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Tamil cinema's first dream girl turns 98!

Tamil cinemaThanjavur Radhakrishnan Rajayee (File Photo)
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For the pre-independent generation, who would have been in their twenties during Indian independence, Thanjavur Radhakrishnan Rajayee or T R Rajakumari

For the pre-independent generation, who would have been in their twenties during Indian independence, Thanjavur Radhakrishnan Rajayee or T R Rajakumari (1922-99) was the ultimate dream girl. Born on May 5, 98 years ago, she lived on to a ripe age of 77 before passing away in 1999. However, she had an active career in that period between 1936 and 1963.

Known for her classical beauty and bewitching looks, Rajakumari paired with the top heroes of that era from M K Thyagaraja Bhagavathar of the 1940s to the later ones like M G Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan. Along with her director brother T R Ramanna, she produced seven films, many of which were successful at the box office. One of them Koondukkili (1954) featured both MGR and Sivaji, the two top Tamil heroes then for the first and last time. Though it raised a lot of curiosity among the fans of both the stars, the interest levels could not be sustained and the film fell at the BO.

One of those actresses who lived and spent her best times in cinema, Rajakumari carried on her imperious domination right till her last film in the early 1960s. She was the forerunner to the later lot like B Saroja Devi, Padmini and other Telugu heroines like Bhanumathi and Anjali Devi of that time. Incidentally, one another Tamil matinee idol of the earlier era, P U Chinnappa too was born on the same day (1916-1951).

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