Tollywood singers

Surabhi Kamala


The year 1931 heralded talkie films bidding goodbye to silent films. Hanumanthappa Muniyappa Reddy, popularly known as H M Reddy, earned the appellation 'talkie tiger' by producing 'Bhakta Prahlada', the first talkie in Telugu. He selected Kamalabai of 'Surabhi' organisation as heroine for his film. She also became famous as the 'first talkie heroine' and carved for herself a niche in the film world. Strangely enough, she was born on the stage for the stage. When her mother Venkubai was playing a role in a play, she developed labour pains on the stage itself. Immediately, the curtain was brought down and she gave birth to a female child. And she was Kamalabai. She donned the role of Leelavathi and Munipalle Subbaiah paired with her as Hiranya Kasipa. The audiences received the film with enthusiasm. Kamalabai stuck to the film industry. Her next film was 'Sakunthala'. Ever since there had been no looking back for her. She acted in over 140 films and became a heartthrob of Telugu audiences. Her inimitable style of acting earned laurels from many stalwarts. Her beautiful personality, good accent and her matchless performance, are still green in the minds of Telugu audiences. This great artiste breathed her last in 1971.

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