Surabhi Kamalabai – The First Telugu Heroine

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Surabhi Kamalabai
Surabhi Kamalabai

Surabhi Kamalabai was a Telugu drama and film actress. She has the distinction of being the first Telugu heroine in a talky film with Bhakta Prahlada (1931 film), directed by H. M. Reddy. She played the role of Leelavathi, the wife of Hiranyakasipa. Since then she acted in about 30 films, including Savitri, Patala Bhairavi (1951), Malliswari (1951), Illarikam (1959), and Velugu Needalu (1961).

 

 

Career

Surabhi Kamalabai
Surabhi Kamalabai

She belongs to the well esteemed Surabhi group of drama company, in whom drama is not only livelihood and also a profession and an art form. There were about 50 families during the 1920s to 1950s in Andhra Pradesh. They tour different places and stay for some time and give chain of programmes in the nearby towns. Her birth is really happened in a dramatic fashion. Her mother while playing the role of pregnant Leelavathi carrying Prahlada and really gave birth to Kamala on stage.

 

Filmography

1. Bhakta Prahlada (1931) as Leelavathi
2. Rama Paduka Pattabhishekam (1932) as Goddess Seetha
3. Shakuntala (1932/I)
4. Prithvi Putra (1933)
5. Savithri (1933)
6. Shaher Ka Jadoo (1934) as Laila
7. Be Kharab Jan (1936)
8. Do Diwane (1936)
9. Draupadi Manasamrakshanam (1936)
10. Bhakta Jayadeva (1938)
11. Tukaram (1938)
12. Bhookailas (1940) as Vishnu Maya
13. Patni (1942 film) (1942)
14. Keelugurram (1949)
15. Malliswari (1951)
16. Patala Bhairavi (1951)
17. Mangala (1951)
18. Kathal (1952)
19. Manavati (1952)
20. Rohini (1953)
21. Devadasu (1953)
22. Vayyari Bhama (1953)
23. Pelli Naati Pramanalu (1958)
24. Mangalya Balam (1958)
25. Jayabheri (1959)
26. Illarikam (1959)
27. Vagdanam (1961) as Bujjamma
28. Velugu Needalu (1964)

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