Veteran actress Manjula Vijayakumar, who acted in more than 400 films in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada, died in Chennai Tuesday morning due to a stomach injury. She was 59 is survived by her husband and actor Vijayakumar and three daughters, Vanitha, Preetha and Sridevi. “Her whole family was with her when she died,” said actor Arun Vijay, her stepson from Vijayakumar’s first marriage.
Doctors at Sri Ramachandra Medical College hospital, where she was admitted last Wednesday after a fall, said the actress died following renal failure. Actor Khushboo, a close friend of the family, was present by Manjula’s bedside when she breathed her last.
Manjula went on to play the lead role with MGR in his blockbuster Rickshawkaran in the early 1970s. She also starred in another popular MGR film Ulagam Suttrum Vaaliban. Born on September 9, 1953, Manjula made her debut in Gemini Ganesan-starrer ‘Shanthi Nilayam’ (1969), but the movie that shot her to fame was ‘Rickshawkaran'(1971), starring MGR. She continued to bag lead roles till the late 70s and then appeared in supporting roles.
The cremation is scheduled for Wednesday morning.