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Vijaya Shanthi
Vijaya Shanthi

Vijayashanti is an Indian actress who has starred in over 165 movies in 7 languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi. She was born in Andhra Pradesh, India on June 24, 1964. She is credited as The Lady Superstar and The Action Queen of Indian Cinema. At the peak of her career, she was among the highest paid movie stars in India.

Background and Career

Vijayashanti's given name was 'Shanti'. Her screen name was based her aunt Vijaya Lalitha, who was a veteran heroine in Telugu and Tamil films.

She began her acting career in 1979 at the age of 15 as the leading lady in the Tamil film Kallukkul Eeram ('Stones Have Tears') directed by the legendary Tamil film-maker Bharati Raja. The same year, she debuted in her native Telugu with the movie Kilaadi Krishnudu ('Cunning Krishna'), pairing opposite superstar Krishna.

For the first few years, she portrayed mostly glamor roles. Notable among them is her role in the Telugu film 'Satyam-Shivam' (1981), the cast of which included the two legends of Telugu Cinema - NTR and ANR.

Vijayashanti's first break as a performer came in the 1983 Telugu film 'Neti Bharatam' directed by T. Krishna. The next few years saw her in performance-oriented roles (Desamlo Dongalu Paddaaru, Vandemaataram, Pratighatana, Repati Pourulu, Devalayam, etc), and in glamourous roles (Challenge, Desodhdhaarakudu, Pasivaadi Praanam, Muddula Krishnaiah, Agni Parvatam, etc). By 1985 she was exclusively acting in Telugu films.

As an action heroine and mass entertainer

In the blockbuster movie 'Karthavyam' (1990), her electrifying performance as a tough cop (modelled after real-life supercop Kiran Bedi) won her the National Film Award from Indian Government and an Andhra Pradesh State award for best actress. The success of this movie saw her moving away from glamourous roles and limiting herself to tough lady roles.

In 1990, Kartavyam was dubbed into Tamil as 'Vijayanthi IPS' and its success brought her Superstardom in Tamil cinema as well. (It was also remade in Hindi as Tejaswini, with herself playing the lead role. As expected, Tejaswini did very well at the Hindi box-office). Though she limited herself to acting in Telugu movies, it did not stop her from being treated as a highly rated heroine in Tamil films. Following the success of Vijayanthi IPS, the producers of her films began releasing Tamil versions of her movies simultaneously with the Telugu versions. In 1992, she signed up for a Tamil film in almost a decade, opposite the Tamil superstar Rajanikanth. This movie, Mannan, went on to become one of the biggest hits in Rajanikanth's career. While it's the normal tendency to credit the success of Rajanikanth's movies to the actor himself, Mannan's credit went equally to Vijayashanti.

The superstar of Indian cinema

She was treated as one of the top heroes in the Indian cinema. Her image as a Superstar so outgrew that of her male counterparts that, no top hero was willing to act in her movie for the fear of being sidelined. She once joked in an interview, when asked of the difference between her and the other heroes: There aren't many differences. One is, they dance around the trees with heroines imported from Bombay; and I dance around trees with heroes imported from Bombay. The other difference is, when in a slump, they can try a remake from other languages; but I don't get a subject to remake.she is treated as a legend. Limiting herself to heroine-oriented films did not stop her from continuing as Number One. Between 1990 and 2000, she acted in blockbusters like Police-Lockup, Rowdy Inspector, Shatruvu, Mondi Mogudu - Penki Pellaam, Tejaswini, Mannan and Osey Ramulamma. Osey Ramulamma broke several box-office records, and won her, her 4th Andhra Pradesh State award for Best Actress in 1997. In the same year, she started her political career by joining the BJP. Soon she was made the secretary of BJP's Women's Wing (Bharateeya Mahila Morcha). During the 1999 Indian general elections, she was named BJP's contestant from the Cuddapah lok-sabha seat against Sonia Gandhi of Congress(I) (However, she withdrew from the race after Sonia Gandhi decided to contest from Bellary). She is an active campaigner for the separate Telangana movement as her forefathers hailed from Warangal district in Andhra Pradesh.

From 1999, her movie appearances decreased as she focussed on her political career. By 2004, she had stopped signing new films. Ironically, she was a failure as a politician. Her latest film is Nayudamma, which was released in August 2006, after two long years in production. In her long career as a heroine, she has acted in over 165 films. No other actress in Indian cinema has lasted for as long a period without turning to 'maternal' roles! At 43, she remains very fit, and may return to the screen with yet another stunning performance.

