Kanchana is an Indian actress, she was born on 16 August 1939, in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India as Vasundhara Devi, in a wealthy family. She is a well-known actress of the 1960s and 1970s. She was trained in Bharatanatyam and music. She acted in all four main South Indian languages, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam. She had also acted in Hindi films.
Kanchana went to work as an air hostess to support her family when her father was suffering business losses. Then she was discovered on a plane by the film director C. V. Sridhar, where he was a passenger. He offered her a role in his film Kaadhalikka Neramillai in 1963, Kanchana accepted his offer and acted as a lead role in the film. She also changed her name from Vasundhara Devi to Kanchana because there was already another actress named Vasundhara Devi. She acted in more than 150 films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Hindi regional languages, with a very successful acting career.
Kanchana’s career in Tamil films as a lead actress was also very successful, especially between 1964 and 1977.
Some of her great Tamil films were Kaadhalikka Neramillai, Thedi Vantha Thirumagal, Parakkum Paavai, Bama Vijayam, Naalum Therindavan, Thangai, Thulabaram, Ponnu Mappilai, Shanti Nilayam, Chella Penn, Uthiravindri Ulle Vaa, Vilaiyaattu Pillai, Avalukendru Oru Manam, Pattondru Ketten, Engalakkum Kaadhal Varum etc. Al of them were critically acclaimed films, and her performance was praised by the critics. Kanchana acted in 19 films with R. Muthuraman. She also acted with many superstar actors like A. V. M. Rajan, S. S. Rajendran, Gemini Ganesan, Jaishankar, Ravichandran, and Sivakumar. Her last film as a lead actress was Avan Oru Sarithiram in Tamil in 1997.
Kanchana also acted in the films Pavitra Bandham, Manchivaadu and both the films were well appreciated and praised. She acted in the film Veerabhimanyu, in which she played the role of Uttara. Then she acted in the film Aatma Gowraavam, under the direction of a veteran director K. Viswanath.
Kanchana acted in the films Neeti Nijayitee (1972) and Parivartana (1975), in some glamorous roles with Krishnam Raju. After retiring as a heroine, she acted in some great film as various characters such as Ananda Bhairavi and Shrimad Virat Veerabrahmendra Swami Charitra in 1984. She also acted in several films as a supporting role such as Johnny, Sigappu Rojakkal, Mouna Ragam etc.
Kanchana was in some problems with her properties in T. Nagar, Chennai, but later she won back her properties of around 6 grounds. But it wasn’t easy to get back her properties, it was a long legal battle. But later Kanchana along with her sister Girija Pandey donated their property in Chennai.
Kanchana retired from the films in the early 1980s. She was presented with the MGR award in 2005 and with the ANR Swarna Kankanam award in 2007. A few years ago, there were some rumors that she was living in penury. But she refuted all the rumors in the press. She had also appeared in OLX commercials in Tamil and Telugu in 2015.
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