indian cinema heritage foundation

B V Radha


Born exactly to the date a year after India’s Independence, into a farming family, Bengaluru Vijaya Radha began her career in 1964 featuring in the Kannada film Navakoti Narayana. Her repertoire consisted of over 300 films in which most of the time she was cast in the supporting role, of which 250 were in Kannada, and the rest in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Tulu and Hindi.

Married to film director K S L Swamy, following her career in cinema, Radha immersed herself in theatre, performing plays with her troupe, Natavranda. In recognition of her contribution to theatre and cinema, Radha was awarded the Kanaka Ratna Award by Kaginele Kanaka Guru Peetha, a spiritual and cultural centre for Kuruba Gowdas, in 2010. Some of her notable Kannada films include Thoogudeepa (1966), Rajadurgada Rahasya (1967), Simha Swapna (1968), Hannele Chiguridaga (1968), Bangalore Mail (1968), Mayor Muthanna (1969), Lakshmi Saraswathi (1970), Aaru Mooru Ombhatthu (1970), Yaava Janmada Maitri (1972), Jwala Mohini (1973), Shubhamangala (1975), Pavana Ganga (1977) and Nagara Hole (1977).

She was credited as Kumari Radha in Tamil industry. Aspiring to pursue a career as an actress in the tinsel town, she quit school to enter cinema. Her most notable role in Tamil films was Thazampoo in 1966. She acted alongside other top actors in the South Indian cinema of 1960s and 1970s, such as M G Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganesan, N T Rama Rao, Gemini Ganesan, Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Jaishankar. Her notable films include Thazhampoo (1965), Yaar Nee? (1966), Kadhalithal Poduma (1967), Thanga Surangam (1969) and CID Shankar (1970). 

She also appeared in the Telugu film Aame Evaru? (1966) which was the remake of the thriller Yaar Nee?.  

She died following a heart attack on 10 September 2017 in Bangalore.