Updated on : Sep 12, 2010

Dr. B Saroja Devi - A Model Actress

Dr Saroja Devi is one of the rarest actresses of South India and first Kannada female artist to spread the aroma of Kannada cine all over the country. Her histrionics range is so vast that she has portrayed an amazing variety of roles inKannada, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films. She became a favorite leading lady of three major languages. She has acted with three leading heroes in Tamil of those days – MGR, Sivaji Ganeshan and Gemini Ganeshan besides the top star of Kannada cinema Dr Rajakumar, Telugu superstars NTR, Akkineni Nageshwara Rao, Hindi superstars Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor….Saroja Devi showed her supremacy. She had a spectacular debut in ‘Mahakavi Kalidasa’ and responsible for many of the classic films.


Some of the top films of this top south Indian actress are – Panduranga Mahatyam (NTR), ThediVandha Selval (Gemini Ganeshan) Bhukailasa (Rajkumar in Kannada, NTR Akkineni in Telugu), Anna Thangi (Rajakumar) Nadodi Mannan (MGR), Sabash Meena (Sivaji Ganeshan), Jagajyothi Basaveshwara (Rajakuamr), Kalyana Parisu (Gemini Ganeshan), Paigham (Dilip Kumar), Ode Velaiyadu Papa (Gemini Ganeshan), Pelli Sandadi (Akkineni N Rao), Vidi Velli (Sivaji Ganeshan), Kairasi (Gemini Ganeshan), Irumbudorai (Sivaji Ganeshan), Palum Pazhamum (Sivaji Ganeshan), Seetha Rama Kalyanam (NTR), Jagadeka Veeruni Katha (NTR), Thai Sollai Thattathey (MGR), Vijayanagarada Veera Putra (Udaykumar). Kittur Chennamma (Rajakumar), Kudumba Thalaivan (MGR), Pasam (MGR), Thaayaikaatha Thanayan (MGR), Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya (Shammi Kapoor), Iruvar Ullam (Sivaji Ganeshan), Periya Idathu Penn(MGR), Pana Thottam, Dharmam Thalaik Kakkum (MGR), Kalyaniyin Kanavan (Sivaji Ganeshan), Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddam (MTR and Akkineni) Amara Shilpi Jakkanachari (Kalyankumar), Panakkara Kudumbam, Devathai, En Kadamai (MGR), Athma Balam, Amarashilpi Jakanna (ANR), Aasai Mugam (MGR) Preet Na Jaane Reet (Shammi Kapoor), Naan Anayittaal , Nadodi, Parakkum Paavai, Anbe Vaa (MGR), Penna Endral Penn, Rahasyam (Akkineni)

En Thambi, Panama Paasama (Sivaji Ganeshan), Bhagyachakram (NTR), Mallamana Pavada (Rajakumar), Thanga Malar (Gemini Ganeshan) Anbalippu Anjal Petti 520 (Sivaji Ganeshan), Malathi, Kula Vilakku (Gemini Ganeshan) Kanna Malar, Sneithi (Gemini Ganeshan), Papa Punya (Kalyankumar), Sri Krishna Rukmini Sathya Bhama (Rajakumar), Nyayave Devaru (Rajakumar), Thenum Palum, Arunothayam (Sivaji Ganeshan), Sri Srinivasa Kalyana (Rajakumar), Sri Ramanjaneya Yuddam (NTR), Katha Sangama (GK Govinda Rao), Babruvahana (Rajakumar), Dhanaveera Shoora Karna (NTR), Parambhariyam (Sivaji Ganeshan), Anuraga Sangama (Ramesh Aravind). Aadhavan (Suriya, Nayanthara)


‘I do not tolerate anything wrongly attributed to artist’s fraternity’. We are not cheap. We are not thieves. We are entitled to get respect and honor. That is the reason why I come always grand in costumes, ornaments and make up. ·

