Popular Tamil comedienne dead

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Chennai, May 30 (UNI) Ms T P Muthulakshmi, a popular comedienne of yesteryears, died here last evening after a brief illness.

She was 77.The last rites were performed today.

Ms Muthulakshmi had acted in more than 350 films along side former greats like M R Radha, K A Thangavelu, Chandrababu, A Karunanidhi, T R Balaiah and was a recipient of the Tamil Nadu Government's prestigious Kalaimamani Award.

She began her career as a heroine in the film ''Ponmudi'' and had acted as second heroine in ''Sowbhagyavathy'' in which Savithri played the role of the first heroine. She had acted in various films alongside MGR and Sivaji Ganesan.

Her popular films include ''Nadodi Mannan'', ''Arivali'', ''Veerapandiya Kattabomman'', ''Iruvar Ullam'', ''Navarathri'', ''Makkalai Petra Magarasi'' and ''Anbe Vaa.'' A native of southern Tuticorin District, Muthulakshmi came to Chennai in 1948 and became an actor. She was married to T K Muthuramalingam. The couple had no issues.

Popular director and Muthulakshmi's relative T P Gajendran paid his last respects. A wreath was also placed on her body on behalf of the South Indian Film Artistes Association.

Expressing shock and grief, AIADMK Supremo and Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who had a long stint in film industry before entering politics, said the death of Muthulakshmi was an irreparable loss to the film industry.

In her message, she said after making her debut as heroine in the film ''Ponmudi'', Muthulakshmi became a top comedienne, acting in more than 350 films. She had won the hearts of millions of people by her natural flair for comedy.

Stating that Muthulakshmi had acted with her in some films, Ms Jayalalithaa said she was a nice person to move with and her death was a personal loss to her.

Recognising her contribution to the film industry, the state government had conferred Kalaimamani Award in 2003, she said and conveyed her condolences to the bereaved family.

UNI GV-WS GM RSA RN1316

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