K.P.A.C Lalitha

K.P.A.C Lalitha
Born Name: Maheshwari Amma
Date of Birth: 25 February 1948
Place of Birth: Kayamkulam, India
Died: 22 February 2022 (aged 73), Thrippunithura, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
Occupation: Actress
Years active: 1968–2022
Spouse(s): Bharathan ​(m. 1978; death 1998)​
Children: Siddharth, Sreekutty Bharathan
Siblings: Shyamala Amma, Krishnakumar
Awards: National Film Awards (1990, 2000)

Maheshwari Amma (25 February 1948 – 22 February 2022), better known by her stage name K. P. A. C. Lalitha, was an Indian film and stage actress who worked primarily in Malayalam cinema and theatre. She started her acting career with K. P. A. C., a theatre collective in Kayamkulam, Kerala. In a career spanning five decades, she starred in over 550 films.

Lalitha won two National Film Awards for Best Supporting Actress along with four Kerala State Film Awards. In 2009, she was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Filmfare Awards South. Lalitha latterly served as the chairperson of Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi. She was married to the late Malayalam filmmaker Bharathan.

Early life
Lalitha was born as Maheshwari Amma in Kayamkulam on 25 February 1948. She was born to Kadaykatharayil Veettil K. Ananthan Nair and Bhargavi Amma, as the eldest among five children; her four siblings were Indira, Babu, Rajan and Shyamala. Her father was a photographer who was from Kayamkulam and mother was a housewife who was from Aranmula. She spent most of her childhood at Ramapuram near Kayamkulam. Her family migrated to Changanassery, Kottayam for her to join dance class. She learned to dance when she was a child under the guidance of Chellappan Pillai and then under Kalamandalam Gangadharan. She started acting in plays when she was 10 years old. Her first appearance on stage was in the play Geethayude Bali. She later joined K.P.A.C. (Kerala People's Arts Club), which was a prominent leftist drama troupe in Kerala. She was given the screen-name Lalitha and later, when she started acting in movies, the tag K.P.A.C. was added to her screen-name to differentiate it from another actress known as Lalitha.

Acting career
Her first movie was the film adaptation of Koottukudumbam directed by K. S. Sethumadhavan. In 1978 she married Bharathan, a noted Malayalam film director. She took a break from film acting for sometime, doing only a few films.

The second era of her career started with Kattathe Kilikkoodu (1983) directed by her husband. Her pairing with Innocent (actor) was hugely popular with the audience between 1986 and 2006 with successful films like Gajakesariyogam, Apporvam Chillar, Makkal Mahatmiyam, Shubha Yatra, My Dear Muthachan, Kannanum Polisum, Arjunan Pillaiyum Anju Makkalum, Injankaddai Mathan and Sons, Pavam Pavam Rajakumaram. During this time, she did many critically acclaimed roles including those in Kattukuthira (1990), Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam (1986), Ponn Muttyidunna Tharavu (1988), Mukunthetta Sumitra Vilikkunnu (1988), Vadakku Nooki Yanthram (1989), Innathe Program (1991), Dasharatham (1989), Venkalam (1993), Godfather (1991), Amaram (1991), Vietnam Colony (1993), Pavithram (1993), Manichitrathazhu (1994), Sphadikam (1995), and Aniyathi Pravu (1997). She won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Amaram (1991), a film directed by her husband Bharathan.

In 1998, when her husband Bharathan died, she took a break for a few months, only to come back with an acclaimed performance in Sathyan Anthikkad directed Veendum Chila Veetukaryangal (1999). K.P.A.C. Lalitha's notable roles after that were in Shantham (2000), Life Is Beautiful (2000) and Valkannadi (2002). She won her second National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Shantham (2000), directed by Jayaraj.

K.P.A.C. Lalitha acted in over 500 films in Malayalam cinema. Apart from Malayalam, she acted in some Tamil films including Kadhalukku Mariyadhai (1997), Maniratnam's Alaipayuthey (2000) and Kaatru Veliyidai (2017). Particularly, her performance in Tamil film Kadhalukku Mariyadhai as Shalini's mother won her critical acclaim.

Personal life and death
Lalitha has a daughter Sreekutty and a son Sidharth who debuted as an actor in the movie Nammal, which was directed by Kamal. After a short career in acting, he chose a career in film direction. In 2012, he made his directorial debut with Nidra, which is the remake of 1984 film with the same title written and directed by his father Bharathan.

She published an autobiography, titled Katha Thudarum (Story To Be Continued), which won the Cherukad Award in 2013.

Lalitha died in Thrippunithura on 22 February 2022, at the age of 73. She had been hospitalized since November 2021 due to multiple health issues, including liver ailment and diabetes.


National Film Awards

  • 1990: Best Supporting Actress – Amaram
  • 2000: Best Supporting Actress – Shantham

Kerala State Film Awards

  • 1975: Second Best Actress – Neela Ponman, Onnum Lelle (1975)
  • 1978: Second Best Actress – Aaravam
  • 1990: Second Best Actress – Amaram
  • 1991: Second Best Actress – Kadinjool Kalyanam, Godfather, Sandhesam

Asianet Film Awards

  • 2000: Best Supporting Actress – Shantham
  • 2007: Best Supporting Actress – Thaniye, Nasrani, Aakasham
  • 2011: Best Supporting Actress – Snehaveedu

Filmfare Awards South
2009: Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award

Other awards

  • 2007: Premji Award[unreliable source?]
  • 2009: Thoppil Bhasi Prathibha Award
  • 2009: Annual Malayalam Movie Award (Dubai) for Best Outstanding Performances
  • 2010: Bharat Murali Award
  • 2011: Bahadoor Award
  • 2011: Kambisseri Karunakaran Award
  • 2012: Thoppil Bhasi Prathibha Award
  • 2013: MT Chandrasenan Award
  • 2013: Cherukad Award for Literature for Autobiography "Katha Thudarum" (Writer)
  • 2014: Kalaratna Fellowship by Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi
  • 2014: Sangam Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2014:Vanithalokam Award
  • 2015: Part-Ono Films- Samaadharanam-'Prashasthipathram'
  • 2015: SIIMA Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2015: Vanitha Film Award – Lifetime Achievement
  • 2015:TCR Bharath P.J.Antony Smaraka Abhinaya Prathibha Award
  • 2015:IIFA Awards IIFA Utsavam - Performance in a Supporting Role (Female) - Nominated
  • 2016: Parabrahma Chaithanya Award

PK Rosy Award

  • Devarajan Master Award
  • Good Knight Film and Business Awards 2017

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Categories: 1948 births, 2022 deaths, 20th-century Indian actresses, 21st-century Indian actresses, Best Supporting Actress National Film Award winners, Kerala State Film Award winners, People from Aranmula, Indian television actresses, Actresses from Kerala, Indian film actresses, Filmfare Awards South winners, Actresses in Malayalam cinema, Actresses in Tamil cinema, Actresses from Thrissur, Indian voice actresses, Actresses in Malayalam television, Indian stage actresses, Actresses in Malayalam theatre, Indian actresses, South Indian International Movie Awards winners
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