Former actress and Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Jayalalithaa (known lovingly by her fans and admirers as Amma) died of a massive cardiac arrest in Apollo Hospital.
Superstar Rajinikanth paid his condolences and called Tamil Nadu CM a brave daughter.
— Rajinikanth (@superstarrajini) December 5, 2016
Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan also expressed grief over her death.
“Jayalalitha ji the only CM of a State that celebrated 100 years of Indian Cinema .. from all regions .. most admirable,” he tweeted.
T 2463 – Jayalalitha ji the only CM of a State that celebrated 100 years of Indian Cinema .. from all regions .. most admirable ! pic.twitter.com/W2pcsVKhYL
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) December 5, 2016
For all those Bollywood fans, who may not be aware of Jayalalithaa’s credentials…
- Jayalalithaa had 119 hits to her credit from 1060-1981.
- She was the first actress to wear sleeveless blouses and skirts.
- She wanted to be a lawyer, but here first film at the age of 15 was a blockbuster, and she pursued acting thereafter
Lesser known facets of Jayalalithaa
Had a Crush on Shammi Kapoor
In an interview with Simi Garewal, Jayalalithaa had revealed that she had a big crush on Shammi Kapoor, but she never got an opportunity to meet him.
Aishwarya Rai played Jayalalithaa in Mani Ratnam film
Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai had played Jayalalithaa in Mani Ratnam’s tamil film Iruvar (1997). Iruvar (Aishwarya Rai’s debut film) was loosely based on the famous rivalry between friends turned political rivals, M. G. Ramachandran (popularly known as MGR) and M. Karunanidhi.
Watch: Romantic scenes Mohanlal and Aishwarya Rai from Tamil movie Iruvar
Acted in Bollywood
Jayalalithaa acted in a hindi film ‘Izzat’, opposite Dharmendra. That was the only hindi film featuring Jayalalithaa.
“She was very quiet, very graceful and only focused on her work. She didn’t speak much on the sets. And we all respected her privacy. In the film, she played a chirpy, bubbly character similar to what Hema played in Sholay many years later. But in person, she was quite the opposite. Very dignified, graceful and quiet,” Dharmendra.
Watch: Izzat 1968 | Full Movie | Dharmendra, Tanuja, Mehmood, Jayalalitha
She loved dogs
Jayalalithaa used to love dogs but stopped keeping them as pets after her favourite dog Julie, a Spitz, died in 1998; she said she could not bear the loss of another pet.
Proud to be a Tamilian
Few decades back, when Jayalalithaa was shooting for a film in Mysuru (at Chamundi studios in Karnataka), a mob barged in and demanded an apology from her for calling herself a Tamilian.
But Jayalalithaa was unperturbed and told the mob in Kannada, “I have not said anything wrong. Why should I apologise? I am a Tamilian and not a Kannadiga.”
Had a hearty laugh once in a while
When Anna University Vice-Chancellor E. Balagurusamy met Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, she was curious to know the reason behind his unique hairstyle, with a parting in the middle. Dr. Balagurusamy said his hairstyle was influenced by that of DMK leader M. Karunanidhi.
Jayalalithaa laughed heartily and commented, “Karunanidhi doesn’t have hair at all.” Mr. Balagurusamy explained he had copied the hairstyle sported by Mr. Karunanidhi in the 1960s.
Watch: Welcome Song Sung for Jayalalithaa on 100 years cinema celebration
“Jayalalithaa was a great leader. She had emerged as an icon in Indian politics. I condole the bereaved. It is definitely a big loss,” Rajnath Singh.