|Profession(s)||Dubbing Artist, Actress & Activist|
|Famous For||Dubbing Shobana's roles in Malayalam films|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Debut||Film (Acting): Manassu (1973; Malayalam)
TV (as a host): Manassiloru Mazhavillu: Season 1 & 2 (Malayalam)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||Kerala State Film Awards for Best Dubbing Artist
• For the film 'Yathrakkarude Sradhakku' in 2002
• For the film 'Ormakalundayirikkanam' in 1995
• For the film 'Kusruthikaatu' in 1995
• For the film 'Ente Sooryaputhrikku' in 1991
• For the film 'Ulladakkam' in 1991
Kerala State Television Awards
• Best Anchor for the show 'Selfi' in 2015
• Best Dubbing Artist in 2002
• Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Biography and Autobiography for 'Swarabhedangal' in 2013
• Asianet Television Awards Best Dubbing Artist Kumkumapoovu 2012
• Kerala Film Critic Award for Best Dubbing Artist for the film 'Yathrakarude Sradhakku' in 2002
|Date of Birth||1 November 1962 (Saturday)|
|Age (as of 2020)||58 Years|
|School||She did her her schooling in Palakkad, Kozhikode, and Chennai.|
|Educational Qualification||12th Pass Mathrubhumi|
|Controversies||• In 2016, Bhagyalakshmi faced a backlash after the Indian filmmaker Fazil revealed in an interview that Tamil dubbing artist Durga Sundararajan dubbed Shobana's role as ‘Nagavalli’ in the iconic Malayalam movie ‘Manichitrathaazhu’ (1993). Before the revelation, for 23 years, the role was believed to be dubbed by Bhagyalakshmi. Fazil said,
"Sobhana's character Ganga in the movie Manichitrathazhu, and it was she who dubbed for the character Nagavalli initially. But later Shekhar sir and others noticed similarities in the voice and pronunciation of words by Ganga and Nagavalli and. So, the part of Nagavalli was later dubbed by Tamil dubbing artist Durga. However, we forgot to inform it to Bhagylakshmi then and for years she believed she gave voice-over for the hit dialogue."
After Fazil's confession, Bhagyalakshmi was attacked for taking someone else's credits. The News Minute According to Bhagyalakshmi,
"I personally am not burdened with any sort of embarrassment, insult, guilt, sadness, “protest –nothing at all. I have long got over any such feelings in this regard. I’ve dubbed for more than 4000 movies. This was not my first film."
• In 2016, Indian actor Mohanlal, in his Facebook post, supported the central government's decision on demonetization. Mohanlal said that people should have no problem standing in lines before ATM and banks for a good cause when they do not show any problem in standing in long queues before liquor shops, religious places, and theatres. To this, Bhagyalakshmi wrote a Facebook post, taking a dig at Mohanlal indirectly. She wrote,
"Hospital-bound people are suffering adversely. They are standing in long queues to sustain their lives and not for buying alcohol. Those who are supporting this move will realize the reality only when they undergo such a hardship."
After this, she received huge criticism from a section of people for opposing Mohanlal's opinion and calling him out indirectly. Outlooker India
• In 2019, after she donated her hair as part of a campaign on World Cancer Day, she received a negative response from people, who regarded her hair donation as a publicity stunt and 'doing nothing for the cause.' In her response to the backlash, Bagyalakshmi did a Facebook live and criticized the haters for regarding her efforts as a publicity stunt and also asked them if they would do the same for the sake of publicity. She also called out people's action of criticism even for good deeds. Times of India
• In September 2020, Bhagyalakshmi and two other activists Diya Sana and Sreelakshmi Arakkal were charged with non-bailable offences and criminal trespass for attacking a YouTuber named Vijay P. Nair at his residence in Thiruvananthapuram. The YouTuber was attacked and thrown inked at after he allegedly spoke against women and also made personal remarks on Bhagyalakshmi. The whole incident was recorded and uploaded on the activist's social media account, which went viral. In November 2020, the three accused were granted anticipatory bail on their executing bond for Rs. 50,000 each by the Kerala High Court. The Hindu
• Once, during a dubbing for a film, Bhagyalakshmi slapped a director when he mistreated and abused her for not dubbing the voice of a raped girl properly. Cinemadaddy
|Relationships & More|
|Affairs/Boyfriends||B. Unnikrishnan (Director/Producer; Mid 2000s)
|Marriage Date||27 October 1985 (Sunday)|
|Husband/Spouse||K. Ramesh Kumar (Former cameraman and studio manager)
|Children||Son(s)- Nitin and Sachin
|Parents||Father- Kumaran Nair (ran a restaurant)
Mother- Bhargavi Amma
|Siblings||Brother- Unni Nair (Elder)
Sister- Indira Nair (Elder)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Bhagyalakshmi
- Bhagyalakshmi is a South Indian dubbing artist, actress, and activist. She works primarily in the Malayalam film industry and is most famous for dubbing actress Shobana’s roles in Malayalam films.
- Her father, Kumaran Nair, belonged to Powaat Tharavadu in Calicut, and her mother, Bhargavi Amma, belonged to Kurupath Tharavad in Shoranur. Her parents bore five children, out of which, two lost their lives earlier.
- When she was three years old, her father passed away. After the death of her father, her mother tried to support the family, but when she failed, she sent Bhagyalakshmi (at the age of four) and her siblings to an orphanage in Vellimadukunnu, Kozhikode. Bhagyalakshmi spent her next three years in the orphanage. According to her,
Amma asked me, can we go to a place. I was all excited about my first bus travel. We went to a place and Amma disappeared. Someone told me that Amma left me there and went back. I started crying hard but no one was there to console me. Days after I learned that it was an orphanage and realised that my life is going to be here. Still, the orphanage is a fear for me, from there I have stated feeling loneliness in my life.”
