Aranmula Ponnamma (22 March 1914 – 21 February 2011) was an actress who has won national awards. She has done mother role in many Malayalam films. Noted actor Suresh Gopi has wedded Aranmula Ponnamma’s grand daughter Radhika.
She was born to Maleth Kesavapillai and Parukkutty at Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district. She began to learn carnatic music at a young age and marked her debut at the age of 12 years. She used to sing prayer songs in the meetings conducted by Hindu Maha Mandal. She was appointed at the age of 14 years as a music teacher in a primary school at Pala. Then she joined the Swathithurunall music academy for continuing her music studies. After the course she joined the Cotton Hill girls high school in Trivandrum as music teacher.
Life as an Actress
She stepped into the world of acting in a drama called ‘Bhagyalakshmi’ with father of Yesudas, Augastin Joseph as the hero. She was 29 years old then. She became very active in drama. She entered the cinema field by acting as mother of Miss Kumari in the movie ‘Sasidharan’ which was released in 1950. In the same year she got another role as mother in a movie names ‘amma’ with Thikkurussi Sukumaran Nair as hero.
After this all the roles came in search of Ponnamma were mother roles. She told once “I has also acted in ‘Padunna Puzha’ as a negative character and in ‘yaachakan’ as a street girl. But, all the roles I have latter on received were mother role. I never had any trouble doing this role being a mother of two daughters. My father died when I was nine years old and after that my mother Parukkuttiyamma struggled to bring up myself and other four children. Therefore she is my role model as Amma. I was just imitating my mother in all the mother roles”.
Aranmula Ponnamma in her 60 years of acting life has handles mother roles of the first generation hero Thkkurussi Sukumaran Nair , second generation heroes Prem Nazeer, Sathyan etc and the third generation heroes Moham Lal, Suresh Gopi etc. She has acted in about 300 movies.
She received the national award in 1996 for the best co-actress in the film Kathhapurushan directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan in 1995. Also, the JC Daniel award of the Kerala state for life time achievements came to Aranmula Ponnamma.