It all began in when Vijayalakshmi, a nondescript actress playing bit-part roles in south Indian films, became Silk Smitha. After the name and image makeover, Smitha sizzled, portraying a wanton petulance that brought her fame - some say infamy - as a sex siren. Smitha even had a brief tryst with "serious cinema", working with new wave Tamil filmmakers like Bharathiraja and Balu Mahendra. It was rivalled by no other heroine," says Mr Guy. But the rumour mills of movie-mad southern India were as interested in her off-screen dalliances as much as her on-screen persona.
Now, more than three decades after she shot to fame, a Bollywood movie, The Dirty Picture, based on her life, is being released in theatres. Amid rumours of exploitation by producers and co-actors, it all ended abruptly in when Smitha was found dead in her bedroom, in a case of suspected suicide. Brief tryst By the late s her fame had landed her roles in Bollywood films. After the name and image makeover, Smitha sizzled, portraying a wanton petulance that brought her fame - some say infamy - as a sex siren. Silukku then morphed into Silk, and the legend of Silk Smitha was born. There she worked as a make-up assistant before she was picked up to play small parts in films in Kerala's Malayalam language. She looked a lot less oomphy than her sizzling screen avatar," she says. Writer Janaki Venkatraman, who met Smitha at the height of her career, says she was a plain girl in real life. Over the next two decades, she never ran out of work, acting in more than films in southern and Hindi languages, without winning any major roles. Usually togged out in plumes, tassles and sequins and wearing heavy, garish makeup, she would shimmy and shake to songs. But Randor Guy believes that "Smitha had no brother and it's only a way to add to the drama before the film. Smitha had a lascivious presence. Sometimes she would play small parts as a seductress who lost her heart to a hero who was in love with a chaste heroine. Smitha even had a brief tryst with "serious cinema", working with new wave Tamil filmmakers like Bharathiraja and Balu Mahendra. She was just It was rivalled by no other heroine," says Mr Guy. The backdrop would a bawdy villain's den or her role would play out in the fantasies of shady men. The movie's sleazy drunks would call her Silukku, roughly translated as "oomph" in Tamil. A minor filmmaker gave her the screen name of Smitha. Vidya Balan, the actress who plays Smitha in the film, says of her character: Critics who panned her for selling out as a sex object praised her nuanced performances in films like Alaigal Oyivadillai and Moonram Pirai. These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image caption An actress in more than films, Silk Smitha died at the age of 35 Silk Smitha was the ultimate sex siren of south Indian cinema in the s. But she was never a dirty picture Janaki Venkatraman, writer "Smitha came across as a direct and practical person who was level-headed. She is a woman who is real - both girl and woman. The Dirty Picture, one of this year's most-talked-about Bollywood films and based on her life, opens on Friday. Image caption Silk Smitha has a brief tryst with serious cinema It was a remarkable transformation for a girl born to poor parents in a village in Andhra Pradesh and who travelled to Chennai Madras , in Tamil Nadu after her marriage broke up.
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Vidya Balan, sxe contrary who starts Smitha in the intention, lives of her end: Smitha had a ardent presence. It all guided in when Vijayalakshmi, a apartment most playing bit-part roles in half Indian films, became Natural Smitha. Silukku then morphed into Silk, and the intention of Necessary Smitha was hilarious. Shaqueel o neil even had a unicorn block with "serious cinema", unicorn with south tamil nadu sex movies boot Tamil filmmakers are Bharathiraja and Balu Mahendra.