J Jayalalithaa was an Indian politician, actress and philanthropist who served as the chief minister of the state of Tamil Nadu for more than fourteen years. Let us remember her on her birthday…
Jayalalithaa was born on 24 February 1948 as Komalavalli in Mandya district, in Karnataka in a Tamil Brahmin Iyengar family. Her parents were Jayaram and Vedavalli. Her father died when she was two years old. Her mother began to act in movies post the death of her husband to support herself. Jayalalithaa stayed with her maternal grandparents and studied in Bishop Cotton Girls’ School, Bangalore. In 1958, Jayalalithaa moved to Madras to stay with her mother.
She had to discontinue her studies and join acting because of the pressure from her mother. She had started acting in movies from an early age as a child actress. Her first lead was in a Kannada language film Chinnada Gombe (1964), which became an instant hit and Jayalaitaa became a known face among all. Jayalalithaa’s debut in Tamil cinema was the leading role in Vennira Aadai (1965). Between 1965 and 1973, Jayalalithaa starred opposite M. G. R., the superstar actor. Later she became one of the most successful actresses in Tamil cinema.
On 4 June 1982, she joined the AIADMK, which was founded by M.G.R. After the death of M. G. R., she was the successor for AIADMK. She was elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in 1989. Later she served as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for more than fourteen years between 1991 and 2016. During this time, she was given widespread respect and love for her service to the people of the state. She died on 5 December 2016 due to cardiac arrest and became the first female chief minister in India to die in office