Nov 21, 2007



Manorama is the only one Tamil film comedienne who has so far completed 1200 Tamil films is to appear in the Guinness book of records soon. It is not only the number of films that counts but many titles that she received as Kalaimamani and Padmashree for her acting career for over a period of fifty years. It was learnt authentically that the California University is going to confer a doctorate on her, and if she receives the award, it will be a second doctorate to her. The comedienne received her first doctorate sometime ago from the Annai Sathyabama University.

Manorama has strong opinion that if one should become a successful comedian in any language; the person must have proficiency in the particular language. She says "acting alone will not support anyone, unless the actor or the actress should have the knowledge of Tamil. You can show many heroes, heroines and character artistes from other states, but, you can't point out one single artiste as comedian in Tamil films other than the Tamils. Hence, if a person wants to become a great Tamil comedian he should have sound knowledge in the language. That is also one of the reasons why there was no stiff competition for woman to do comedy roles in Tamil films" says the comedian.

Manorama has acted in more than 100 Telugu films too as comedian with her own voice used in dubbing. " I know Telugu and Kannda too. So I can do comedy in those languages too. But I have no time to act in other language films" says Manorama.

The met Manorama recently in the sets of Sakala Kala Bhavan, a weekly serial on the Kalaignar TV channel on all Thursdays between 10 PM and 10.30 PM. The actress attired in a gypsy dress speaking the language of the Narikoravas, the nomadic tribe. " I have observed on many occasions these gypsies, and I have learnt how to imitate their language. Acting in the role of narikoravas is not new to me. I have done the very same role in A.P.Nagarajan's Kan Kaatchi film three decades ago. But this is the first time I am doing it for the TV Channel's soap" says Manorama.

It might make one to feel exaggeration, if the comedienne had done her role before the camera without memorizing the dialogues of the narikoravas. The dialogue of the serial was read by the assistant director and the comedienne was listening to it for sometime. Immediately she started acting before the camera with the dialogues she was hearing a few minutes ago. Speaking to the Guide Manorama said, " I am the only one comedienne who had acted with all the comedians like N.S.Krishnan, K.A.Thangavelu, J.P.Chandra Babu, T.R.Ramachandran, A.Karunanidhi, Thengai Srinivasan, Suruli Rajan, Sachchu, V.K. Ramaswamy, T.S.Balaiah, Kaka Radhakrishnan, C.K.Nagesh, Friend Ramasamy which include Vennira Adai Murthy, Vadivelu, Vivek, Manivannan, Gounda Mani and Sendhil. I know every movement of theirs in acting and I would act and adjust myself to their acting. Acting has interwoven in my blood vessels and a day without acting would bring more boring to me".

Her first film Malai Itta Mangai was released in the year 1958 which was produced then by the lyricist late Kavignar Kannadasan. If the next year comes, then the comedienne would be completing her 50 years of acting in films. Before her entry into films, she was performing on stages under S.V.Sahasranamam, and Kalaignar Karunanidhi and many other drama troupes.

She had done a lot of 'an hour play' in DD Tamil Podhigai like En Veedu, En Kanavar En Kuzhandhai and Anbulla Amma. She had also acted in weekly soaps like Alli Rajiyam, Imsai Arasigal and now in Sakala Kala Bhavan.

" I will go on acting. There is no end to it" says Manorama and recalls her association with the late actor Shivaji Ganesan who treated her as one of his sisters. She says that she had learnt many from the late actor including maintaining the punctuality. "He used to watch his wrist watch, if a person comes late to the sets. He also wanted the other artistes to watch the acting of others, so that they could act well when their turn comes for acting in the film" recalls Manorama.

When asked about whether she had done proper justification as a comedian in films and serials, she replied, " I don't know about it. I still think whether people have accepted me as a comedian. Shivaji Ganesan had praised me a lot about my roles in various films, including Thillana Mohanambal in which I acted with him. Similarly, MGR too praised on several occasions about my comedy roles. I won't quit my acting as a comedian because acting is my first love for ever".


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