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Last Updated: December 2, 2011  12,394 views

The life and times of Silk Smitha

in: Movies

Today is birth anniversary of Silk Smitha. She was an Indian film actress. She started her career as a junior actor but due to her talent and passion for cinema she became one of the most wanted heroines of the early 80s. The sobriquet “Silk” came in 1979, with her first Tamil film Vandi Chakkaram, in which she played a bar girl named Silk. In a career spanning 17 years, she did over 450 films in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi languages. This birth anniversary of Silk Smitha has also become very special because of release of “The Dirty Picture”. The film is an account of the life of the doomed sex symbol Silk Smitha and Indian sexploitation films of the 1980s era, especially in Tamil film industry.

Her real name was Vijayalakshmi. She was born in a poor family in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, Due to extreme poverty she was forced to leave school after her fourth standard. Due to her good looks, she was often ‘exploited’ by men, thus her family married her off at a very young age. But when she started getting ill-treated by her husband and in-laws, she ran away to Madras (now known as Chennai) and started living with her aunt.


She started her career in Tamil film industry as a junior artist. Soon she got a break in small character roles. Later she was discovered by Indian director Vinu Chakravarthy at a flour mill. He renamed her Smitha and his wife taught her English, meanwhile she also learned dancing. Smitha made her debut in the Malayalam film Inaye Thedi in 1979. Due to her sexy figure and looks she switched to roles of cabaret dancers and vamp and thus got type casted. After garnering much notice and acclaim with her first major role in the Tamil film Vandi Chakkaram, in 1979, Smitha assumed the screen name “Silk”, after her character’s name in the movie. However after it became a big hit, she could not escape typecasting, severely limiting her range throughout her career. Her dance numbers, semi-nude scenes and bold performances in films like Moondru Mugam made her the ultimate symbol of sensuality or soft porn star in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam cinema. Her item numbers in films like Amaran were also celebrated at the box office.


However in the rare non-sexual roles, she also impressed critics and audiences, such as her role of a wife hurt by her husband’s infidelity in Alaigal Oivathillai (1981). One of her films, Layanam (1989), has earned a cult status in the Indian adult film industry, and was dubbed in numerous languages including, Hindi as Reshma Ki Jawani (2002), which too acquired cult status. Her most respected film is Moondram Pirai by Balu Mahendra, who he remade it in Hindi as Sadma, with much of the cast, including Sridevi, Kamal Hassan, and Silk Smitha reprising their roles. In 1996, Smitha was found dead in her Chennai apartment. The previous year she had tried to become a film producer. Financial problems, disillusionment in love and an alcohol dependency apparently led to depression. However many people claim that Smitha committed suicide, but the circumstances of her death remain a mystery.


Silk Smitha’s movies ::

1984 Challenge Priyamvada Telugu
1984 Rustum Telugu
1984 Neenga Kettavai Tamil
1984 Vaazhkai Tamil
1984 Prachanda Kulla Kannada
1985 Ottayam Bhagyalakshmi Malayalam
1985 Revenge Geetha Malayalam
1985 Chattamtho Poratam Telugu
1985 Shri Datta Darshanam Telugu
1986 Raakshasudu Telugu
1987 Aalappirandhavan Tamil
1989 Miss Pamela Malayalam
1989 Layanam Malayalam

1989 Andru Peytha Mazhaiyil Tamil
1989 Adharvam Ponni Malayalam
1989 Pick Pocket Tamil
1989 Sonthakkaran Sudha Tamil
1990 Avasara Police 100 Tamil
1990 Sunday 7 PM Malayalam
1990 Bamma Maata Bangaru Baata Telugu
1991 Aditya 369 Rajanarthaki Nandini Telugu
1991 Thalattu Ketkudhamma Tamil
1991 Chaithanya Telugu
1991 Thambikku Oru Paattu Tamil
1991 Idhayam Tamil
1992 Naadody Malayalam
1992 Halli Meshtru Kannada
1992 Antham Telugu
1993 Sabash Babu Tamil
1993 Bava Bavamaridi Telugu
1993 Mafia Malayalam
1993 Ulle Veliye Tamil
1993 Alimayya Kannada
1993 Rakshana Telugu
1993 Muta Mestri Telugu
1994 Oru Vasantha Geetham Tamil
1994 Vijaypath Hindi
1994 Palnati Pourusham Telugu
1994 Maro Quit India Telugu
1995 Spadikam Laila Malayalam
1995 Thumboli Kadappuram Malayalam
1996 Lucky Man Tamil
1996 Coimbatore Mappillai Tamil
1996 Subaash Tamil


  • 1

    I like smitha. She gave coloufulness to my youth.

    DILEEP KUMAR on March 1st, 2015