Political career

In 1997, she started her political career by joining the BJP. Soon she was made the secretary of BJP's Women's Wing (Bharateeya Mahila Morcha). During the 1999 Indian general elections, she was named BJP's contestant from the Cuddapah lok-sabha seat against Sonia Gandhi of Congress(I) (However, she withdrew from the race after Sonia Gandhi decided to contest from Bellary). She started her own political outfitTalli Telangana and later merged into Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) in January 2009.

From 1999, her movie appearances decreased as she focused on her political career. By 2004, she had stopped signing new films. Ironically, she was a failure as a politician.


  • Given Name: Shanti
  • Screen Name: Vijaya Shanti ('Vijaya' was taken from her aunt Vijaya Lalitha, who was a veteran heroine in Telugu)
  • Screen Titles: Lady Superstar, Lady Amitabh, Action Queen
  • Other Titles: Urvasi (Govt of India), Kalaimaamani (Govt of Tamilnadu)
  • Nick Names: Vijji, Madam
  • DoB: 24 June, 1964
  • PoB: Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Height: 5.7
  • Weight: Unknown
  • Vital Stats: 34 - 28 - 40 (during the 90s)
  • Mother Tongue: Telugu
  • Known Languages: Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, English
  • First Film: Kallukkul Eeram (Tamil) - 1980
  • First Telugu Film: Khiladi Krishnudu - 1980
  • 100th Film: Bharata Naari (Telugu) - 1989
  • Last Film (Tilldate): Nayudamma (Telugu) - 2006 August 11
  • Marriage: 1987 (She never disclosed it, but her marriage is an open secret)
  • Spouse: Srinivasa Prasad
  • Kids: 2 (daughter, born 1989 and son, born 1995)
  • Paired Mostly with: Chiranjivi (19 films), Bala Krishna (17 films), Krishna (12 films)
  • Directed Mostly by: T. Krishna, K. Raghavendra Rao, Kodi Ramakrishna
  • Dual Role: Police Lockup (1993), Rowdy Darbar (1997) and Nayudamma (2006)
  • Awards: 6 Andhra Pradesh state awards, 1 National Film Award, FilmFare award for lifetime achievement and several other awards
  • Other Trivia: T. Krishna, who gave her the initial break as a performer in Neti Bharatam, casted her in all 6 movies he directed.

Filmography (Actress)


  1. Naayudamma co-starring Prabhu Deva


  1. Indiramma


  1. Shivani
  2. Bharathi Amman (Tamil) dubbed into Telugu as 'Maha Chandi'


  1. Sri Srimathi Sathyabhaama co-starring Raghu
  2. Sambhavi IPS
  3. Sahasa Baludu - Vichitra Kothi
  4. Rifles (Kannada) dubbed into Telugu as 'Vandemaataram'


  1. Vijayanthi
  2. Adavi Chukka .... Chukkamma/Santhi co-starring Charan Raj


  1. Rajasthan (Tamil) dubbed into Telugu as 'Rajastan', co-starring Sarath Kumar
  2. Bharata Ratha co-starring Vinod Kumar


  1. Thadayam .... Lawyer Nandhini (Tamil) dubbed into Telugu as 'Chattam', co-starring Ramkee
  2. Srivaarante Maa Vaare co-starring Suman
  3. Kallukonduru Penn (Malayalam)


  1. Rowdy Darbaar co-starring Ramkee
  2. Goondaa Gardi (Hindi) co-starring Aditya Pancholi and Dharmendra
  3. Osey Ramulamma .... Ramulamma co-starring Krishna and Ramkee (dubbed into Tamil as 'Adimai Penn')


  1. Young Turks (Malayalam) dubbed into Telugu as 'Delhi Dairy', co-starring Suresh Gopi


  1. Street Fighter


  1. Lady Boss co-starring Vinod Kumar (dubbed into Tamil as 'Lady Boss')
  2. Maga Raayudu
  3. Tejasvini .... Asst. Supt. of Police Tejasvini Joshi
  4. Kuntee Putrudu co-starring Mohan Babu
  5. Attaa Kodallu co-starring Anand
  6. Rowdy Mogudu co-starring Mohan Babu


