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While probing on the personal lives of famous heroines of yester years, we came across the Queen of Seventies . None other than the beautiful, attractive and active heroine..Kanchana. While attempting an understanding of her personal life, we realized that people have only seen her on the reel and not in the real life. Many of us know Kanchana as one of the most active, talented, beautiful actresses in the seventies era of telugu cinema. For her talents, she is appropriately known as the Queen of the Seventies. Her performances in the movies kalyana mandapam, pavitra bandam, manchivadu have etched her persona on the minds on Telugu movie goers. As a child, her only friend was loneliness. Being a child from a rich family, she never had to worry about any need. However, the only issue that affected the little Kanchana was the tussles her parents had. The only positive aspect to the dark cloud of her childhood was that she had access to learn two of the best performing arts - Bharatanatyam and Music. Not only have they provided a solace to the little child but they also provided the necessary grooming to become an actress. The economic scenario of the family has deteriorated due to many reasons. To better the situation, Kanchana stopped her education and started her career as an airhostess. The name, fame, and money that the profession had given bought her a place close to the hearts of the family members. Sridhar, one of the best-known directors of his era spotted her during one of the trips and made her an actress. This was certainly a flight of fortune to Kanchana and her family, which was completely sunk in debts. With a noble intention of helping her father get rid of the monetary hassles, Kanchana decided to make a debut onto the silver screen. Though her "reel" life spiraled in glory and money, the "real" life was not very happy. Slowly, Kanchana realized that her parents were interested more in her money rather than her. Only her sister could understand the problems of Kanchana. Against the wishes of her family members, her sister moved away from the family for the person she wanted to share her life with. Having lost the only person who could understand her, Kanchana treated marriage synonymous with Mirage. Dreams of her becoming a married woman and leading a peaceful and happy life, have been busted by her parents, as she was the main source of revenue . Who would want to kill a golden goose?! Slowly but steadily, Kanchana became dependent on her parents. Her sensibility as an Indian woman, who has been taught not to fight against her parents for her own interests, became a major weakness. The belief she had in parents made her a pauper. Trusting her parents blindly, she signed on papers, which made her liable and her parents prosperous. The allegations made by her parents in connection with the property issues have shattered her trust in human beings. She became a living dead woman who is detached to the material world. Without a penny in her hand, she had distanced herself from the maddening world. Marriage, happy life, family are words that have always avoided Kanchana. Today she lives in a small cottage, with no amenities in the outskirts of Bangalore City. For many years, people in the cinema world believed that she had died. Her personal life is a sad story. Her life was marred with incidents, which lifted her confidence from people around. Her current companion is nothing but solitude. Slowly, she is recovering from the trauma she had experienced in the real life. She still has not lost hope and is interested in acting in elderly, respectful roles. However, the question is, how many of them would be interested in giving her such a role Only time will tell. The song "Cheluveya Nota Chenna" from the Rajkumar film Shankar Guru is what comes to a Kannadiga's mind, as soon as he/she thinks of the yesteryear rage Kanchana. This beauty, who wore on her face a great mix of sensuous charm and intelligence, has acted in all the south Indian languages. Though she got to play glamorous, lead roles with heroes such as MGR and Shivaji Ganeshan, what came her way in Kannada films was mostly weepy roles. However, she acted with almost all the leading men of the times such as Vishnuvardhan and Ambarish. Incidentally, for all the films in which Rajkumar played dual roles, Kanchana was paired with the older Rajkumar. For instance, Shankar Guru, Nanobba Kalla and Babruvahana. One almost wonders if the reason for this was her beautiful face that had refused to catch up with time, while most Rajkumar's other heroines like Leelavathi and Pandari Bai had aged. Though Kanchana would give 100 per cent to each character she played, the Kannada film industry, in all its predictability, stereotyped her in the teary-eyed, Mother India kind of roles. The only exception came in her role as Uloopi, who weds Arjuna in the Gandharva mode but is later rejected by him. Enraged by this, Uloopi turns a angry woman and trains her son Babruvahana to become a warrior. In her role as the mother who's son has been kidnapped in the film Nanobba Kalla, she is as good as Rajkumar himself. Kanchana, a tall lady with a calm demeanour never played a negative role, not even that of an intolerant mother-in-law. Though her mother tongue was Telugu, Kanchana was at ease with all south Indian languages and would insist on dubbing her roles herself. In fact, for all glamour dolls of today (read Bombay heroines), who cannot manage to speak any south Indian language including their mother tongue, Kanchana stands to be a role model. In that sense, she is truly synonymous with the song "Cheluveya nota chenna, volavina maatoo chenna" (The gaze of a beauty is lovely, and her words are lovely too).



1. Gandharvam (1993) .... Sreedevi Menon
2. Waqt Ka Shahenshah (1987)
3. Shri Datta Darshanam (1985)
4. Ananda Bhairavi (1984)
5. Gadasari Attaha Sosagara Kodalu (1981)
6. Sigappu Rojakkal (1978)
7. Indradhanusu (1977)
8. Mahakavi Kshetrayya (1976)
9. Secretary (1976)
10. Prem Nagar (1974) .... Dancer
11. Bhakta Tukaram (1973)
12. Devudu Chesina Manushulu (1973)
13. Dharma Daata (1970)
14. Bhale Mastaru (1969)
15. Natakalarayudu (1969)
16. Nenante Nene (1968)
17. Teen Bahuraniyan (1968)
18. Athey Kangal (1967)
19. Farz (1967)
20. Prana Mithrulu (1967)
21. Privetu Mastaru (1967)
22. Thangai (1967) .... Lalitha
23. Navarathri (1966)
24. Aatma Gowravam (1965)
25. Manchi Kutumbam (1965)
26. Preminchi Choodu (1965)
27. Kadalikka Neramillai (1964) .... Kanchana
28. Suvarna Sundari (1957/I) .... Nagakanya

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Early Tollywood


Padmanabha said...

Where is the telugu film "Veerabhimanyu" in which Actress Kanchana acted opposite to Shobhan Babu in 1963-64?

venkata said...

itz very heartening to get to know such great yesteryear actress but its too much paining to know her present status which she never dreamt of.

We would like to give her our helping hand. So, if anybody knows her personal current address please let us know immediately...

Anonymous said...

I would like to help Kanchana as it was quite late
on learning about her status.

You can post her address and contact if you get it.

She was beautiful n supreme in movies like
Kalyana mandapam.


Satish said...

You have also forgotten the Kannada movie "Nagarahole" in which she has a dance number...

vaidyanathan said...

I feel sorry for Kanchana, the beauty of yesteryears. If I can be of any help, I can.Can i have contact details

nnk said...

would like to extend a helping hand to Ms Kanchana if I can get to know her whereabouts. Can communicate with me @ nambakkam@gmail.com

Altruism said...

God's ways are beyond our understanding. Otherwise, Kanchana shouldnt have been suffering such setbacks inspite of her education, culture and talents.Suffering at the hands of ones own parents is untinkable. I really would like to meet her in Bangalore if someone helps with her contact details. Thanks.

Altruism said...

Horrible to note about Kanchana's plight, all because she trusted her own parents. I happen to know through her some of her relatives long ago. But stars fall only to reappear on a different galaxy. Say not, the struggle naught awaileth! I there is someway a 76 year old social worker can help her, well, I will do something to make enjoy dignity of like serving God!

Altruism said...

I posted a comment of concern for Kanchana, a victim of interfamilial politics. If she is in Banbalore, could someone tell me her whereabouts. She deserves all our empathies and help. murtykunderu@yahoo.co.in

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