The demise of legendary actor Jamuna leaves a void in the film industry
Updated On – 04:52 PM, Fri – 27 January 23
Hyderabad: In an era where the Telugu film industry saw actors like Anjali Devi, Bhanumathi, S Varalakshmi, and Sowcar Janaki at their peak, two 16-year-old girls made an entry into the filmdom almost around the same time. The year was 1952 and the actors who later went on to steal lakhs of hearts in their own way are Savitri and Jamuna. Equally talented, equally beautiful and equally good with their acting skills!
However, the roles they bagged over the years were different from each other. While Savitri was the epitome of the “soft-spoken, responsible, loving and tolerant wife”, Jamuna was the “mischievous, haughty and self-confident girl”. If there was any actor who could be a foil to Savitri’s elegant, mesmerising and captivating on-screen persona, and hold her own, it was Jamuna.
The latter’s naughty younger sister role was the perfect complement for Savitri’s charming elder sister in films like ‘Missamma’ and ‘Gundamma Katha’. The duo shared the screen space in many films, including ‘Donga Ramudu’, ‘Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu’, ‘Pooja Phalam’, ‘Mooga Manasulu’, ‘Chinnari Papalu’ and ‘Maro Prapancham’.
But, Jamuna was not all naughtiness and haughtiness personified; she could carry off any role with elan. Be it the hero’s innocent younger sister roles in ‘Donga Ramudu’ and ‘Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu’, or the girl who sacrifices her love as in ‘Mooga Manasulu’ and ‘Pandanti Kapuram’, or the perseverant young woman in ‘Bhagya Rekha’ and ‘Sati Anasuya’, or the loving mother of twins in ‘Letha Manasulu’, she looked equally convincing in every role.
More than any other role, Jamuna, undisputedly, ruled the filmdom as the ‘Satyabhama of the Telugu silver screen’. She not only excelled as Satyabhama but also breathed life into that character in movies like ‘Vinakayaka Chaviti’, ‘Sri Krishna Tulabharam’ and ‘Sri Krishna Vijayam’, making it her most memorable role ever.
In a career spanning over 30 years, she acted with almost all the legendary actors of the time such as NT Rama Rao, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Savitri and SV Ranga Rao, among others. Being someone who considered her self-respect as paramount, she stopped acting with NTR and ANR for over three years. But it didn’t impact her film career in any way as during that time she acted with heroes like Haranath, with whom she acted in around nine films, and Jaggayya.
Born to Kausalaya Devi and Srinivas Rao on August 30, 1936, in Hampi, she grew up in Duggirala in Guntur district when her family moved there. A stage artiste in school, Jamuna was spotted in the play ‘Maa Bhoomi’, which helped her make a debut in Telugu cinema with ‘Puttillu’. The legend went on to portray hundreds of memorable roles and had an illustrious career not only in Telugu industry but also in Tamil and Hindi film fields, for over three decades.