Legendary actress Manorama passed away recently, leaving a void in Tamil cinema that will be difficult to fill. Born Gopi Shanta in 1937, Manorama began her acting career with plays in Chettinad when she was 12 years old and was called 'aachi' (mother) in later life affectionately by everyone in the industry.
Her first film 'Malayitta Mangai' was produced by poet Kannadasan in 1958, reports PTI. Manorama, who could speak any dialect of Tamil, was known as 'Woman Sivaji Ganesan' (Pombalai Sivaji). She could master any role that came to her.
Here's what actor Kamal Haasan had to say about her in this touching tribute in Behind Woods.
"When I met her a week back at a stage event, she took the audience's permission to recite by memory a 3 page soliloquy written by Kalaignar about 65 years back. Being part of the acting business for more than 60 years, the seasoned artist's hiatus had indeed affected her. Finishing her performance to the thunderous response from the audience, she reminded us that she's still got it.
I had tears in my eyes when she got done with her act and looked at me for my approval. A loving person and a great performer, I would say, she and Nagesh are the mummy and daddy of Tamil cinema comedy. I am honored to have had their cheer and admiration for my work. Like all other millions of fans out there, I'm also going to miss her. I have done many films with her. Her's was a full life yet we've not had our fill as her admirers.
Thanks for the smile you etched on faces with your sharp wit mama. Thanks for everything funny and sad you shared with us. Soon your comic images will super-impose itself on this temporary sadness. Bye bye my loving funny mama."
But the depth of Haasan's grief could truly be understood in this short clip that played out on television channels. The actor was seen literally on the verge of tears.
#KamalHaasan sir paying his last respects
We will miss u Aachi...😟😟😟 pic.twitter.com/GPkRjzzBDk— priyanka raemolla (@raemolla) October 11, 2015