  1. Aasayam co-starring Jagapathi Babu (dubbed into Tamil as 'Aasayam')
  2. Doragaariki Donga Pellaam .... Rani co-starring Krishna
  3. Surya IPS co-starring Venkatesh
  4. China Raayudu co-starring Venkatesh
  5. Nippu Ravva co-starring Bala Krishna
  6. Police Lockup (Vijaya, Shanti) co-starring Vinod Kumar (dubbed into Tamil as 'Police-Lockup')
  7. Mechanic Alludu co-starring Chiranjivi (dubbed into Tamil as 'Mechanic Maappillai')


  1. Mannan co-starring Rajanikanth
  2. Mondi Mogudu - Penki Pellaam co-starring Suman
  3. Rowdy Inspector co-starring Bala Krishna (dubbed into Tamil as 'Auto Raani')
  4. Aparadhi .... Paro co-starring Anil Kapoor


  1. Jaitra Yaatra co-starring Nagarjuna
  2. Gang Leader .... Kanyakumari co-starring Chiranjivi
  3. Stoovertpuram Police Station .... Alakananda co-starring Chiranjivi
  4. Talli Tandrulu co-starring Bala Krishna
  5. Lorry Driver .... Jaya co-starring Bala Krishna
  6. Muddula Menalludu co-starring Bala Krishna


  1. Karthavyam .... Vyjayanthi co-starring Vinod Kumar (dubbed into Tamil as 'Vijayanthi IPS')
  2. Palnaati Rudraiah co-starring Suman
  3. Kondaveeti Donga .... Srilatha co-starring Chiranjivi
  4. Muqaddar Ka Badshaah .... Bharti Rathod
  5. Naagaastram co-starring Krishna
  6. Shatruvu' .... Vijaya co-starring Venkatesh


  1. Bhale Donga co-starring Bala Krishna
  2. Vijay co-starring Nagarjuna
  3. Koduku Diddina Kaapuramco-starring Krishna
  4. Gunda Raajyam co-starring Krishna
  5. Bhaarata Naari co-starring Vinod Kumar
  6. Dorikite Dongalu co-starring Sobhan Babu
  7. Rudranetra co-starring Chiranjivi
  8. Eeshwar .... Lalita co-starring Anil Kapoor
  9. Athaku Yamudu Ammayiki Mogudu .... Rekha co-starring Chiranjivi
  10. Indrudu Chandrudu co-starring Kamal Hasan
  11. Muddula Mamaiah .... Radha co-starring Bala Krishna


  1. Inspector Pratap co-starring Bala Krishna
  2. Donga Pelli co-starring Sobhan Babu
  3. Aswadhdhaama co-starring Krishna
  4. Yudda Bhoomi co-starring Chiranjivi
  5. Manchi Donga co-starring Chiranjivi
  6. Janaki Ramudu co-starring Nagarjuna


  1. Padmati Sandhyaragam co-starring with Tam
  2. bhargava Ramudu co-starring with Bala Krishna
  3. Kalyana thambhulam co-starring with shobhan babu
  4. Bhanumati Gaari Mogudu co-starring Bala Krishna
  5. Yamudiki Mogudu co-starring Chiranjivi
  6. Muddayi co-starring Krishna
  7. Swayam Krushi .... Ganga co-starring Chiranjivi
  8. Dongagaru Swagatam co-starring Sobhan Babu
  9. Pasivadi Pranam co-starring Chiranjivi
  10. Muvva Gopaludu co-starring Bala Krishna
  11. Sahasa Samrat co-starring Bala Krishna


  1. Deshoddhorakudu co-starring with Bala krishna
  2. jeevana poratam co-starring with shobhan babu
  3. samsaram oka sangeetham co-starring with chandramohan
  4. Aruna Kiranam co-starring Raja Sekhar
  5. Samaajamlo Stree co-starring Suman and Bhanu Chandar
  6. Brahmashtram co-starring with krishna
  7. Dairyavanthudu co-starring Chiranjivi
  8. Repati Pourulu co-starring Raja Sekhar
  9. chankya shapadham co-starring with chiranjeevi
  10. Kondaveeti Raja co-starring Chiranjivi
  11. Naaga Devata co-starring Arjun
  12. Sravana Sandhya co-starring Sobhan Babu
  13. Sakkanodu co-starring Sobhan Babu
  14. Apoorva Sahodarulu co-starring Bala Krishna
  15. Muddula Krishnaiah .... Vijayashanti co-starring Bala Krishna


