After laying a wreath on the body at the actor’s home in T. Nagar, Ms. Jayalalithaa said, “There had been no accomplished achiever like Manorama in the Tamil film world and there would be none in the future as well.”
Recalling that they had acted together in many movies, the Chief Minister, herself a popular actor in the past, said: “She would affectionately call me Ammu and I would call her Manorama.”
“On days when we did not shoot, there have been several times when I have visited her home and she would ask if I would have something to eat and I would reply in the affirmative and she herself would serve the food. Similarly, when she came to my house we would eat together. I can hardly forget those days. The bond between us is inseparable,” a visibly moved Ms. Jayalalithaa said.
“MGR always had a special affection for Manorama. Similarly, actor Sivaji Ganesan used to tell me that when it came to acting Manorama was a genius. Just as we refer to Sivaji Ganesan as ‘Nadigar Thilagam’, we can describe her as ‘Nadigaiyar Thilagam’ or as ‘Penn Nadigar Thilagam’,” the Chief Minister said.
In a statement, the Chief Minister recalled how Manorama began her career as an actor on the stage. She had acted with yesteryear actors, including MGR and Sivaji Ganesan, and present day actors. She was first introduced to the film industry in Kannadasan’s Malai Itta Mangai in 1958 and as a heroine in Konjum Kumari in the year 1963.
‘Actor of the Dravidian movement’
Meanwhile, DMK leader M. Karunanidhi said Manorama who entered the Guinness Book of Records for acting in over 1,500 films could be described as the actor of the Dravidian movement given her roles in the plays penned by its leaders.
He said Manorama had acted in C.N. Annadurai’s Sivaji Kanda Hindu Samrajyam, his plays Udayasuryan and Manimagudam and Sornam’s Vidai Kody Thaye. “She excelled as a comedian, character artiste and a singer for 50 years,” he said.