oct 2nd, 2006
padmini, the last of the three famous 'travancore sisters' in the films, passed away. they were from trivandrum.
padmini, like her sisters, and even more so, was a classically beautiful woman and actress who was also a brilliant dancer -- and that was what she did for most of her life, especially after she retired from the screen and moved to new jersey, where she set up a school of dancve.
lalita, padmini and ragini were all famous names on the malayalam screen, but only padmini became big in hindi films; i think all of them acted in tamil too. if i am not mistaken, her biggest hit in hindi was 'jis desh men ganga behti hai' and similarly 'tillana mohanambal' in tamil.
the last movie in which i remember her is in malayalam, the outstanding 'vaastuhara' by aravindan, about the dispossessed and damned refugees from east bengal, and the hero is a malayalee officer involved with resettling them in the andamans. a wonderful movie, and the most accessible of aravindan's films -- he was a genius, a mystic of the cinema, who often made difficult and elliptic films. (tarkovsky reminds me of aravindan).
Padmini plays the hero's aunt; interestingly in the flashback, the aunt in her youth is played by the actress and dancer shobhana, who is in fact padmini's niece.