  1. Pratighatana .... Jhansi co-starring Chandra Mohan and Raja Shekhar
  2. Srivaru co-starring Sobhan Babu
  3. Ooriki Soggaadu co-starring Sobhan Babu
  4. Darja Donga co-starring Suman
  5. Chiranjeevi co-starring Chiranjivi
  6. Thirugubatu co-starring with Mohanbabu
  7. Agni Parvatam co-starring Krishna
  8. Desamlo Dongalupaddaru co-starring Suman
  9. Devalayam co-starring Sobhan Babu
  10. Bhandhi co-starring with Krishnam raju
  11. Kothapelli Kuthuru
  12. Pattabhishekham co-starring Bala Krishna
  13. Vande Mataram co-starring Rajasekhar


  1. Kurra cheshtalu co-starring with suman
  2. Kutumbha gouravam co-starring with Muralimohan
  3. Adadhani saaal co-starring with Murali mohan
  4. Veerabhadhrudu co-starring with karthik
  5. Dhongallo dora co-starring with Suman
  6. Raaraju co-starring with krishnam raju
  7. Jadagantalu co-starring with suresh
  8. Enkennalli charithra co-strring with Suman
  9. Abhimanyudu co-starring with shobhan babu
  10. Challenge .... Haarika co-starring Chiranjivi
  11. Mahanagaramlo Mayagadu co-starring Chiranjivi
  12. SP Bhayankar co-starring Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Krishnam Raju
  13. Sundhari-subbarao co-starring with chandhra mohan
  14. Devanthakudu co-starring Chiranjivi


  1. Kalyana Kanavugal (Tamil)
  2. Thalaimagan (Tamil)
  3. Villiyanur Matha (Tamil)
  4. Neeru Pootha Neruppu (Tamil)
  5. Keralida hennu (kannada)
  6. Pandanti kapuraniki 12 suthralu (telugu)
  7. Dharmathmudu (telugu)
  8. Pelli Chesi chupistam (telugu)
  9. Amayaka chakra varthy (telugu)
  10. Sangarshana co-starring Chiranjivi
  11. Navodayam
  12. Mukku pudaka (telugu)
  13. Neti Bharatam co-starring Suman
  14. Pelli Choopulu
  15. Rakasi loya (telugu)
  16. Shri Ranganeethulu co-starring Akkineni Nageswara Rao


  1. Vedikkai Manidhargal (Tamil)
  2. Nizhal Thedum Nenjangal (Tamil)
  3. Manjal nilla (Tamil)
  4. Ilan jodigal (Tamil)
  5. krishnavatharam co -starring with krishna
  6. prathikaram co starring with shobhan babu
  7. Vamsha gouravam co-starring with Shobhan babu
  8. Pelleedu Pillalu .... Santhi


  1. Sivappu malli (Tamil)
  2. Pattam Parakkattum (Tamil)
  3. Sandhana malargal (Tamil)
  4. Nenjile Thunivirunthaal (Tamil)
  5. Netrikann (Tamil)
  6. Rajangam (Tamil)
  7. Pandanti jeevitham co starring with Sobhan babu
  8. satyam sivam co strring with NTR&ANR


  1. Kallukkul Eeram (Tamil)


  1. Kiladi Krishnudu co-starring Krishna

Filmography (Producer)

  • Kartavyam (1990) -- Telugu
  • Nippu Ravva (1992) -- Telugu
  • Tejaswini (1994) -- Hindi
  • Adavi Chukka (1999) -- Telugu

Incomplete films

Below is a list of Vijayashanti's incomplete movies. Some of them were announced but never started; some more were started but never finished.

  • Zamaanat (Hindi)
  • Akshaya Paatra
  • Zindabad
  • Adavi Raani
  • Home Minister
  • Raayala Seema Raktam
  • Tamasoma Jyotirgamay

Awards and accolades

  • Osey Ramulamma (1997) - AP State Award as Best Actress
  • Kartavyam (1990) - AP State Award as Best Actress, Indian Govt Award as Best Actress
  • Bharatanaari (1989) - AP State Award as Best Actress
  • Pratighatana (1986) - AP State Award as Best Actress

FilmFare award for Lifetime Achievement in Indian Cinema Numerous other awards

See Also

List of Telugu Films (1931-2008)

19311932193319341935193619371938193919401941194219431944194519461947194819491950195119521953195419551956195719581959196019611962196319641965196619671968196919701971197219731974197519761977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989199019911992199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010Upcoming Telugu Movies

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