Thiruvananthapuram, March 26 (IANS) Sukumari, one of the most colourful personalities in the Tamil & Malayalam film industry for nearly six decades - and who was lovingly called "Amma" - passed away at a Chennai hospital Tuesday evening.
Director Priyadarshan said the funeral would take place in Chennai.
Sukumari, 74, suffered burn injuries last month while lighting the traditional lamp at a function in Chennai. While being treated, she had a heart attack Tuesday afternoon and breathed her last, her family said.
Born in Nagercoil in Travancore in 1938, she was a cousin of the legendary Travancore sisters Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini (their mothers were sisters) and it was their influence that helped Sukumari into the tinsel world and in 1951 in the film "Orarivu".
Sukumari's husband passed away when she was quite young. She is survived by her doctor son Suresh Bhimsingh.
"I had known her for 33 years. She was a sister, mother and everything to me and to all in the industry," said superstar Mohanlal at a hurriedly called meeting of the actors body AMMA at Kochi.
Known for her versatile acting, Sukumari excelled in various roles till the end.
In her long and eventful career, she acted in over 2,500 films in various languages and won numerous awards, including the national award for the best supporting actress in 2011 in the film "Nanma Grammam". She also won four state film awards. In 2003, she was awarded the Padma Shree.
Sukumari had acted in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi films, using her own voice in all languages instead of dubbing artists.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha had called on the ailing actress a few days ago and asked the doctor's treating her to do their best to save her. During her acting days, Jayalalithaa had acted with Sukumari in many films.