Remembering Silk Smitha on her 62nd birthday: The mystery behind those doe-eyed queen!

(This article is authored by Alar) 

Before Silk Smitha became the face in front of the camera and lights, she was a touch-up artist. Her close friends and people described her as "soft" and "innocent." Vijayalakshmi Vadlapati was simply her name before she became known as the "Silk Smitha." She rose to fame in the 1980s and inspired Bollywood to make a film on her life story- 'The Dirty Picture'. 

The young lady had no choice but to leave her home because of her troubled family history, as well as her violent husband and in-laws. She began her makeup artistry for actresses in the industry and slowly went to the lights of the cinema without knowing its depth ahead.  At the age of 19, she made her first camera appearance and garnered a lot of attention in the movie "Vandichakkaram."

This was her first major appearance as a bar girl, and furthermore, the name "Silk" was given to her after the name of her character in this film. Then she naturally dominated the industry in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada as well. Some of the movies that arguably made Silk Smitha famous include Sakalakalavallavan, Alaigal Oivathilai, Moondram Pirai, Paayum Puli, and Thanga Magan. Even though she dropped out of school after the fourth grade due to financial difficulties, her English speaking skill astounded everyone. 

She was named 'Smitha' by the late actor and director Vinu Chakravarthy, and his wife Karna Poo  helped with her English. She was sincere and driven, always arriving on set well before the start of shooting. She only had a relatively short career, but she appeared in a total of 360 films during her lifetime, and in 1983, she set a new record for the most films acted in during a single year. 

Once, the historian of Tamil cinema Randor Guy cited, "Films that had lain in cans for years were sold by the simple addition of a Silk Smitha song." The unfortunate day in her life was on 23 September 1996, her friend and dancer Anuradha found uncrowned queen of glamour on the South dead by hanging. Her death turned into an unsolved mystery, after the police recovered a suicide note from her home but sadly couldn't be deciphered. 

But few reports claimed that in a suicide note, handwritten in Telugu, intimated that she was frustrated with repeated failures in life and hence was taking the extreme step. Swap "Marilyn Monroe" with "Silk Smitha," we have the brief biography of another South Indian actress who preferred the peace and seclusion of the afterlife to the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown, where the unknown void continues to swallow the innocent kinds like Sushant Singh Rajput and Sridevi alike.