10 Things You Didn’t Know about Jayalalithaa

Here are a few facts about the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

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Then Secretary Clinton and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Javalaithaa. Credit: Flickr/US Consulate Chennai (Photo: Paul Cohn)

Jayalalithaa Jayaraman, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, passed away on December 5, 2016 at 11:30 p.m. As the general secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), she had wielded considerable power over the state. She was well-loved among the citizens of Tamil Nadu, who fondly referred to her as ‘Amma’. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about the politician and former actress.

1. She added an extra ‘a’ to her name in 2001 for numerological reasons.

2. She is known as the Queen of Tamil Cinema after having acted in over 140 films in Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada.

3. Apart from ‘Amma’ she is also referred to as Thanga Tharagai (Golden Maiden) by her followers.

4. She was one of the highest paid actresses in India with 118 box-office hits between 1961 and 1980.

5. Another milestone in her cinematic career: Her film Deiva Magan (1969), where she was paired with Shivaji Ganeshan, was the first Tamil film to be submitted by the Government of India for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

6. She has been Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu five times — 1991 to 1996, in 2001, from 2002 to 2006, from 2011 to 2014, and lastly from 2015 to 2016.

7. She is the first incumbent (sitting) chief minister in India to be removed from her office due to a conviction in a disproportionate assets case on September 27, 2014. However, she was re-elected as Chief Minister on May 19 2016.

8. She has a record number of silver jubilee hits. 85 out of the 92 Tamil films where she has played a lead role have run successfully in theatres for over 6 months.

9. She is an accomplished dancer having trained in Indian classical dances with a debut dance performance at the Rasika Ranjani Sabha in Mylapore in May 1960, at the tender age of 12.

10. Her mother, Vedavalli was also an actress. Her screen name was Sandhya.