The legendary Telugu actress Jamuna is no more. She passed away on Friday (27 January 2023) morning after a prolonged illness. She was 87. She was famous for on the screen talent and off the screen attitude. She acted very well living in the roles. She was second to none as far as treatment and respect were concerned. She never compromised on self-respect.
She is popularly known as screen Satyabhama. She was beautiful, looked innocent and full of self-respect – the qualities that the character of Satyabhama is known for. No actress played the role of Satyabhama as well as Jamuna. Her role in Moogamanasulu as Gauri was very famous. She lived in the character of Rani Malini Devi in Pandanti Kapuram. The character which is known for strong will and stubborn attitude was suitable for Jamuna’s personality.
Jamuna was known for her temperament. Gundamma Katha was postponed for three years because of the attitudinal problems between Jamuna on one hand and Akkineni Nageswara Rao and NT Rama Rao on the other hand. The two senior actors insisted that disciplinary action should be taken against her for coming later for shooting and keeping them waiting. She would have none of it. She did not say sorry for late coming. The owners of Vijaya productions- Nagireddy and Chakrapani- brokered peace between ANR and Jamuna paving the way for the production of the film to be launched. The film became a sensational hit. The producers were very particular that the role of Saroja in Gundamma Katha should be played by Jamuna alone. No other actress would suit the bill, they rightly thought. She did not care even Jayalalitha when it came to respect. Only Bhanumati, another accomplished actress, can match Jamuna in willpower and could-not-care-less attitude.
Jamuna’s real name was Yamuna. She was born in Hampi in Karnataka and brought up in Duggirala of Guntur district. Her parents were from Kannada and Telugu background. She started acting on the stage at a very early age. She ruled the Telugu screen for some years. D. Rama Naidu, the Telugu cinema moghul used to rate Jamuna as number one among his heroines. Even Gudipudi Srihari, a top class film journalist who passed away a few months ago, said Jamuna is number one heroine in Telugu films. She was known for her discipline, yoga practice and food habits kept her healthy. She acted in some 200 movies. While acting in a Tamil movies she developed a problem with the neck which used to be unsteady. Otherwise she was maintaining good health. Of late she developed some age-related issues. Jamuna’s husband Juluri Ramana Rao, a professor, passed away a few years back. Her daughter, Sravanti used to live with her. Her son Vamsi is a media professional.
Jamuna began her acting career almost 71 years ago in 1951 with Puttillu. All the four leader actors of her ninth film, Missama, are gone. Jamuna was the last to go and another top heroine Savitri was the first. While NTR was the second to die ANR was the third.
Jamuna joined Congress in 1980s. She was elected to Parliament in 1989 as a Congress candidate from Rajahmundry. She lost 1991 elections and quit politics. She campaigned briefly for the BJP in late 1990s due to her liking and respect for Vajpayee.