The family members of veteran Kannada actress Jayanthi, who was admitted to a hospital in Bengaluru, have denied the rumours of her death. Jayanthi was admitted to the hospital with "chronic severe asthma and acute respiratory failure". She was admitted to Vikram Hospital in Bengaluru. The family members have reportedly claimed that Jayanthi is in fact 'recovering'.
Jayanthi has acted in over 500 movies in her career and was part of over 300 movies as the female lead. The 73-year-old worked not just in Kannada films, but also in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and Marathi movies.
She has received two Karnataka State Film Awards for Best Actress, the President's Medal for Best Actress and two Filmfare Awards for Best Actress throughout her career. She has been cited as Kannada cinema's "most bold and beautiful" actress by various media outlets, a title for which she has received substantial publicity.
Jayanthi was born in Bellary, in the erstwhile Madras Presidency of British India. Her maiden name before she came to films was Kamala Kumari. Her father Balasubramanyam worked as an English professor at the St Joseph's College in Bangalore. Her mother was Santhanalakshmi. Jayanthi was the eldest of three siblings and had two younger brothers.
Jayanthi's childhood was never smooth. Her parents separated when she was young and her mother took the children and moved to Madras.
Jeenu Goodu was Jayanthi's first Kannada film. Jenu Goodu was a commercial success. Her next major film was T. V. Singh Thakur's Chandavalliya Thota. The film starred veteran actors Udaya Kumar, Rajkumar and Jayashree. This was the first film that paired Rajkumar and Jayanthi.
The next major film that Jayanthi starred in was Miss Leelavathi, directed by M. R. Vittal. This film was released in the mid-60s. Miss Leelavathi was a very bold film for its time and Jayanthi played the title role.
During her stint in Tamil films from 1962 to 1979 as leading lady, she became nationally famous. She was frequently paired opposite Gemini Ganesan. In Tamil, she acted with all major stars including MG Ramachandran, Gemini Ganeshan, Muhuraman and Jaishankar. She acted with MG Ramachandran in Padagotti and Mugaraasi, with Gemini Ganeshan in Kanna Nalama, Velli Vizha, Punnagai and Iru Kodugal, with Jaishankar in Nil Gavani Kadhali and Kaadhal Paduthum Paadu and Ethir Neechal with Nagesh. She was director K. Balachander's regular actress and they went on to work in films such as Iru Kodugal, Bama Vijayam, Ethir Neechal, Punnagai, Velli Vizha and Kanna Nalama. She had also acted with Jayalalitha and Manorama in the film Mugaraasi.