Sep 15, 1970 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Sep 15, 1970 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
One of the most talented and versatile actresses of the modern South Indian film industry, Ramya Krishnan epitomized the perfect balance of glamor and power packed performances. The actress who is known to play the goddesses roles to perfection has also portrayed villainous and comedic roles with equal panache. Ramya started her career in 1983 with the Tamil film Vellai Manasu and in a career spanning over 30 years, the actress has appeared in more than 200 films across five languages including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi. The winner of several prestigious awards, including three Filmfare Awards, two Nandi Awards, and a Tamil Nadu State Film Award, Ramya has worked with the biggest actors and directors including Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Chiranjeevi, Mohanlal, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, K. Balachander, Yash Chopra, and S.S. Rajamouli.
Ramya was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and she is trained in Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Western dance forms and has done several state performances. The actress is the niece of the late veteran actor and comedian, Cho Ramaswamy.
Ramya Krishnan is married to the Telugu director Krishna Vamsi, the coupled tied the knot in June 2003 and together have a son named Ritwik.
Ramya began her career in the film industry in 1983 with the Tamil film Vellai Manasu. Failing to get noticed in her first film, the actress got recognition with her role in the 1985 Tamil-language comedy drama Padikkadavan starring the legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan and the superstar of Tamil cinema Rajinikanth. The film was a massive hit and despite the presence of two heavyweights of the industry, Ramya caught the eye of the filmmakers. Although the actress made her debut in the Telugu film industry in 1984 with Kanchu Kagada, success eluded her until 1989 as she starred in the Telugu classic Sutradharulu, which was set against a rural backdrop. The film featuring Akkineni Nagaswara Rao, K.R. Vijaya, and Bhanuchander won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu and the Nandi Film Award for Best Feature Film.
During the 1990s, the actress kept shuffling between Tamil and Telugu industries and on the back of stellar performance found success in both the industries. In her first of many major successes to follow in the Tamil industry, the actress won praises for her role in the Tamil-language action film, Captain Prabhakaran (1991), which was loosely based on the former real-life smuggler Veerappan. The film starring Vijayakanth, Sarathkumar received critical acclaim and was a massive commercial hit. Two years, later the actress managed to woo the Hindi film audience with her glamorous looks in the action-thriller Khal Nayak directed by Subhash Ghai.
Post-1991, the actress focused her attention on appearing in Telugu films, yet at the same time she never went away from Tamil cinema. Ramya started her campaign in 1992 on a successful note with the super hit Telugu-language romantic comedy, Allari Mogudu. The film co-starring Mohan Babu and Meena was later remade in Tamil as Veera with Rajinikanth, Meena, and Roja in the lead roles and in Hindi as Saajan Chale Sasural. The same year, the actress gained recognition in the Malayalam film industry as she starred alongside the superstar Mohanlal in the tragedy-drama Aham.
Over the next few years, the actress continued to rule the South Indian film industry and appeared in several hit films like Bangaru Bollodu (1993), Allari Priyadu (1993), Criminal (1994), her fourth Bollywood film, Raja Enga Raja (1995), Dharma Chakram (1997) before eventually starring in one of the biggest hits of career, Padayappa, a Tamil-language film co-starring Rajinikanth and Soundarya. Her performance as the rich and arrogant antagonist named Nilambari won wide praises from both critics and the audience. The film which ran for well over 100 days across several centers in Tamil Nadu won Ramya her maiden Filmfare Award for Best Actress as well as the Tamil Nadu State Film Award Best Actress (Special Prize).
At the start of the new millennium, Ramya Krishnan had already established herself as one of the most accomplished and successful actresses in both Tamil and Telugu cinema. In 2000, the actress starred in the Telugu comedy Kshemamga Velli Labamgarandi alongside Srikanth, Rajendra Prasad, Preethi, Roja and Kovai Sarala. The film, which was the remake of the Tamil film Viralukketha Veekkam emerged to be a box office and following its success in Telugu, it was later remade in Hindi as Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa in 2001. The actress completed the year 2000 with Raja Kaliamman where the played she role of a goddess. The film co-starring Karan, Kausalya and Nizhalgal Ravi received negative reviews but Ramya for her role won appreciation from the audience.
In 2001, the actress played the lead role alongside Prabhu Ganesan in the family comedy-drama, Budget Padmanabhan. The film also featuring Vivek, Mumtaj, Karan, Kovai Sarala and Manivannan in pivotal roles received mixed critical reviews but managed to do well commercially. Ramya followed the success, with another solid performance in the Malayalam comedy-drama Kakkakuyil. The film starring Mohanlal, Mukesh, Nedumudi Venu and Sucheta Khanna in the lead roles was adapted from the 1988 English film A Fish Called Wanda. Ramya Krishnan continued her successful run with a few more hits in 2002. The actress did a guest appearance in the Tamil comedy-drama Panchathantiram, Tamil romantic musical Yai Nee Romba Azhaga Irukke and Baba all of which performed well at the box office. In the same year, she also featured in lead roles opposite Prakash Rai and Ravichandran in the Kannada-language Ekangi and in Onnaman, a Malayalam film opposite Mohanlal and Biju Menon. Whilst the former received warm critical reception the later failed to impress the audience and the critics.
Over the next few years, the actress continued to play supporting roles in films like Kaakha Kaakha (2003), Naanu Naane (2004), Kuthu (2005), Naa Alludu (2005), Sri Krishna (2006), Tulsi and Ore Kadal, a Malayalam-language film, which won her Amrita Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2008, the actress delivered yet another award winning performance in Raju Maharaju, which won her the Nandi Award for Best Supporting Actress and followed it up with one more stellar performance in the Konchem Istham Konchem Kashtam (2009), a Telugu romantic-comedy directed by Kishore Kumar Pardasani. The film starring Siddharth, Tamannaah Bhatia and Prakash Raj in pivotal roles garnered positive reviews from the critics and Ramya for her brilliant role won Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Telugu.
In her solitary release of 2012, Ramya collaborated with director Ravi Raja Pinisetty for the Telugu action fantasy film Yamudiki Mogudu starring Chiranjeevi, and Vijayshanti with Radha and Kota Srinivasa Rao in pivotal supporting roles. The film, which was the remake of the Rajinikanth starring Tamil movie Athisaya Piravi (1990) did not fare well at the box office. The following year, the actress more than made up for her flop with a brilliant performance in the Kannada romance film Sweety Nanna, which won her a nomination for Best Actor in a Negative Role at the SIIMA Awards. The following year, the actress starred in one of the biggest hits of her career in terms of box office collections, Baahubali: The Beginning, the epic fantasy film directed by S.S. Rajamouli and starring Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah Bhatia. The film, which garnered wide critical acclaim and won the National Film Awards for Best Special Effects garnered 650 crores at the box office. For her brilliant role in the film, the actress won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Telugu. She reprises the role in the 2017 film Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, which is a sequel to the 2015 film of the same name.
Apart from her illustrated career in the film industry, Ramya Krishnan has also been quite successful in the TV industry. The actress made her debut on the silver screen with the widely popular Indian superhero series Shaktimaan (1997 – 2005). The series starring Mukesh Khanna was aired on Doordarshan and it was also dubbed in several languages including Tamil, Oriya, and Malayalam. After her debut TV appearance, the actress made her debut in a Tamil series with Kalasam (2008 – 09) and later rose to fame with her role as ‘Ganga’ in the soap opera Thangam (2009 – 13). Her other popular series includes Rajakumari (2013) and Vamsam (2013). Apart from the serials, the actress also appeared as a judge on the reality show Jodi Number One (2006), which was aired on Vijay TV.