Veteran Telugu actress and director G Vijaya Nirmala breathed her last on Thursday, at Continental Hospital in Gachibowli, Hyderabad. She was undergoing treatment for a brief illness since Wednesday night. Wife of veteran actor Krishna and step-mother of current Telugu star Mahesh Babu, Nirmala was 73 years-old.
Born on February 20, 1946, in Tamil Nadu, she entered the film industry at the age of seven and acted in over 200 movies in Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam, later taking on the role of directing and producing various movies. In 2002, Vijaya Nirmala entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the female director with the most number of movies to her credit.
In 2008, she received the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award for her contributions to Telugu cinema. She and her fellow Telugu actor Savitri are credited as the only female directors to have directed the legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan.
Telangana’s Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao conveyed his condolences on the death of Vijaya Nirmala. "The Chief Minister conveyed his condolences to the members of the bereaved family. He remembered her services in the Telugu cine field," an official release said.
Telangana BJP chief K Laxman tweeted: "We are deeply saddened by the sudden demise of veteran actress and director Vijaya Nirmala garu. A huge loss to Telugu film industry. Condolences to her family & friends... Om Shanti."
Actor Junior NTR in his condolence message said she was a pioneering filmmaker. "Vijaya Nirmala Garu was a pioneering filmmaker whose life is an inspiration for many. Extremely saddened to hear the news. Extending my deepest condolences to her family," he tweeted.