P. K. Rosy

P. K. Rosy

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Category: Cinema

P. K. Rosy Profile

  • Name:
  • P. K. Rosy
  • Father:
  • Paulose
  • Mother:
  • Kunji
  • Spouse:
  • Kesava Pillai

P. K. Rosy Biography

P. K. Rosy was the first heroine of Malayalam cinema. She acted in the first Malayalam feature film ‘Vigathakumaran’ produced and directed by J.C. Daniel. She played the lead role of a Nair Hindu girl with the name Sarojini in this movie. Most recently this heroine came to limelight with the biopic of J. C. Daniel directed by Kamal, titled Celluloid released in 2013. The movie was not only a box office hit but also received numerous awards including National award for best regional film. When the silent movie was released in Thiruvananthapuram in 1926, it received negative response from the public as acting in movies was regarded as a sort of prostitution in those days. Also high class Hindu society couldn’t digest it easily that a converted Dalit played the role of a Nair woman in the film.


She was born in 1903 in Nandancode, Thycaud of present Thiruvananthapuram city. She was the daughter of Paulose and Kunji. She was married to Kesava Pillai and had two children. She was born in a dalit family and used to sell grass to earn a living before she became the heroine of first Malayalam movie. She studied till first or second standard. In those days, males did the roles of females too in stage plays (Kakkarasi plays). Rosy was interested in acting and she became the first stage actress in Thiruvananthapuram. She denied offers from drama troupes of Tamil Nadu.


Lana from Mumbai was the first heroine to whom Daniel gave advance. But due to personal difefernces, she was sent back without even asking the advance of 5000 rupees. Rosy approached film director showing her interest in acting. She was hired for 5 rupees a day. She used to carry her tiffin box to studio in the mornings and return back in the evenings. She completed her role in 10 days. The movie was based on social theme, rather than the popular trend of mythological stories in those days. In this silent movie, she played lead role opposite the hero, Daniel who was its producer, writer, editor, photographer and director.


When the movie was released, it received bad response from public and Rosy too had to face humiliation. Later she escaped to Tamil Nadu with the help of a truck driver who married her later. She accepted the new name, Rajammal. She later came to her native place in 1971 after the death of her parents and lived there for a short period. She returned back to Madurai and died in the year 1975.

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Updated: January 31, 2014

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