In Bollywood, it is generally the men who launch their sons but Kannada industry saw an exception in Parvathamma.
On Wednesday, Parvathamma died at the age of 77 during the early hours of the morning at a hospital in Bengaluru. She has left her three sons, Shivarajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar and Puneeth Rajkumar and two daughters Lakshmi and Poornima.
She was the wife of legendary actor Rajkumar but her claim to fame is not that. Married at the age of 14, Parvathamma started going on the sets with her husband and understood how the industry worked.
She then ventured into her husband’s professional life and took over the business aspect of it while Rajkumar concentrated on his craft. At a time when a slew of his films were failing and producers did not want to invest in his movie. Parvathamma stepped into the shoes of a producer’s and launched hit movies like Trimurthi, Shankar Guru, Halu Jenu, Kavirathna Kalidasa, Jeevana Chaitra and Akasmika with her husband.
We know how cruel a film industry can be towards women, since so few women enter the industry in other professions than an actress. This is especially true for a time that was five decades ago. It has been that long Parvathamma had been working as an entrepreneur, her husband’ business keeper and a well-known producer in the Kannada film industry.
When her sons grew up, she launched them as well. Shivarajkumar debuted with Anand, Raghavendra Rajkumar debuted with Nanjundi Kalyana and Puneeth Rajkumar debuted with Appu. Apart from playing a major role in her husband and sons’ lives, she launched many of the local talent who went on to become biggies in the Kannada film industry. A few of them are Sudha Rani, Asharani, Sarala, Veena, Vidhyasree, Malashri, Padmasri, Mohini, Monisha, Mamathasri, Prema, Shilpa, Anu Prabhakar, Vidya Venkatesh, Srividya, Rakshita and Ramya.
She made such a huge impact on the industry that apart from being loved for her achievements in the industry, she was also dreaded by those who looked up to her. She always stood rock solid, even during times of distress like when her husband was kidnapped by Veerappan in 2000 and when he died in 2006.
Picture credit- Deccan Chronicle