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Kanchana (actress)

Born Rachakonda Vasundhara Devi
August 16, 1939
Madras, India

Rachakonda Kanchana (born 16 August 1939) is a noted actress of the 1960s and 1970s. She acted in all four South Indian languages: Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam. She has also acted in Hindi films as well.

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Early life[edit]

She was born as Vasundhara Devi in a wealthy Brahmin family originally from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. They moved to Madras (present Chennai) in Tamil Nadu, where Kanchana was born.[1] She learnt Bharata Natyam and Music.


Her father suffered business losses, and she went to work as an Air Hostess to support her family, when she was discovered by the film director C. V. Sridhar on a plane where he was a passenger. He gave the lead role in his film Kaadhalikka Neramillai in 1963 and changed her name to Kanchana, since there was already another actress named Vasundhara Devi, mother of star Vyjayanthimala.[2] She acted in over 150 films – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi, with a successful acting career.

She retired from films in the early 1980s.[3] In 2005, she was presented with the MGR award and in 2007 the ANR Swarna Kankanam award.[4]

She was appropriately known as the Queen of the Seventies in South Indian film industry. Her performances in the movies Kalyana Mandapam, Pavitra Bandam, Manchivadu were well appreciated and recognized.[5] She played the role of Uttara in the film Veerabhimanyu (1965) along with Shobhan Babu which established her in the industry. Next year she acted in Annapurna pictures film Aatma Gowravam with veteran director K. Viswanath.

She acted with Krishna in some glamorous roles in Ave Kallu, Nenante Nene and Dharma Daata. Not only in social roles, she acted some mythological roles in pictures likeShri Krishnavataram (1967). After retirement as heroine, she acted in some good films including Ananda Bhairavi and Shrimad Virat Veerabrahmendra Swami Charitra in 1984.

There were rumours floating around a few years ago about her living in penury. A popular Tamil magazine Kumudam published a report that Kanchana was relying on the prasadam served at a Temple. However in a press release, Kanchana refuted all this with deep anguish. She cited her existing legal tangles as a reason for reluctance for not suing the magazine.

Personal life[edit]

The actress later got the wealth of Rs. 15 crores with the Court ruling against her parents. It was learnt that one day her father took signature of Kanchana on a white paper and without her knowledge converted total assets on his name. After a long legal battle she won and regained her wealth.

Kanchana along with her Sister Girija Pandey donated their property in Chennai worth Rs. 15 crores to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) on 25 October 2010.


This is partial filmography of Kanchana. Please help expanding it.

1964 Kaadhalikka Neramillai Tamil Debut film
1965 Aatma Gowravam Telugu Savitri/Sarala
1965 Manchi Kutumbam Telugu
1965 Preminchi Choodu Telugu
1965 Veerabhimanyu Telugu Uttara
1965 Veera Abhimanyu Tamil
1966 Motor Sundaram Pillai Tamil
1966 Navarathri Telugu Dr Anand
1966 Parakkum Paavai Tamil
1966 Dr. Anand Telugu
1966 Priyathama Malayalam
1966 Kodi Malar Tamil
1966 Marakka Mudiyumaa Tamil
1967 Adhey Kangal Tamil Susheela
1967 Ave Kallu Telugu Susheela
1967 Bama Vijayam Tamil
1967 Farz Hindi
1967 Prana Mithrulu Telugu
1967 Private Master Telugu Sundari
1967 Shri Krishnavataram Telugu
1967 Thangai Tamil Lalitha
1968 Thirichadi Malayalam
1968 Kodungallooramma Malayalam
1968 Bandhipotu Dongalu Telugu Malli, Kalisochina Adrishtam
1968 Nenante Nene Telugu , Tarasasankam
1968 Teen Bahuraniyan Hindi Kanchukota, Saptaswaralu, Devakanya, Kalisochina Adrushtam, Veeranjaneya
1969 Manushulu Marali Telugu
1969 Bhale Mastaru Telugu
1969 Natakala Rayudu Telugu Geetha Devi
1969 Shanti Nilayam Tamil Malathi
1970 Dharma Daata Telugu Padma
1970 Samaj Ko Badal Dalo Hindi
1970 Sivanda man Tamil
1970 Uthiravindri Ulle Vaa Tamil
1970 Othenante Makan Malayalam
1970 Kadhal Jothi Tamil
1971 Avalukendru Oru Manam Tamil
1971 Kalyana Mandapam Telugu
1971 Pavitra Bandham Telugu
1971 Amayakuralu Telugu
1972 'Manchirojula Vachyai' Telugu
1972 Shankar guru Kannada
1972 Prathikaaram Malayalam
1972 Manthrakodi Malayalam
1972 Naan Yaen Piranthaen Tamil
1973 Azhakulla Saleena Malayalam Lucyamma
1973 Bhakta Tukaram Telugu
1973 Devudu Chesina Manushulu Telugu
1973 Manchi Vadu Telugu
1974 Thumbolaarcha Malayalam
1974 Jeevikkaan Marannu Poya Sthree Malayalam
1974 Prem Nagar Hindi Dancer
1975 Alakh Niranjan Hindi Mohini
1975 Maya Maschindra Telugu Mohini
1976 Mahakavi Kshetrayya Telugu Annadammula Anubandham
1976 Secretary Telugu
1977 Avan Oru Sarithiram Tamil
1977 Ammaayi Amma Malayalam
1977 Babruvahana Kannada Uloopi
1977 Daana Veera Soora Karna Telugu
1977 Indradhanusu Telugu
1977 Veer Arjun Hindi Uloopi
1978 Sigappu Rojakkal Tamil
1978 Nanobba kalla Kannada
1979 Nithya Vasantham Malayalam
1979 Rakthamillaattha Manushyan Malayalam
1979 Driver Ramudu Telugu Kalavathi
1980 Johnny Tamil Johnny's mother
1981 Gadasari Attaha Sosagara Kodalu Telugu
1982 Ina Malayalam Aunty
1982 Pedda gedda Kannada
1982 Prachanda kulla Kannada
1984 Ananda Bhairavi Kannada
1984 Ananda Bhairavi Kannada
1984 Shrimad Virat Veerabrahmendra Swami Charitra
1984 Biligiriya banadalli Kannada
1984 Sreekrishnapparunthu Malayalam
1985 Raagam Anandabhairavi Malayalam
1985 Shri Datta Darshanam
1986 Mouna Raagam Tamil
1987 Waqt Ka Shahenshah
1991 Devata Manushya Kannada


Tamil Nadu State Film Honorary Award[edit]

  • She was presented with the MGR award in 2005.

Other awards[edit]

  • ANR Swarna Kankanam award in 2007.[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Chowdhary, Y. Sunita (2012-08-18). "‘Nothing is permanent'". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  3. ^ "Star then, a stoic now". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2006-03-10. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  4. ^ a b "Yesteryear diva looks back". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  5. ^ Idle Brain. Idle Brain. Retrieved on 2012-06-09.

External links[edit]

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