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HBD Radhika Sarathkumar - The Power Lady of Kollywood for 42 years and counting

Friday, August 21, 2020 • Tamil Comments
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Today marks the 58th birthday of Radhika Sarathkumar the power lady of Kollywood who has been reigning supreme for 42 long years and counting, as an actress, producer, and inspiration for women in general who want to make it big in a man's world.

Legend has it that way back in 1977 when Radhika was chosen to play the lead heroine in Bharathiraja's 'Kizhakke Pogum Rail' the then-teenager was not interested in acting at all even though her father happened to be the legendary M.R. Radha. Even more unbelievable is that she was London educated and did not even look remotely like a villager girl but still managed to pull off Panchali in the 1978 super hit film beating all odds and surprising even herself.

From then on there was no turning back for Radhika as she went from strength to strength starring in a number of films in all South Indian languages. After a dozen times playing the heroine running around the trees with senior heroes the first glimpse of the sparkling talent she is was first seen in 'Indru Poi Naalai Vaa' directed by and starring K. Bhagyaraj. Radhika played the naive Jaya who is wooed by three men and her innocence and comical timing was one of the major highlights of the laugh riot which is enjoyed even to this day. The flair for comedy then was fully utilized in 'Oorkaavalan' opposite Rajini.

Radhika's stock rose to great heights and she starred in a string of big-budget films opposite Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Chiranjeevi, Vijayakanth, Prabhu and Mohan. Barely in her late twenties, Radhika nailed middle-aged characters effectively in Rajinikanth's 'Nallavanukku Nallavan', Vijayakanth's 'Poonthotta Kavalkaran' and Kamal's 'Sippikul Muththu' directed by K. Vishwanath.

Radhika then went to the next level and carried many a female-centric film on her shoulder including 'Neethikku Thandanai', 'Poovum Puyalum', 'Paasa Paravaigal' and 'Thendral Sudum' balancing it with other commercial projects. It was in 1990 that Radhika starred in the powerful 'Keladi Kanmani' as a mature woman who sacrifices her love for the sake of her lover's daughter. She followed it up with 'Kizhakku Seemaiyile' one of her career-best directed by Bharathiraja in which she lived the role of the rural sister who loves her elder brother dearly till death. In the Shankar directed 'Jeans' Radhika captivated audiences with her negative role as a cruel woman who henpecks her meek husband.

In the mid-nineties when heroines felt that acting in Television was a downgrade Radhika experimented with telefilms and serials and soon found her footing on the tube. She then created 'Chithi' a family saga that was not only a big hit back in 1999 but has also spawned a sequel in 2020.

In the four decades since Radhika made her debut, she has the unique distinction of never been out of work which is something few female performers have achieved especially in India. She has built an empire Radaan one of the biggest television production houses in the country and is now very choosy about films but never fails to sparkle be it the light veined 'Naanum Rowdy Dhaan' or 'Theri' or the intense 'Dharmadhurai. Radhika started her career in a film with a journey related title and likewise, her creative travel goes on and on without losing steam because she keeps reinventing herself in tune with the changing times.

Happy Birthday Radhika and wishing you many many more happy returns and a never-ending creative journey.

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