I was born after my mother Rudramma consumed ‘Bisi Bisi Sri Sathyanarayana Prasada’. That’s one of the reason on every year birthday of Dr BS ‘Sri Sathyanarayana Pooja’ is conducted. · From the childhood I was very timid and crying for any small disturbance. My mother Rudramma nourished me very well. I did not cross the rulings of my mother. · When I got married my husband Sri Harshan in March 1967 he an engineer in Siemens, Germany took extra care. I could not give proper care to my husband as there was no medical facility in Bangalore for angiogram in those days. After his passing away I feel very lonely. ·

My popularity was so high when I went to USA with my husband the governor told me make use of the government facility. My husband objected to it. · Once my husband stopped vehicle in front of Bangalore University and said this is the place he studied. I have instituted scholarship to students after my husband death. ·

I was told as combination of Vyjayanthi Mala and Padmini the other two actresses in those days. · It was the days of no influence. In the eight floors shooting was taking place in Madras and who ever performed well, maintained discipline and took the acting seriously it was reaching everyone. ·

For the Kannada film ‘Mahakavi Kalidasa’ Ku Ra Si and Honnapa Bhagavathar were my mentors. Later I got opportunity in Pandu Ranga Mahatme of NTR, Adimai Penn of MGR, Paigam of Gemini Vasan. · The journey was very good. I have not said good bye to acting even today. After 12 years I have acted in Tamil movie ‘Adhavan’. · Dilipkumar once said he has asked Saira Banu to not to stop acting profession. The same thing was mentioned by Rajesh Khanna to my husband Sri Harsha not to stop me from acting. · In acting I never used to get shouting. That is because of the respect and discipline to the profession. I was not giving room for any statements against to me. ·

The essential factors today are the discipline and importance to script given in those days. · Only good script and a systematic approach stay. · Today heroine come prepared to stay for two years. They do not have urge to learn and not do dubbing. · I have seen the heroine of ‘Adhavan’ Tamil film saying like this. This should not happen. · All producers are Annadhatharu. I am living in cinema earning and eating from cinema money. Uppu Kottovarannu (those who have give me food) I don’t forget. ·

I have missed film fare award for 15 times because of wrong attitudes towards the heroine roles. · I have got Padmasri and Padmabushan from Tamil governmen recommendations. · Our MP’s should recommend because in Delhi they do not know other than Amitabh Bachchan. · In Karnataka awards in the name of Pandari Bai and MV Rajamma should be instituted. Nowadays the awards and committees operate in not convincing way. ·

My grandfather Mayanna Gowda was from Mandya. I have origins in Mandya. · Rajiv Gandhi wanted to put me in LS he asked me to contest from Mandya seat. Then he came to know that I am a Gowda. In my profession the caste, creed, religion was not discussed and given prominence.

I was the chair person of Kanteerava studios for some time. It is at this time the roads were made using the boulders. My husband taught me in this aspect. I was censor member for many years. What I feel is that the people from the industry are appointed to such positions the understanding will be good. I feel censor to cinema is like Mane Hosilu (the step of a house).


The Kittur Rani Chennamma of Kannada cinema Dr B.Saroja Devi has evolved awards for women achievers in cinema from this year under the umbrella of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Rs 1 lakh cash award for three film personalities of South India – Harini, Anjali Devi and Jamuna were given away on 27th of June Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore. The government and other institutions awards are male centered while I am giving awards only for women every year declared Dr B.Saroja Devi addressing the media. Karnataka Chief Minister Dr BS Yediyurappa presented the awards to three legends – Jamuna, Anjali Devi and Harini. Dr B Saroja Devi who has evolved the awards from this year for three women film personalities said she would not give the awards to male gender. I would search in the workers department and pick only female for this annual award she said. Even If I don’t exist on this earth the awards presentation should go on smoothly disclosed the evergreen actress

Dr Devi. Dr Devi also came forward to set aside Rs.1 crore fund for welfare fund to cinema fraternity and expect the same amount from the government.

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