Lakshmi Narayan (born Yaragudipati Venkatalakshmi on 13 December 1952) is an Indian actress known for her work in Indian film industry. Starting to act at the age of 15, she made her silver screen debut as an actress with the Tamil film Jeevanaamsam in 1968, in the same year she was starred in the Kannada film Goadalli CID 999 starring Dr. Rajkumar. In 1974, she starred in her first Malayalam film Chattakari which went on to become blockbuster throughout India.
She then went on to appear in a number of commercially successful films in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and various other languages. She has won one National Film Award for Best Actress, nine Filmfare Awards South, three Nandi Awards, Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress, Karnataka State Award for Best Actress for the movie Hoovu-Hannu, the Bengal Film Journalists Association Awards and various other state awards. Lakshmi made her Bollywood debut in the year 1975, with the women-centric Julie, the remake of Malayalam film Chattakari. After appearing as a lead actress for more than a decade she switched over to character roles.
Lakshmi was born and raised in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to veteran Telugu film maker Yaragudipati Varada Rao of Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, whose films dealt with important social issues. Her mother Kumari Rukmini was a Tamil actress, whose mother Nungambakkam Janaki was also an actress.
Lakshmi was nine when she started acting in films. Her first film was Sri Valli, a Tamil film released in 1961. She took a young role of Valli in the movie
She established herself as a successful and popular actress in South India in the 1970s acting in all four South Indian languages: Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. Lakshmi rose to fame from her first Malayalam movie Chattakari (1974) which won her Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress. Movie Chattakari has the distinction of being the first Malayalam film to run continuously for 40 weeks in a Bangalore theatre. Chattakari (1974) was remade in Hindi as Julie (1975) and in Telugu as Miss Julie Prema Katha (1975). In addition to a Filmfare Best Actress Award, she also won the Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards for the "most outstanding work of the year", for her work in Julie. She is a versatile actress with a glamorous touch. In the Telugu film Panthulamma, she is credited with giving one of her best performances.
After the success of her debut Malayalam film Chattakari, she starred in many other films in Malayalam. She won Filmfare Awards for Best Actress for her performance in Chalanum and Mohiniyottam. She has acted in many successful films paired with Nithya Haritha Nayakan (Evergreen Hero) Prem Nazir, Dr. Rajkumar, Mohan Sharma, MG Soman, Kamal Hassan,Mammooty, Mohanlal to name a few.
She acted with almost all the leading actors and Stars of South India, but it was her combination with popular actor Anant Nag in 70s and 80s that really struck a chord with the audience. Ananth Nag and Lakshmi are considered one of the all-time greatest pairs in South Indian cinema. They acted together in more than 25 films. Their pair was considered the right recipe for success. Most of the films based on TaRaSu novels based on the life of middle class young couples.
After her success in Julie, however, she didn't star in many Hindi films and instead concentrated on doing more South Indian films. She won the National Film Award for Best Actress for Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal (1977), becoming one of the first South Indian actresses to win in that category for a Tamil film. When her career as a leading lady ended in the 1980s, she started playing supporting roles as a mother and later as grandmother. She played Aishwarya Rai's grandmother in Jeans (1998) and Kareena Kapoor's grandmother in Hulchul (2004). She has performed in more than 400 films and has also been involved in politics. Under K. Balachander's supervision, she made her directorial debut with a remake of Yours, Mine and Ours (1968 film): the Kannada film Makkala Sainya (Tamil version Mazhalai Pattalam (1980))
Lakshmi took a break from acting to host two talk shows, including the Tamil talk show Achamillai, Achamillai. After the talk shows ended, she returned to acting in films. She is fluent in all four South Indian languages. She hosted a talk show in Kannada for Suvarna channel called Idu Kathe Alla Jeevana. She also hosts a talk show in Tamil for Vijay TV called Kadhai Alla Nijam. She has hosted a talk show in Kannada for Suvarna channel called Neena? Naana?
Currently she is one among the Judge Panel for a Malayalam reality show Champions on Surya TV. She is also a judge for a Kannada reality show called Drama juniors on Zee Kannada.
Lakshmi was married threise. Her first marriage was to Bhaskar in 1969, a Malayali, who worked with an insurance company and the couple have a daughter, Aishwarya, was born in 1971. Later She married Mohan Sharma in 1975 which also ended up in divorce in 1980.She was long associated with Kannada actor Ananth Nag in the 1980s.
While she was shooting En Uyir Kannamma, She and actor-director K.S. Sivachandran fell in love and got married in 1989. Lakshmi adopted a baby girl in 2000 and named Samyuktha.1977 – National Film Award for Best Actress for Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal1976 – Filmfare Award for Best Actress for JulieWon1974 – Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actress for Dikkatra Parvathi1974 – Filmfare Award for Best Malayalam Actress for Chattakari1975 – Filmfare Award for Best Malayalam Actress for Chalanum'1976 – Filmfare Award for Best Malayalam Actress for Mohiniyaattam (film)1983 – Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actress for Unmaigal1986 – Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress for Sravana Meghalu1993 – Filmfare Award for Best Kannada Actress for Hoovu Hannu1998 – Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (South)Nandi Award for Best Actress - Panthulamma (1977)Nandi Award for Best Actress - Sravana Meghalu (1986)Nandi Award for Best Character Actress - Murari (2001)1993 – Best Actress for Hoovu Hannu2008 – Best Supporting Actress for Vamshi1978 – Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress for Oru Nadigai Naatakam Paarkiraal1974 – Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress for Chattakari1975 - Most outstanding work of the year for Julie
In order of languages in which she acted the most to least number of films.