Mamta Mohandas is an Indian actress and playback singer who works primarily in the Malayalam film industry. She made her feature film debut with the 2005 romantic-drama film Mayookham
, and has since appeared in leading roles in several Malayalam films and a few Telugu and Tamil films. Some of Mamta`s best-known works include Big B
(2009), Kadha Thudarunnu
(2013) and Two Countries
(2015). For her performance in the 2010 drama film Kadha Thudarunnu, Mamta won the Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Actress and the Filmfare Award (South) for Best Actress that year. Besides these, she has also won a Filmfare Award (South) for Best Female Playback Singer - Telugu, for her work in the 2006 film Rakhi
Mamta was born in Kannur, Kerala, to Ambalappat Mohandas and Ganga. After completing her schooling at Indian School, Bahrain, she moved to Bangalore, where she joined the Mount Carmel College to pursue her bachelor`s degree. Subsequently, she ventured into modelling and acting.
In November 2011, Mamta got engaged to Bahrain-based businessman Pregith Padmanabhan, and they got married a month later. The marriage didn`t last long, and the couple jointly filed for a divorce in 2012.
Mamta is a cancer survivor, and has been battling with Hodgkin`s lymphoma since her late twenties. Following a relapse in 2013, the actress moved to Los Angeles on a more permanent basis, as a part of her treatment.
Mamta made her feature film debut with Hariharan
`s romantic-drama film Mayookham
(2005). Though the film failed to make an impact critically and commercially, Mamta drew praise for her performance, and went on to win the Best Debutante Award at the Kerala Film Critics Association Awards that year. Following supporting roles in the Mammootty
starrer Bus Conductor (2006) and the Jayaram
starrer Madhuchandralekha (2006), the actress forayed into Kollywood with the political thriller Sivappathigaram (2006), which was poorly received by the audience and the critics alike. Mamta then starred alongside Mohanlal
in the action-thriller film Baba Kalyani, which turned out to be a box office success despite the mixed critical reviews.
Subsequently, the actress made her Tollywood debut with the Jr. NTR
(2007), the critical and commercial success of which made her one of the most sought-after actresses in South Indian cinema. In 2008, Mamta appeared in as many as five Telugu films, a Kannada film and a Tamil film, which included a lead role in the Sudeep
, supporting role in the Nagarjuna
and a cameo in the Rajinikanth
. She made a strong comeback to Mollywood in 2009 with the thriller film Passenger
, which earned Mamta her first Filmfare Awards (South) nomination in the Best Actress (Malayalam) category. In 2010, Mamta turned in one of the strongest performances in her career with the Sathyan Anthikad
film Kadha Thudarunnu
. Her nuanced portrayal of a recently widow`s single mother`s struggles was well-received in all quarters, and Mamta won her first Filmfare Award (South) for Best Actress (Malayalam) and the Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Actress for Kadha Thudarunnu. The action-thriller film Anwar
, which came out in the same year, also received praise for its novel premise and became a box office hit. However, this was followed by a series of duds like Race (2011), Naayika (2011) and Padmasree Bharat Dr. Saroj Kumar (2012).
In 2012, Mamta appeared alongside Dileep
in the comedy film My Boss
and the offbeat romantic comedy Arike
. While My Boss - a remake of the 2009 Hollywood film The Proposal - went on to become a blockbuster, Mamta`s performance in Arike earned her yet another Filmfare nomination for Best Actress - her third overall. Arike also earned Mamta her second Filmfare nomination in the Best Playback Singer - Female category, for her rendition of the song Iravil Viriyum Poo Pole. She then appeared alongside Arun Vijay
in the Kollywood neo noir thriller film Thadaiyara Thaakka
, the plot of which centred around a man who faces persecution at the hands of a gangster, for a crime he didn`t commit. The film received favourable reviews, and was a moderate box office success. In the following year, Mamta starred alongside Prithviraj
in the biographical drama film Celluloid
, which was based on the life of J.C. Daniel, the father of Malayalam cinema. The film opened to universal critical acclaim, and the performance of both the lead actors received much praise, with Mamta going on to land the fourth Filmfare nomination (for Best Actress) of her career. She then reunited with Mohanlal
for the comedy-drama film Ladies and Gentleman
(2014), which turned out to be a major let-down, both critically and commercially.
In 2014, Mamta appeared in a supporting role in the Mammootty
, which opened to positive reviews and fared well at the box office. The romantic comedy Two Countries
(2015) saw Mamta playing an alcoholic who gets hitched to a scheming slacker (played by Dileep
) in what is essentially a marriage of convenience. Upon its release, Two Countries opened to favourable reviews, and turned out to be a blockbuster at the box office. The actress had just one release in 2016 - the comedy film Thoppil Joppan
, which received mixed reviews upon release and did reasonably well at the box office. The neo-noir film Detroit Crossing and the Manju Warrier
starrer Udhaharanam Sujatha are a few of Mamta`s eagerly anticipated 2017 projects. Her 2020 release includes Forensic.
Mamta made her television debut in 2012, as the host of the Surya TV quiz show Kaiyil Oru Kodi. The show was cancelled after its first season. In 2016, she joined the dance reality show D 4 Dance, as a member of the judging panel.