Veteran Kannada actor Prathima Devi passes away at 88

Prathima Devi entered the film industry at the age of 15 and was presented with Dr Rajkumar Lifetime Achievement Award by the Karnataka Government.
Prathima Devi
Prathima Devi
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Veteran Kannada film actor Prathima Devi, who featured in more than 60 films, passed away on Tuesday. In her decades-long career, the actor worked in several movies of different genres like comedy and drama. She was last seen in the 2005 film Rama Shama Bhama.

According to her family members, the 88-year-old actress was rushed to hospital after she was found unresponsive; where she was declared brought dead. The actor is survived by four children including notable film director SV Rajendra Singh Babu and actor-producer Vijayalakshmi Singh. She was married to eminent Kannada film actor, director and producer, late Shankar Singh.

Born as Mohini, she left home at the age of 11 to pursue her dream of being an actor. She adopted a stage name — Prathima Devi — when she entered the film industry with her debut film Krishna Leela at the age of 15. Some of her prominent movies besides Krishna Leela were JaganmohiniNagakanyeShiva Parvathi and Sri Srinivasa Kalyana.

A native of Udupi, Prathima Devi always dreamt of being an actor. In one of her old videos, she recalls how scandalised her teachers were when she had first said that she wished to become an actor. The actor’s persona, her life story was encapsulated in this video which was reposted by a YouTube channel named Karnataka Information.

“Veteran Kannada actor, Prathima Devi (born 1933) passed away today in her sleep. A pioneer in so many ways, she left her home in Udupi to follow her passion for acting in a touring theatre when she was just 11. Her first film at 13, was Krishna Leela in 1947,” tweeted journalist-writer Seema Chishti while sharing the news of her demise.

Prathima Devi was presented with the Dr Rajkumar Lifetime Achievement Award in the year 2001 by the Karnataka government. Her film Jaganmohini was reportedly the first Kannada film that completed 100 days at the box office.

In spite of her old age, the actor did not shy away from breaking a leg with her granddaughters. In an Instagram Reels video posted by her granddaughter Vanidhi, the actor is seen dancing with her daughter and grandchildren.

In his condolence message, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa expressed his deep sorrow. She was one of the towering personalities in the Kannada film industry and the industry has lost a most talented actress in her death, the Chief Minister said in a statement.

(With PTI inputs)

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