- Dr. J. Jayalalithaa (hereafter referred to as Jaya for the sake of simplicity) was born in Mandya district, Karnataka (Mysore State) – Not in Tamil Nadu. But she was born to a Tamil Iyengar family.
- Her name was a combination of two houses she resided in Mysore Jaya Vilas, Lalitha Vilas. The double ‘aa’ at the end of her name was added only in 2001 for numerology reasons.
- Jaya’s father died when she was 2. Her mother Sandhya became an actress after shifting to Madras where her younger sister lived. But her mother’s real name was Vedavalli.
- Jaya initially studied in Bishop Cotton Girls School in Bangalore and then in Church Park – Chennai. She was awarded the Gold State Award for coming first in 10th Std. exams in the entire state of Tamil Nadu. It is an understatement to say that she excelled in academics.
- Jaya had a brother, Jayakumar, who lived in Chennai until 1995 when he died in an accident.
- She initially acted as MGR’s daughter before acting as heroine in his movies later on.
- Jaya’s mother acted in the Tamil superhit movie Karnan and it was in a party related to that movie that Panthulu spotted Jayalalitha and offered to cast her as the heroine of his next Kannada film – Chinnada Gombe. That was her first film as a lead actress and she was just 15 then!
- Jaya was fluent in several languages including English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, etc. Due to this, MGR selected her to be a Rajya Sabha member from his party.
- Jaya acted in one Hindi movie Izzat opposite Dharmendra.
- Jaya’s last movie as a heroine was in Telugu, not Tamil. But in 1992, while in power as a Chief Minister, she acted (as herself) in a movie on prohibition – Neenga Nalla Irukkanum. The movie was directed by Visu and was the first movie to be produced by TN Govt.
Reference: Wikipedia article on Jayalalithaa.
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