Ace Telugu director B Jaya passed away in Hyderabad following a heart ailment on Thursday. Jaya was 54 and is survived by her husband BA Raju, a popular journalist.
One of the few women filmmakers to make a mark in the Telugu industry, Jaya breathed her last at 9.20 pm on Thursday in a private hospital in Gachibowli, her relatives told media. The renowned journalist-turned-filmmaker who has been suffering from a prolonged illness, died due to a cardiac arrest.
Jaya began her career as a journalist after completing her diploma in journalism at University of Madras. After completing her education, she started her career as a writer for the Telugu daily Andhra Jyothi, covering mostly Tollywood news. It is from here that Jaya began her career in the Tollywood industry.
She made her debut as a director with Chantigaadu, with a relatively new cast that starred Baladitya and Suhasini. Chantigaadu was a box-office hit, contrary to the expectations of film makers for whom it was a risky proposition to make a debut film with absolutely no star cast.
Later, she went on to direct Premikulu, Saval, Ali starrer Gundamma Gari Manavadu, Lovely and Vaishakam.
Jaya was also a popular story writer. She and her husband were instrumental in starting the Telugu weekly film magazine, Superhit. As a director, Jaya introduced many new faces to Tollywood like Suhasini, Shani Srivastava and many others. Child artiste Baladitya also debuted as a lead actor in her movie.
Earlier this year, the prolific director was also awarded with the IWDA award on the occasion of International Women’s day.
Soon after the news broke, condolences from the industry poured in on Twitter. Actors and directors poured their grief over the death of the most dynamic women directors the industry ever had.