Jayalalithaa was born on 24 February 1948 in a typical Mandyam Iyengar family and was also known at that time as Komalavalli. She was born in Melukote in Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district, Karnataka near to the city of Mysore. Her grandfather was in the service of the then Mysore kingdom as a surgeon, and the prefix Jaya has been added to all the names in the family to reflect their association with Maharaja His Late Highness Sir Sri Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar of Mysore. Jayalalithaa’s father, who had been a wealthy lawyer, died when she was two years old having lost all of his money. Her mother then moved with her children toBangalore, where Jayalalithaa's maternal grandparents lived. Her mother eventually began to work as an actress in Tamil cinema, based in Chennai and having taken the screen name of Sandhya. While in Bangalore, Jayalalithaa attended Bishop Cotton Girls' High School. She completed her childhood education at Sacred Heart Matriculation School (popularly known as Church Park Presentation Convent or Presentation Church Park Convent) in Chennai. She excelled at school and has said that she was offered a government scholarship to pursue further education and that her ambition was to become a lawyer, but that the financial position of her family prevented this. She appears not to have taken up a place offered to her at Stella Maris College, Chennai.[
See also: Jayalalitha filmography
Her mother persuaded her to work in films when Jayalalitha was still in school, taking assurances from producers that shooting would take place only during summer vacations and that she would not miss her classes. Jayalalitha acted in an English language film, Epistle, released in 1961. She made her debut as the lead actress in Kannada films while still in school, aged 15, in Chinnada Gombe (1964).  She got her first break in Tamil movie industry in Vennira Aadai (1965), directed by C. V. Sridhar. The following year, she made her debut in Telugu cinema with the filmManushulu Mamathalu. She was the first heroine to appear in skirts in Tamil films. Between 1965 and 1972 she acted frequently with M. G. Ramachandran and she also worked with B. Saroja Devi in Arasa Kattalai. Her other early roles were in suspense films such as Naan and comedies such as Galatta Kalyanam. Later career
In 1972, Jayalalithaa acted in Pattikada Pattanama opposite Sivaji Ganesan, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil. The film also won her aFilmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil. She was the first recipient of Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil and Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu when the categories were introduced in 1972. Her performance in Suryakanthi and Chandradhoyam were critically acclaimed and the former won her another Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil in 1973. Her other films with Sivaji Ganesan include Galatta Kalyanam and Deiva Magan. Deiva Magan also holds the distinction of being the first ever Tamil film to be submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. She continued pairing up with younger actors such as Ravichandran and Jaishankar in a number of films such as Vairam, Baghdad Perazhagi. Later Tamil films in which she acted included Kandan Karunai and she also starred in Bollywood films, initially in Izzat, which saw her paired with Dharmendra. She also established her...