Veteran actress Rajasulochana passes away

Veteran actress Rajasulochana

Veteran actress Rajasulochana

CHENNAI: Veteran actress and classical dancer Rajasulochana, who starred in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam movies in the 50s and 60s, passed away in Chennai on March 5. She was 78 and had renal problems.
“Rajasulochana was known for her dancing. Every film of her had a song and dance number by her,” said Randor Guy, film historian. The actor, who was from Vijayawada, debuted in Kannada film ‘Gunasagari’ in 1953. She went on to act in more than 250 films in all Indian languages and shared screen space with stars like MG Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganesan, NT Rama Rao, Nageswara Rao and Rajkumar.
“She grew up in Triplicane after her father got transferred here. She learnt Bharatanatyam from Lalithamma and K N Dhandayuthapani Pillai and Kuchipudi from Vempati Chinna Satyam. Her dancing skills led her to movies,” said Guy.
One of the first movies that got her noticed in the Tamil industry was ‘Pennarasi’. “This had several song and dance sequences that were shot in Coimbatore. She became very popular,” said Guy. But what gave her stardom was her role in ‘Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum’ (1958), directed by AK Velan. The songs became instant hits and Rajasulochana went on to act in more movies.
“She ruled the roost for a while along with fellow actor Devika. She was known for her portrayal of sophisticated, well-bred women,” said actor and historian Mohan Raman. At a recent interaction at a film club, the veteran said her primary interest remained dance, said Raman.
Rajasulochana set up a dance school, which is sustained by her disciples. “She was more of a teacher there. Also, she didn’t act after retiring from the movie industry more than 20 years ago. She was more into social work these days,” said Krishna, her son-in-law. Friends like Randor Guy said that she remained her warm, cheerful self despite health problems.
Rajasulochana is survived by her son Shyam Sundar and daughters Sree and Devi.

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