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â:..â                                    Editor: V.N.Giritharan
â 2006 73 - !
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BanumathySeventh September 1925: the auspicious day when Padmashri Dr.Bhanumathi Ramakrishna, illustrious Actress, Directress, Music Director, Songstress and Writer was born in Ongole(Prakasam District of Andhra Pradesh) . Her father Mr.Bommaraju Venkatasubbiah was a staunch lover of classical music and well versed in all fine arts. Dr. Bhanumathi is a born artiste, inheriting music from her parents and received sound training in music and histrionics from her father. Producer-Director Mr.C.Pulliah a pioneer of Telugu Film Industry and a friend of Mr. Venkatsubbiah introduced her to the Telugu Film line at a very early age of 13. Her first picture was "VARAVIRAYAM" an anti dowry subject in those days, which was a great success. The film was produced by Mr. Chamaria, of East India Studio in Calcutta, thus exposing her to pioneering film making company in her very first film. Since then she has worked in over 100 pictures in almost all the languages of South India and also in Hindi. Dr.Bhanumathi proved that at a time when family girls were not inclined to act in films, by acting in films she proved that even respectable family girls can act in films.

She is the only lady in India, may be even in the whole world; who is a Studio Owner, Producer, Directress, Writer, Music Director and also a great singing cine-artiste. She was married to Sri P.S.Ramakrishna Rao, a film producer, Director and Editor of Telugu and Tamil Films on 8 th August 1943. After the birth of her only son she started Bharani Pictures named it after her son. They produced a number of Telugu, Tamil and Hindi Pictures under the direction of her husband and of herself.

In 1950, Bhanumathi - Ramakrishna couple launched their own Studio, Bharani Studios. The first film "CHANDI RANI" was written and directed and acted in duel role by her in three languages Tamil, Telugu and Hindi 1953 and released simultaneously all over India, for which she got awards. Her first Hindi picture Gemini's "NISHAN"   was released in 1950 and was a jubilee picture.

Dr.Bhanumathi was the first lady recipient of State Honours in 1956, when Andhra Pradesh State was formed. She received the National Awards as Best Actress for her acting in "ANNAI" (Tamil), "ANTHASTULU" (Telugu), and "PALANTI YUDDHAM" (Telugu).

Later Mr. Annadurai honoured her with a title   "NADIPPUKKU ILAKKANAM" (Grammar for acting) for her remarkable performance in "RANGOON RADHA",, reiterating her superb and memorable action in several pictures. She is fondly called by her Tamil Admirers as "Ashtavadhani". (A Poet who can answer eight questions at a time).

BanumathyIn 1966, she was conferred with the National Honour of   "PADMASRI"  by the Government of India, Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Academy awarded her as the best short story writer for her popular short stories "ATTAGARI KATHALU". She is the only popular lady humorous short story writer, who has continued the tradition of Gurujada Appa Rao and Muni Manickam Narasimma Rao.

In the International Women's year 1975, another new laurel   of Honourary Doctorate Degree was conferred by the Andhra University on her as an author and a veteran artiste.

In 1984, two more feathers were added viz., "KALAIMAMANI" Title conferred by the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Manram. "BHAKUKALA  DHEERATI SREEMATHI" conferred by the Lions Club   International at the First Lionesses Assembly. Again in March 1984 Honorary Doctorate Degree was conferred by Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi. Again in 1986, she received Andhra Pradesh State Government's Raghupathi Venkiah Memorial Award as well as Award as Best Lady Director.

She has directed sixteen films, written screenplay, dialogues, scripted and went on to music composing, directing and film production lines. Her Telugu Picture "ANTHA MANA MANCHIKE" was adjudged best  film for the year 1972. The Tamil straight version "IPPADIYUM ORU PENN" was applauded as the best musical film and social satire in the international women's year.

She produced a Children's feature colour film titled "BHAKTHA DHURUVA MARKADEYA" in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam with artists of under sixteen, which was applauded by the Press and Public alike. This is an educative and entertaining film inspiring the tender hearts hearts of  children / the greatness of devotion to elders, towards patience and perseverance in life.

Dr.Bhanumathi Ramakrishna is  a a versatile genius. This is provided by the range of her songs, from Carnatic and Hindustani classical music to English Pop  music sung by her in the Tamil Picture "PATHU MATHA BHANDAM"   in which her performance was appreciated by one and all. She has sung English songs in a number of films.

Dr.Bhanumathi Ramakrishna is a great Social Worker. She has long Association with the following Social Service Organisations:

*She was Member of Children Film Society for 5 years, form 1965 to 1970.
*She was a Member of Lalith Kala Academy for 5 years, and Sahitya Academy, Andhra Pradesh for 10 years.
*She was the founder Member and Treasurer of  Madras Branch of  ALTRUSA INTERNATIONAL INC. CHICAGO for 30 years since   1963 and continues as a Member of the Association.
*She is life Member of Red Cross Society for nearly forty years.
*She was a Member of State Film Awards Committee for two years under the Presidentship of the Late C.R. Pattabhiraman.
*She was also a Visiting Professor to the Film Institute for one year.
*She is also running an Educational Institution named as "Dr.Bhanumathi Ramakrishna Matriculation School" at Saligramam, Chennai-93 giving free education to the poor.

In recognition of her talents and experience, Tamil Nadu Government appointed her as Director and Principal for Tamil Nadu   Government Music College, Chennai, from 1985 to 1988. She is the only lady musician who was appointed to this coveted Post.

She is an ocean of talents with a number of honours and awards  to her credit. A good painter, Astrologer and a great Philosopher, She is a  shining devotee of Shri Jagadguru Abhinava Vidyateertha Swamiji (Predecessor to present Sri Shankaracharya) of Sringeri, who bestowed her with the blessing of Sri Vidya Vupasana 32 years back. This is evidently the streamlines under current of her success in life. Even in her 68th year, she continues to produce and act under her Bharani Pictures banner, which incidentally   will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee soon. The rich ocean of talents inhibiting all the rivers will never dry.

In 1994, She was honoured  by the Dcotor's Association of London , U.K. as a great artiste for the year 1993-1994. The Karnataka Director's Association  have honoured as "First Senior Lady Director" and felicitated by Sri. Veerappa Moily former Chief Minister of Karnataka.

She was honoured for her life time achievement as  Film Producer, Director, Artiste, Singer, Music Director and owner  of  Bharani  Pictures and Studios.  She owns "SWARNA KANGANAM" and "MULTIFACED QUEEN OF THE INDIAN SCREEN"

She was honoured by the club of  Vijayawada inner wing in a great function for her achievement  as a Artiste and Musician.

Courtesy: http://www.southindia.com/banu.htm


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