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Sharada (born June 12, 1945) is a three time national award winning South Indian actress. She originally hails from Andhra Pradesh. But has achieved success through Malayalam movies. Initially she has done many supporting roles in Telugu films, later on she moved to Malayalam film industry and gained success there. She is also known as Urvashi Sharada because earlier the National Film Award for Best Actress was officially designated as Urvshi Award.

Sharada, a Telugu Padmashali, was born as Saraswati Devi in Tenali, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India. Her parents Venkateswar Rao and Sachyavathi Devi belonged to a family of agriculturalists. She has a brother, namely Mohan Rao. Sharada was sent to Madras in her childhood to live with her grandmother Kanakamma. Sharada describes her grandmother as a strict disciplinarian who in the later days wouldn’t even let the heroes touch her and allowed rehearsals only on Sundays. Sharada started to learn dance when she was six. She used to perform during Dasara and other temple festivals. It was because of her mother's desire that she learned dance. Her mother wanted her to become a big star in cine field. Though Sharada's father was not too interested in the idea, he didn't stop her either.

Sharada married Chalam, a famous telugu hero,producer,and comedian.Chalam was the co-star of her debut film Tandrulu Kodukulu.They both got divorced later on.

When she grew up, she started in acting in theater, under the supervision of her grandmother. In Indian theater and cinema, the female lead stars used to leave the field as soon as they are married. So, most of the female lead stars were very young compared to the male leads. Sharada remembers in one of the plays she acted as the wife of a person 30 years older than her when she was just 13. Her debut in films was with a minor role in the Telugu film Kanya Sulkam. However, she returned to theater after it and did a major role in the Telugu version of Ratha Kanneer, a Tamil drama. The play went to get staged over 100 times in Tamilnadu.

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