Veteran Telugu actor-filmmaker G. Vijaya Nirmala died on Thursday, her son Naresh announced. She was 75.
Naresh, who is also a popular Telugu actor, took to Twitter to announce the death of his mother.
"I regret to inform you that my mother, senior artiste, prominent producer and director Dr. A G Vijaya Nirmala passed away during early hours today, that is, 27.6.2019, at Continental Hospitals, Hyderabad, due to sickness. She was 75," Naresh tweeted.
"Her body will be kept at our residence from 11 a.m. Final rites will be held tomorrow (Friday)."
Vijaya Nirmala started her career as a child actor. At the age of five, she made her acting debut in the 1950 Tamil film "Machcha Rekkai" and four years later she forayed into Telugu cinema with the film "Panduranga Mahatyam".
It was through the 1964 Malayalam film "Bhargavi Nilayam" that she rose to stardom and got noticed. She went on to work with Prem Nazir again in "Udhyogastha".
As a leading lady, she made her Telugu debut with "Rangula Ratnam" alongside Vanisri and Anjali Devi. In 1967, she starred in Telugu film "Sakshi" and it was on the sets of this film that she met actor Krishna with whom she worked in 47 films and eventually ended up marrying him. It was her second marriage.
Vijay Nirmala, who has directed 44 films, was a visionary filmmaker. She made her directorial debut via 1971 Telugu film "Meena", which was based on the eponymous popular novel written by Eddanapudi Sulochana Rani. Two year later, she directed her first Malayalam film "Kavitha".
As a filmmaker, she had the privilege of directing major stars like Sivaji Ganesan and Rajinikanth. She directed the latter in the Telugu remake of "Amar Akbar Anthony", which also starred her husband Krishna.
Her other popular directorial projects include "Rowdy Rangamma", "Sirimalle Navvindi", "Bezawada Bebbuli" and "Collector Vijaya", among others.
She holds a Guinness Record for the most number of films directed by a female filmmaker. In 2008, the Andhra Pradesh government conferred her with Raghupathi Venkaiah award for her contribution to Telugu cinema.
Members of Telugu film fraternity took to Twitter to condole her passing away. Actor Jr. NTR wrote she was a "pioneering filmmaker whose life is an inspiration for many".
Actor Nithiin said her demise was a "huge loss" to the Telugu film industry. Actor Sudheer Babu described Vijaya Nirmala as a "mother-like personality".
(Our News Desk can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)