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What does Vyjayanthimala mean?
- Vyjayanthimala (born 13 August 1936) is an Indian actress, dancer and parliamentarian. A prolific and influential performer in the "Golden Age" of Hindi cinema (specifically the 1950s and 1960s), she is the recipient of several accolades, including two BFJA Awards and five Filmfare Awards. She made her screen debut at the age of 16 with the Tamil film Vaazhkai (1949), and followed this with a role in the Telugu film Jeevitham (1950). Her first work in Hindi cinema was the social guidance film Bahar (1951), which she headlined, and achieved her breakthrough with the romantic film Nagin (1954). Vyjayanthimala garnered critical acclaim for her role in the period drama film Devdas (1955), where she played Chandramukhi, the "hooker with a heart of gold". The film and her acting was praised, later considered to be her magnum opus. For Devdas, she won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress which she refused, citing that Suchitra Sen, her co-star, deserved the award. She went on to star in series of commercial successes, which include the romance film New Delhi (1956), the drama film Naya Daur (1957) and the comedy film Aasha (1957). Her roles in the social film Sadhna (1958) and the paranormal film Madhumati (1958) each earned her a nomination for the Filmfare Awards for Best Actress, winning for her work in Sadhna. In the 1960s, the crime drama film Ganga Jumna (1961) saw Vyjayanthimala playing a rustic village belle, Dhanno, a role which won her the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. She won the award again for the romance film Sangam (1964). She went on reinvent her image, earning a mixed reception after notably appearing in a one-piece swimsuit in a film role. She later achieved acclaim for her performance in the historical drama Amrapali (1966) which was based on the life of Nagarvadhu, royal courtesan of Vaishali, Amrapali. Her notable successes following were the swashbuckler film Suraj (1966), the heist film Jewel Thief (1967), the art film Hatey Bazarey (1967), the film Sunghursh (1968) and the epic film Prince (1969). In 1968, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India, the fourth-highest civilian honor. After a starring role in the film Ganwaar (1970), Vyjayanthimala retired from the acting industry. She has since gained popularity for her dancing, particularly for her work in Bharata Natyam, a form of Indian classical dance, and was later given the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest Indian recognition given to practising artists.
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