In the vast mega ocean called World Cinema, Tollywood or Telugu Cinema has its own place secured in the history. Despite being a regional film industry, it boasts of a huge pool of talents and some of them are certainly world class. A few among them like Chittor V. Nagaiah (Called Paul Muni of India), N. T. Rama Rao, S. V. Ranga Rao (internationally recognised for his portrayal of Keechaka), et al can be considered among the greatest in world cinema for their body of work and high class talent.
But what about actresses? Isn’t there a single actress in Telugu Cinema who can be considered world class? Yes! There certainly is and she’s aptly called Mahanati. Aye! Savitri she is. One of the greatest actresses to grace Indian Cinema, Savitri can sit among the best of the world cinema’s lead actresses like Katherine Hepburn, Vivian Leigh, Sofia Loren etc. rubbing shoulders. And of course, there are others. Some may not be world class (same is the case with male actors) but they are fine acting talents who carried the flag of Telugu Film Industry with their bodies of worms.
Here, right from the classical age (from first talkie) to the last of the 2019 films, we have combed through hundreds of actresses with a considerable number of films to evaluate their talents, and handpicked a few of the most versatile actresses of each generation. Some of the great actresses like Bhanumathi Ramakrishna enjoyed a long career and a few of them like Kanchanamala sparkles for a few years. But none of them are mediocre. A majority of them enjoyed superstardom at one point of time or the other.
This Volume I consists of 11 actresses who shined and started their careers before the modern age which starts in the early 1990s. Check them out and some of their finest films. The list also includes the lady superstars of their time like Sridevi and Vijayashanthi. Let’s meet back in the Volume II with modern greats. Meanwhile salute the best actresses in Telugu (of course, many of them acted in many languages).