|Sridevi with her sister Srilatha|
We are beyond thrilled to find these rare archival snaps of Sridevi winning her first (of several) Best Actress awards in her illustrious career. The accolade for the southern siren came for the Tamil film Meendum Kokila (1981). Sridevi was just 17 when she acted in the film, 18 when she picked up the trophy making her one of the youngest leading ladies to ever win Best Actress in the history of Indian cinema.
Sridevi's portrayal as a Brahmin wife trying to get back her wayward husband (infatuated with an actress) fetched her a Filmfare Award and established her as one of the top actresses in South India. These honours came much before her foray into Bollywood.
Sridevi was that rare phenomena who transitioned from child-star to leading lady with sari-clad ease. Sridevi was always considered a beautiful girl who shimmered on screen in several South Indian films (be it in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam or Kannada), but winning this accolade established her as one of the finest young actresses too. Still a teen, there are few in the history of Indian cinema who had collected so many awards at such a ripe young age - Sridevi has won several state awards as a child artist too.
It is hard to believe considering the icon she's become now, but back in the day, Sridevi was known purely for her physiognomy; a gamine young beaut who provided glamour on film. With a fine balance of performance oriented roles and those requiring the usual song and dance routine, Sridevi went from strength to strength, conquering box-office and critics with ease. Kamal Hassan called her blotting paper; whatever genius she was surrounded by, she absorbed all their qualities and honed it to perfection.
Currently, well, she has nothing to prove to anyone. But in 1982, the year these awards were handed out, Sri had to beat stiff competition from a legion of leading ladies.Though she has said winning the Best Actress award for Chaalbaaz has been her most memorable moment (at the very apex of her stunning career and position as Queen Bee of Bollywood), we are sure her first Filmfare also meant much to the definitive leading lady of Indian cinema, the one, the only, Sridevi.
A comprehensive list of awards and honours collected by Sridevi here.