Born in Nagercoil in 1938, Sukumari was a cousin of the legendary Travancore sisters Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini (their mothers were sisters) and it was their influence that helped Sukumari into the tinsel world and in 1951 in the film Orarivu.
Sukumari's husband passed away when she was quite young. She is survived by her doctor son Suresh Bhimsingh.
"I had known her for 33 years. She was a sister, mother and everything to me and to all in the industry," said superstar Mohanlal at a hurriedly called meeting of the actors body AMMA at Kochi.
Director Shaji Kailas said: "She was my relative. No one needed to tell 'Amma' how to act. She was comfortable with any role. Only the script had to be read out to her. Her loss is an irreparable one for the film industry."
Political leaders, too, paid tribute to the actress. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Sukumari would be remembered for her outstanding performances.
Leader of the Opposition VS Achuthanandan said Sukumari had dedicated her entire life to cinema and left behind several unforgettable characters.
Kerala Speaker G Karthikeyan called Sukumari an amazing actress who had acted with five generations.
In her long and eventful career, she acted in over 2,500 films in various languages and won numerous awards, including the national award for the best supporting actress in 2011 in the film "Nanma Grammam". She also won four state film awards. In 2003, she was awarded the Padma Shree.
Sukumari had acted in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi films, using her own voice in all languages instead of dubbing artists.
Text & Image:sify.com