|Born||6 March 1933|
|Died||January 24, 2018 (aged 84)|
Ajay Mohan Khaitan
(m. 1969; died 2012)
|Relatives||Sowcar Janaki (sister),|
Deepika Maiya (adopted daughter)
T. Krishna Kumari (6 March 1933 – 24 January 2018) was an Indian film actress who worked in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam films. She was one of the leading actresses of Telugu cinema in the 1950s and 1960s. She was the sister of actress Sowkar Janaki.
Krishna Kumari was a popular actress and second only to Savitri. Her co-stars include legends N.T. Rama Rao, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Krishnam Raju, Dr. Rajkumar, Sivaji Ganesan, Kanta Rao, and Jaggayya. Krishna Kumari ruled the Telugu industry but also acted in Tamil and Kannada movies briefly.
Krishna Kumari was born in a Telugu-speaking Madhwa Brahmin family at Naihati, West Bengal to T. Venkoji Rao and Sachi Devi. Her family hails from Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. Her sister, Sowkar Janaki is also an actress.
T. Krishna Kumari started her career with a small role in Pathala Bhairavi (Telugu) and Gunasagari (Kannada). She later played the role of a heroine for the first time in Navvithe Navaratnalu the same year. She featured as leading actress in several Tamil movies, notably Thirumbi Paar (1953), Manithan (1953), Azhagi (1953), Pudhu Yugam (1954), Viduthalai (1954) and Thuli Visham (1954). Krishna Kumari then began to focus on Telugu cinema, which propelled her to superstardom. Her movies Bharya Bhartalu (1961), Vagdanam (1961), Kulagothralu (1962), Gudi Gantalu (1964) remain some of Telugu cinema's classics. In the early 60s, Krishna Kumari entered the Kannada film industry briefly, choosing to return to her preferred Telugu cinema within years. But in the short span of 5–6 years, she gave memorable performances, most of them co-starring Dr Rajkumar. In fact, her first ever award was for the Rajkumar starrer, Bhaktha Kanakadasa (1960). In Hindi, she acted in Kabhi Andhera Kabhi Ujala (1958). She was rechristened Rati but again, Hindi cinema held no attraction for Krishna Kumari. Although she had several offers in Hindi cinema, she returned to Madras. Her most successful movies have been with Akkineni Nageswara Rao, NT Rama Rao and also several mythological roles with Tadepalli Lakshmi Kantha Rao.
Krishna Kumari acted in 150 Telugu films, and about 30 Tamil and Kannada films. Her repertoire won her fans across Indian states and the President's Award.
In 1969, Krishna Kumari married Ajay Mohan Khaitan, a businessman and journalist who had previously served as Editor of the Indian Express and was the founder of two magazines, Screen and Businessman. Ajay Mohan Khaitan had previously been married to another lady also named Krishna, who was the daughter of Ramnath Goenka, founder and owner of Indian Express. By his previous marriage, Ajay Mohan Khaitan was the father of two sons, including Vivek, who was adopted by Ramnath Goenka and given the name Viveck Goenka; he is presently running Indian Express.
After marriage, Krishna Kumari chose to step away from the arclights and moved to her husband's farmhouse near Bangalore, where she devoted herself to her family and developed her interests in cooking and gardening. Krishna Kumari and Khaitan had a daughter, Dipika; according to some reports, Dipika was adopted by the couple. Dipika married Vikram Maiya, the son of the Maiya family which owns the famous MTR restaurant in Bangalore and the MTR brand of ready-to-eat foods.
Ajay Mohan Khaitan died in 2012 aged 85. Krishna Kumari continued to live at her farmhouse in Bengaluru with her daughter Dipika Maiya, son-in-law Vikram Maiya and grandson, Pavan Maiya. She died on January 24, 2018 in Bengaluru from bone marrow cancer.
In pop culture
- Krishna Kumari was portrayed by actress Pranitha Subhash in the 2019 biographical film N.T.R: Kathanayakudu, based on the real life and acting career of N. T. Rama Rao.
- "Krishna Kumari is no more". Deccan Chronicle. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Krishna Kumari is no more". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
Subsequently, the actress quit her 25-year film career and married Ajay Mohan Khaitan and they adopted their daughter Dipika. She settled in Bengaluru where she resided till her last day. Interestingly, popular actress Sowcar Janaki is Krishna Kumari’s elder sister.
- "Yesteryear actor Veteran actor T Krishna Kumari of Telugu cinema no more". The New Indian Express. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Not ready for greasepaint". The Hindu. 30 June 2006. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "Veteran actor T Krishna Kumari was truly a 'star of south'". The New Indian Express. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Krishna Kumari is no more". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
Born on March 6, 1933, in Naihati, West Bengal, Krishna Kumari belonged to a Telugu Brahmin family from Rajahmundry. However, her father used to work in different places in India, so the actress was born in Naihati and completed her Matriculation in Assam. She was only 17, in 1951, when she entered the film industry with Navvithe Navaratnalu.
- "Changing roles with the years". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
Krishna Kumari, talking to MetroPlus on the occasion of the book’s release spoke of how she started her career at 16, when she was spotted watching a movie with her mother. She says she agreed to act in the first film because it was based on the story of Cinderella! Till then she was largely interested in dance, specially Kuchipudi in which she was trained. Though she was from a conservative Madhwa Brahmin family, her father gave her the freedom to choose her path, with an observation that she could hold her own and not be too taken in by her surroundings.
- "The original swashbuckler". The Hindu. 3 April 2009. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "Krishna Kumari: An actress with cinematic and natural charm". The Hindu. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "My Mother T. Krishna Kumari". maiyapublishing.com. Archived from the original on 25 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "'Sowcar' Janaki talks about sister Krishna Kumari". Telangana Today. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "A book about former Telugu actress Krishna Kumari Khaitan's culinary skills reveals the food connoisseur's special recipes". The New Indian Express. 15 October 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "T Krishna Kumari: A glamourous actress who had immense family values". The Times of India. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Telugu actress T Krishna Kumari to undergo chemotherapy for bone marrow cancer". International Business Times. 28 March 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Krishna Kumari-An actress of substance". The Hans India. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Navvithe Navarathnaalu (1951)". The Hindu. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Pathalabhairavi (1951)". The Hindu. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "How Kalaignar's movie scripts show a subtle blend of Dravidian politics, mythology and women-centric stories". The New Indian Express. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Manithan 1953". The Hindu. 9 March 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Pitchi Pullaiah (1953)". The Hindu. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Bharya Bharthalu (1961)". The Hindu. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Vizag's contribution to films". The Hindu. 27 January 2007. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "VEER EKLAVYA (1986)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
- "Movie review - Fools by Gudipoodi Srihari". Idlebrain.com. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
- "Pranitha Subhash to play yesteryear heroine Krishnakumari in NTR biopic". The Times of India. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2020.