|L. Vijayalakshmi Datta|
Ernakulam , Tirunelveli, British India,
(now in Tamil Nadu, India)
|Residence||Virginia, United States of America|
|Other names||L. Vijayalakshmi, Vijayalakshmi, Viji, Vijayalakshmi Datta|
|Occupation||Film actress, Indian Classical Dancer, Budgeting Officer in Virginia Polytechnic University|
|Years active||1952 to present|
|Spouse(s)||Surajit Kumar De Datta (m. 1969)|
|Children||Raj Kumar De Datta|
L. Vijayalakshmi is an Indian film actress and classical dancer whose career was in the 1960s and 1970s. She appeared in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi films. Her debut film was Marumakal (1952).
Early life and training
Vijayalakshmi was born in Ernakulam and was raised in Tirunelveli. Her family then moved to Pune. There, at six years, Vijayalakshmi, was inspired when she saw Vyjayanthimala, Lalitha and Padmini dance at the South Indian Association and she would practice dancing in the backyard of her house. Vijayalakshmi's father noticed her talent for dancing and sent her to a mentor, Sukumara Pillai.
Vijayalakshmi's first performance was at a temple in Andhra Pradesh when she was nine years old. When Vijayalakshmi needed advanced dance training the discipline of Bharathanatyam, her family moved to Madras. They lived in South Mada Street, Mylapore and Vijayalakshmi was mentored by Kamala.
Then, quite by accident when walking near the Kapaleeswarar Temple Vijayalakshmi met K. J. Sarasa who sent her to the dance teacher, Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai. E. V. Saroja was also his student. Ten months later, on 28 October 1955, Vijayalakshmi gave her arangetram (debut) at the Rasika Rajya Sabha (a cultural organisation hall).
Vijayalakshmi was not from a wealthy family. She had just one costume for the three hour performance. The family could not offer more than tea as refreshments to the audience and there were no printed invitations. Despite these disadvantages, the concert was well attended. Vijayalakshmi was introduced by E. Krishna Iyer, a classical artist. The filmmaker, V. Shantaram and the performer, Kamala Lakshmanan were in attendance.
Following her debut, Vijayalakshmi was offered employment at no less than four cultural organisations (sabha). However, her teacher suggested she advance her dance skills through tuition with T. K. Swaminatha Pillai.
Vijayalakshmi's debut film performance was in S. K Chaari's film, Marumakal (1952). In 1959, she acted in a character role and danced in the Telugu language film Sipayi Kuthuru. This involved training and performing in a modified classical dance style. Vijayalakshmi's beauty and dance skill made her suitable for that film and other films of the time and so she became very well known. She was cast with NTR , ANR and other well known performers.
Vijayalakshmi was also cast in many Malayalam language movies. Three of these were with Prem Nazir and others were with Jnana Sundari, Laila Majnu and Sathya Bhama. In Tamil films, Vijayalakshmi was cast with actors such as M. G. Ramachandran , Sivaji Ganesan , Jaishankar, Gemini Ganesan , R. Muthuraman and Ravichandran.
Vijayalakshmi's Tamil language film debut was Paadhai Theriyudhu Paar (1960) in which she played Aalukkoru Veedu. Although it won a National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil the movie was not a commercial success. Some suggested Vijaylakshmi should have danced in this movie but the director indicated she had not because her character did not know how to dance.
Whilst shooting Ooty Varai Uravu Vijayalakshmi was married to her brother's friend, Surajit Kumar De Dutta, an agricultural scientist working in Philippines. After her marriage, Vijayalakshmi took the Benores Hindu matriculation exam as a private candidate. In 1969, she moved to Manila, Philippines. In 1977, when Morarji Desai, the prime minister of India (1977 - 1979) visited Manila, the Indian Embassy asked Vijayalakshmi to dance at an official function. In 1991, Vijayalakshmi moved to the United States. She became an auditor and was employed as a budgeting officer at Virginia Polytechnic University.
- Jagadekaveeruni Katha (1961)
- Aradhana (1962)
- Mahamantri Thimmarusu (1962)
- Srikakula Andhra Mahavishnu Katha (1962)
- Narthanasala (1963)
- Punarjanma (1963)
- Gundamma Katha
- Pujaphalam (1964)
- Bhabruvahana (1964)
- Bobbili Yuddham (1964)
- Ramudu Bheemudu (1964)
- Mangamma Sapatham (1965)
- Pandava Vanavasamu (1965)
- Paramanandayya Sishyula Katha (1966)
- Srikrishnaavataaram (1967)
- Bhakta Prahlada (1967)
- Marumakal (1951)
- Kazhukan (1979)
- Jnaanasundari (1961)
- Laila Majnu (1962)
- Snaapaka Yohannaan (1963)
- Sathyabhaama (1963)
|1960||Kavalai Illaadha Manithan||J. P. Chandrababu wife|
|1960||Paadhai Theriyudhu Paar||Movie won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil|
|1962||Sumaithaangi||Gemini Ganesan sister|
|1965||Enga Veetu Pillai||Kangalum Kavadi Sinthagattum - dance]|
|1965||Aayirathil Oruvan||M.N. Nambiar wife|
|1965||Panchavarna Kili||Azhagan Muruganidam|
|1967||Ooty Varai Uravu||Vijaya|
|1968||Kudiyirundha Koyil||Aadaludan Paadalai|
|1970||Noorandu Kalam Vazhga|
- Husn Aur Ishq (1966)
- Baadal (1966)
- Alibaba and the Forty Thieves (1966)
- Shabnam (1964)
- L. Vijayalakshmi Internet Movie Database website.
- L Vijayalakshmi Malayalachalachithram.com Accessed 29 March 2015.
- Vijayalakshmi Malayalasangeetham.info 26 January 2009 Accessed 29 March 2015.
- Krishnamachari S. Interview with L Vijayalakshmi "The Hindu" 5 February 2015. Accessed 18 December 2015.
- Babu S. Vijayalakshmi A blog about Indian screen stars. 18 December 2015.
- Narasimhan T. A. Magr learnt the Bhangra for a month to dance with Vijayalakshmi "The Hindu" 24 December 2007. Accessed 18 December 2015