- Birthplace: Chennai
Sumalatha is an Indian film actress. She has acted in more than 150 films in Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Hindi.
Born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and raised in a Telugu family in Bethapudi, Andhra Pradesh, She gained popularity in Malayalam cinema and later married Kannada actor-politician Ambarish and has a son Abhishek Gowda.
Sumalatha began acting at age 15, after winning an Andhra Pradesh beauty contest in 1979. Her first film was Thisai Maariya Paravaigal (Tamil) for which she got the Best New Face Award. Her Kannada entry was through Ravichandra opposite to Rajkumar. She entered Telugu through Samajaniki Saval (1979), and Malayalam through Moorkhan (1980). She appeared in many Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films early in her career. She was Rajinikanth's second heroine besides Rati Agnihotri in films like Murattu Kaalai and Kazhugu. Most of her Telugu films are with Chiranjeevi. She was the heroine of legendary Malayalam actor Jayan's last film Kolilakkam (1981). In her Malayalam entry film Moorkhan, she acted as Jayan's second heroine. Her most memorable Malayalam films include Thazhvaram, Isabella, Nirakkoottu, Thoovanathumbikal, Parampara and New Delhi. She has acted in many Kannada movies like Aahuti, Avatara Purusha, Tayi Kanasu, Karna, Tayiya Hone, Kallarali Hoovagi, Ravichandra in which she acted with actor Rajkumar. Telugu is the language in which she acted the most number of times, followed by Malayalam.
She received the best actress Nandi Award for her role in Shrutilayalu in 1987. She is a close friend of actress Suhasini Maniratnam, her co-star in a Telugu movie. The friendship between the two provided the material for a candid scene in the film, when director Kodandarami Reddy noticed Suhasini combing Sumalatha's long hair on the train journey to the film set. Reddy asked his cameraman, Ashok Reddy, to film the two and added the scene to the movie's final cut.