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‘Hero’ rides into the sunset Flute falls silent Brilliant Saeed saab Honest civil servant Missile Man takes flight A statue for RV, at last! Tribute: Dr. Krishnamoorthy Srinivas He took space science to such great heights! Saeed Jaffrey Another Leo of real estate and education is no more Bal Thackeray The scientist-engineer who lucidly explained economics This trendsetter is no more How to build a nation ‘Sai’ Srinivasan no more Tribute – Baldev Raj Centurion ‘Leo’ rests in peace Dada of drip irrigation... VV Goes... Colour-Chem's colorful personality Big ideas, not big words, are important... The ‘Q’ factor cost him Cabinet Secretary’s post Father of German unification no more... When SPIC spawned star managers... The motor sportsman is no more Music loses a maestro Music Samrat!!! - TMS Endearing Aachi... Tribute - R K Baratan A versatile legend moves on MSV – the King of Light Music KB Sir for all... Deora – the best networked politician.... R Desikan – the crusader of consumer interests is gone A versatile, humane and efficient administrator/litterateur Question on Operation X He took Kone to great heights… Dr M G K Menon The Rajha of Rajapalayam... Transport S Narayanan A multi-faceted leader rests in peace A multi faceted prince is no more... Justice Iyer, 100 Fighter-pilot turned monk... The honest Sardarji Remembering Chariji KP is no more New team at the helm at TANSTIA He elevated B&C to its best... If only he had fastened the seat-belt... Sivaraman, 100 He was the greatest. Scientist and leader of educational reforms Remembering I K Gujral… ‘Mandolin’ stops playing... A Gandhian breathes his last on Gandhi Jayanthi He contributed so much to the telecom revolution A welcome biography on a towering CA Master of strokes Cement, calcium carbide, shipping… TSN turned these and more into gold He breathed transport development India’s Master Builder… A genius civil servant fades Tribute – Ja Ra Su The Hero of bicycles rests in peace Samskrt loses a passionate exponent... A honest bank executive... M Subramaniam Jeppiar calls it a day
 
Endearing Aachi...

Heard of Gopishantha?  No. Heard of Aachi? Maybe. Heard of Manorama? Of course, who hasn’t?

The likeable and lovable actress of Tamil cinema is no more.  With more than 1500 films and 5000 stage performances, cutting across six decades, Padma Shri Manorama was a joy to behold. Abandoned by a recalcitrant father, brought up by a housemaid mother, Gopishantha dropped out of school at 11, took to theatre at 12, to come alive as Manorama.  If her mother had the means she would have sent her daughter to medical school.  That was not to be although Manorama eventually got a doctor into the family; her grandson is a medical practitioner.

Gopishantha donned the grease paint in the early 1950s and by the time she was out of her teen. She had migrated to the silver screen, debuting in 1958 with a comical role in Maalayitta Mangai. She did play lead roles early on, but as she would later tell BBC, “I had chosen to act only as a heroine then I would have disappeared from the scene long ago. So, I decided to take up comedienne roles. That’s how I survived in the industry for nearly six decades.”  It was a conscious decision, and in hindsight, made enormous sense.  After all, heroines are short-lived while comedians are ageless.

She has been paired with every leading laugh-bag of her times spanning multiple generations: Nagesh, Cho, Thengai Srinivasan, Venniradai Moorthy, Goundamani and Vivek. If that wasn’t worthy of a Guinness entry, she has been in films with five chief ministers.  Roles in plays written by C N Annadurai and by M Karunanidhi, she has acted in films with M G Ramachandran, N T Rama Rao and J Jayalalithaa.  While the 1980s generation would remember her for her stellar role in Paatti Solai Thattaadhe, the older generation would go gaga over Thillana Mohanambal.  Over time she graduated to playing character roles too.

Manorama has 300 playback songs to her credit with her Vaa Vaathiyaare Uttaande in Bommalattam film, being a raging sensation of its times. Interestingly she has sung for all the notable music directors, including for M S Viswanathan, Ilayaraja and A R Rahman.  Her friend of many years and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa laid a wreath on the body and said: “there has been no accomplished achiever like Manorama in the Tamil film world.”

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