The South Film industry is known for its bold yet glamorous divas who have rocked the Indian Cinema for decades. A name that comes out of the rubbles is that of Silk Smitha. Popularly known for her erotic and sensually charismatic image, we look back at a glimpse of her life on her 21th death anniversary.
WE present the rise of this southern beauty and her sudden demise in the following 10 points.
1. Silk Smitha’s reel named was Vijayalakshmi Vadlapati and was born to father Ramallu and mother Sarasamma, in Eluru in Andhra Pradesh. She left school after class four due to family financial constraints.
2. She started her filmy career by from a touch-up artist of a bold star out of which she bagged small roles south films.
3. Silk was discovered by director Vinu Chakravarthy in South cinema after which she established herself as one of the most well known erotic actresses in the industry.
4. She made her acting debut in 1978 Kananda film ‘Bedi’. She got her fame break in 1979 ‘Vandichakkaram’ in which she portrayed the character of Silk.
5. In 80’s, due to her marked sex appeal, she acted in more than 450 films including many South Indian films. She was also seen in Kamal Haasan-Sridevi-starrer Hindi film ‘Sadma’ and also starred in Hindi Cinema like ‘Jeet Hamari’ and ‘Jaani Dosti’ in 1983.
6. She did many item numbers in films likes ‘Vandichakkaram’ as a bar girl named as a silk, ‘Justice Raja’, ‘Kiratham’, ‘Antham’, ‘Mafia’, ‘Lockup Death’, ‘Gentalman Security’, ‘Karma’, ‘Coimbatore Mappillai’, and ‘ Subash’ – her last film which was released in 1996.
7. She worked a three shift daily, for one song she would charge only 50k. South superstars like Sivaji Ganesan, Rajnikanth, Kamal Haasan, Chiranjeevi also insisted silk to do atleast one song for their film.
8. Despite lavish earnings Silk faced a downfall after she She stopped taking advise of close friend and producer which cost her a whooping Rs 2 crores in her first two productions. Her third film did not even manage to complete. Due to this she suffered from mental distress.
9. Caught in depression, Silk committed suicide on September 23, 1996 at her Chennai apartment. She hanged herself from the ceiling fan at her residence. The news shocked the entire South industry. However, people speculated that the reason behind her death was something else.
10. In 2011, Vidya portrayed one of the most bold characters cherished in Indian cinema. Entertainment…Entertainment…Entertainment… became the mouth piece as Silk Smitha was recreated in Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Pictures. Vidya was applauded for her daring performance that won many hearts.