyanam, which was directed by matinee idol, NT Rama Rao. It was a landmark film in Telugu cinema as for the first time a leading superstar, NTR, played the role of a villain, Ravana. Geetanjali was seen in the role of Sita.

Geetanjali had a career spanning over six decades. (Photo: Express Archives)

In a career spanning about six decades, she acted in more than 500 films, including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. However, she did the maximum number of films of her career in Telugu. Some of her biggest hits include Dr Chakravarthy, Murali Krishna, Abbayigaru Ammayigaru, Kaalam Marindi, Gudachari 116 and Sambarala Rambabu.

While in Telugu she acted alongside the likes of NTR and Akkineni Nageswara Rao, she also shared screen space with film legends like MG Ramachandran and Gemini Ganesan.

Geetanjali married her co-star Ramakrishna. She took a long break after her marriage and returned to acting in the early 90s. Following which, she essayed several roles in the supporting cast. Her last film was That Is Mahalakshmi, which is the remake of Bollywood hit Queen.

Geetanjali is survived by her son, Adith Srinivas, who is also an actor.