Nov 29, 1982 in Karnataka, India
Nov 29, 1982 in Karnataka, India
Divya Spandana, better known by her stage name Ramya is a popular Indian film actress and politician who mainly works in the South Indian film industry across Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu language films. The actress who started her career in the film industry in 2003 with the Kannada-language film Abhi. After a string of earned herself the title, `Golden Girl of Kannada Cinema` and the `Sandalwood Queen.` The winner of two Filmfare Awards for Best Actress and the Karnataka State Film Award, the actress has worked with all the major directors and actors in the South Indian film industry. Apart from her acting career, Ramya has political affiliations; she joined the Indian Youth Congress in 2011 and two years late in 2013, she became one of the youngest MPs (Member of Parliament) as he won the 2013 by-election from the Mandya constituency in Karnataka.
Born in Bangalore, Karnataka, Ramya was raised in a political family that was actively involved in the political affairs of the Karnataka state government. Her mother, Ranjitha is a senior member of the Congress party in Karnataka and her foster father, R T Narayan was an industrialist. The actress went to St. Hilda`s School in Ooty and later studied at the Sacred Heart School (Church Mark) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Ramya had a terrific start to her career in the film industry as her debut appearance in the Kannada-language film Abhi alongside Puneeth Rajkumar. The film, written and directed by Dinesh Babu successfully ran for over 150 days in theaters across Karnataka and grossed more than 16 crores INR at the box office. In the same year, the actress starred in the Kannada language film Excuse Me, which was directed by Prem. The film received wide appreciation from both critics and the masses and eventually went on to become one of the biggest musical hits of the year. In her other movie of the year, the actress made her debut in the Telugu film industry with Abhimanyu, which was the remake of her debut film, Abhi.
After a successful debut year, the actress made her debut in the Tamil industry in Kuththu opposite the Young Superstar of Tamil Cinema, T.R. Silambarasan. The film which was the remake of the Telugu film, Dil starring Nithiin and Neha Bamb was an average earner at the box office. The actress had three more releases in the year, viz. Ranga S.S.L.C, Kanti (both Kannada films) and a Tamil film titled Giri but none garnered any attention at the box office.
While the year 2004 turned out to be pretty mediocre for Ramya, 2005 turned out to be a turning point in her career as she won her maiden Udaya Award for Best Actress for her brilliant performance in Amrithadhare. The film directed and co-produced by Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar won the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Film and was later remade in the Telugu as Amrutha Varsham. The following year in 2006, the actress had a mixed year in terms of her films meeting with success. Whilst Julie, Amrutha Varsham, and Dattha received mixed reviews, Sevanthi Sevanthi, Jothe Jotheyali and Tananam Tananam were both a commercial and critical hit and Ramya picked up her first Filmfare Best Actress - South Award.
Ramya`s next major hit came in 2007 as she starred in the Tamil action thriller film Polladhavan opposite Dhanush. The film directed by Vetrimaaran was the remake of the 1980 film of the same name starring Rajinikanth and it just like its original version, the film turned out to be a massive commercial hit. The film where the actress was credited as Divya Spandana won wide appreciation from the critics, with a reviewer from The Hindu stating, "at no point does Polladhavan sag and that writer-director Vetrimaran has slogged through his screenplay and the results shows." After the much success of Polladhavan in 2008, the actress starred in the Kannada film Mussanjemaatu co-starring Sudeep and Anu Prabhakar. The film, which won several nominations at the various functions was later remade in Bengali as Achena Prem. Later in the year, she appeared in a Guest role in the Kannada film titled Meravanige, which was directed the superstar of Telugu cinema, Mahesh Babu. Her other successful film of the year was the Tamil movie Vaaranam Aayiram, which was directed by Gautham Menon. The film, which won wide critical acclaim won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil and also emerged to be one of biggest commercial hits of Suriya Sivakumar`s career.
Two years later, the actress starred in the highly successful Kannada film, Just Math Maathalli alongside Sudeep, which failed at the box office. Her other films of the year, viz. Kiccha Huccha and Jothegara were both commercial flops. After a much disappointing year in 2010, the actress had a successful year in 2011 as three out of her four releases in the year performed well at the box office. Starring with her only Tamil movie of the year, Singam Puli where she starred opposite Jiiva received mixed to positive reviews. Later in the year, the actress won several laurels including an SIIMA Award for Best Actress, the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress, Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Kannada for her brilliant performance in the Kannada film, Sanju Weds Geetha. The film co-starring Srinagar Kitty, Suhasini Maniratnam, and Avinash opened to wide critical acclaim and was hugely successful at the box office.
Ramya had a terrific start in 2012 as her first film of the year, Sidlingu, a coming-of-age Kannada comedy film co-starring Yogesh opened to positive critical reviews. The critics also lauded the debutant director, Vijay Prasad`s efforts with One India website stating, "Sidlingu has an engaging story and good humor. Worth a watch." Later in the year, director Suresh Krishna cast Ramya, Upendra, and Ambarish in the 3D Kannada Romantic fantasy film, Kaatri Veera Surasundarangi, which was the sequel to the 2003 film Raktha Kanneeru. The film, which focuses on the life of a common man who falls in love with the daughter of Lord Indra and the challenges he faces from various gods to win his love was a declared a Super Hit. Following the success of the film, it was later dubbed in Hindi as Ek hi don.
After 2012, the actress reduced her film appearances and she had only one release in 2014, which was titled Aryan. The sports drama Kannada film directed by late D. Rajendra Babu and Chi Guru Dutt featured Shivarajkumar in the lead role and it performed supremely well at the box office. With no releases to her name in 2015, the actress starred in the Kannada epic-fantasy film Nagarahavu, which released in October 2106. The film co-starring Vishnuvardhan, Rajesh Vivek, and Dignath was dubbed in Tamil as Shivanagam and in Telugu as Nagabharanam. In 2017, she was seen in Devraj Kumar`s Kannada movie, Danger Zone, which was later dubbed in Telugu as Pisachi 2.