- When her grandmother, Kamalakshi, learned of Bhagyalkshmi and her siblings staying at the orphanage, she took them to her residence in Saidapet, Chennai. In Chennai, her grandmother was a teacher and taught Malayalam to the actresses like Sharada in the film industry. Sometime later, her mother came to Chennai and took Bhagyalakshmi to stay with her in Kodambakkam, Chennai, while her siblings stayed with her grandmother.
- At that time, her mother was suffering from uterine cancer but continued to earn to give Bhagyalakshmi a better life. Her elder siblings were studying in college in Coimbatore. With time, her mother’s condition began deteriorating, so, Bhagyalakshmi took charge of the house and took care of her mother.
- While at a hospital, her mother decided to give Bhagyalakshmi for adoption. When Bhagyalakshmi came to know about this, she inquired her mother who told her to go to her adoptive parents because she would die soon. She wanted Bhagyalakshmi to be adopted because both her siblings were adults and could take care of themselves. Bhagyalakshmi did not agree with her mother and went to her grandmother, telling her about the adoption. After which, her mother and grandmother quarrelled. A few days after the incident, her mother passed away. According to Bhagyalaksmi, she realized later that her mother didn’t want Bhagyalakhmi to stay with her grandmother due to the fear that she would make her work in the film industry.
- After her mother’s death, her grandmother married her elder sister away, but she returned after breaking her marriage. Soon, it became hard for her grandmother to feed so many mouths, so, she began pressurizing Bhagyalakshmi to work in the industry.
- At the age of ten in 1972, she started her career as a dubbing artist for the role of a child in a film. Her first notable work was in the 1977 Malayalam film ‘Aparadhi.’
- As Bhagyalakshmi got older, her grandmother began to pressure her more to do acting. She did not like acting at that time. In 1973, Bhagyalakshmi made her debut as an actress with the Malayalam film ‘Manassu.’ By the time she was seventeen, she had acted in the Malayalam films like Chamaram (1980), Manassinte Theerthayathra (1981), and Dheera (1982). Her grandmother pressurized her to pursue acting, but due to lack of interest, she was often called out by directors. She left acting after Dheera (1982).
- Her other famous film as a dubbing artist was ‘Kolilakkam’ (1981; Malayalam) as ‘Suma’ (main), played by Indian actress and politician Sumalatha.
- In her career spanning more than 35 years in the Malayalam film industry, she has worked as a dubbing artist for more than 4000 Malayalam films for the South Indian actresses like Rani Padmini, Menaka, Shobana, Revathi, Sudha Chandran, Ramya Krishnan, Urmila Matondkar, Tabu, Nandita Das, Kavya Madhavan, Nayanthara, Manisha Koirala, and Raadhika.
- She is one of the most famous dubbing artists in Malayalam Cinema, but in her teens, she did want to pursue dubbing professionally. At that time, her only aim was to get married by the age of twenty.
- While dubbing at Sargam Studio in Chennai, director K.G. Rajasekharan introduced her to her then husband-to-be, Ramesh Kumar. A few days later, she got a marriage proposal from Ramesh through Rajasekharan. After thinking about it for a while, she met Ramesh, told him of her past, and requested him to wait for a year. A year later, she decided to marry Ramesh, but her grandmother did not agree to their marriage and asked her to choose between her and Ramesh. She chose Ramesh. After all, she knew her grandmother wanted her because she wanted to make her work in the film industry. Ramesh and Bhagyalakshmi married in a private ceremony.
- Bhagyalakshmi left the film industry after her marriage but returned a year later after she got bored staying in her house alone.
- Her perception towards dubbing changed during dubbing sessions at Chitranjali Studio of the film ‘Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu’ (1984) in which she was dubbing for Nadhiya Moidu, the lead actress of the film. The director of the film Fazil mentored Bhagyalakhmi on dubbing, demonstrating what dubbing artist should know. It was then that she realized the serious job she was into and began taking dubbing seriously. She regards Fazil as her guru from that day.
- In 2005, Bhagyalakshmi and Mohanlal launched a dubbing institute in Kazhakkoottame. Apart from that, she also works as a guest teacher and teaches a diploma course in dubbing at the Neo Film and Broadcasting School.
- She wrote her first book, an autobiography titled ‘Swarabhedhangal’ (in Malayalam), which was published by DC Books in 2012.
- She made her acting comeback with the Malayalam film ‘Njan Samvidhanam Cheyyum’ (2015) in the role of ‘Gayatri’s friend.’ She then appeared in a few Malayalam films like Pa Va (2016), Oru Muthassi Gadha (2016), and Aniyan Kunjum Thannalayathu (2019).
- Apart from ‘Manassiloru Mazhavillu,’ she has also hosted the TV show ‘Selfi’ on Kairali TV and has judged the Malayalam reality TV show ‘Tharolsavam’ in its season 1 & 2.
- Bhagyalakshmi is a women rights activist, working for the plight of women in Kerala. In 2016, she helped a high profile rape case that happened in Kerala’s Thrissur district come to public attention. In Thrissur, a woman was gang-raped by four men (friends of her husband) and was mentally harassed by the police authorities, who asked her uncomfortable and scrutinizing questions and humiliated her in public, when she took her complaint to them. Bhagyalakshmi narrated the woman’s story in a Facebook post and also organized a press conference in which the women listed the names of rapists, which included CPM municipal councillor P N Jayanthan because of whom she was threatened to withdraw her complaint. Outlookers Media
- In 2018, she was appointed as the chairperson of the women’s wing of the union of film technicians Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA), soon after its launch.
- In 2021, she contested the reality TV game show Bigg Boss Malayalam 3, hosted by Mohanlal and aired on Asianet.