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Sumalata (Telugu: సుమలత, born 27 August 1963) is a popular Indian film actress. She has acted in more than 200 films in Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Hindi.Born as Vasundhara Devi in a wealthy family originally from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. They moved to Madras (present Chennai) in Tamil Nadu, where Kanchana was born.She learnt Bharata Natyam and Music.
Her father suffered business losses, and she went to work as an Air Hostess to support her family, when she was discovered by the film director C. V. Sridhar on a plane where he was a passenger. He gave the lead role in his film Kaadhalikka Neramillai in 1963 and changed her name to Kanchana, since there was already another actress named Vasundhara Devi, mother of star Vyjayanthimala.She acted in over 150 films – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi, with a successful acting career.
She retired from films in the early 1980s.In 2005, she was presented with the MGR award and in 2007 the ANR Swarna Kankanam award.
She was appropriately known as the Queen of the Seventies in South Indian film industry. Her performances in the movies Kalyana Mandapam, Pavitra Bandam, Manchivadu were well appreciated and recognized. She played the role of Uttara in the film Veerabhimanyu (1965) along with Shobhan Babu which established her in the industry. Next year she acted in Annapurna pictures film Aatma Gowravam with veteran director K. Viswanath.
She acted with Krishna in some glamorous roles in Ave Kallu, Nenante Nene and Dharma Daata. Not only in social roles, she acted some mythological roles in pictures likeShri Krishnavataram (1967). After retirement as heroine, she acted in some good films including Ananda Bhairavi and Shrimad Virat Veerabrahmendra Swami Charitra in 1984.
There were rumours floating around a few years ago about her living in penury. A popular Tamil magazine Kumudam published a report that Kanchana was relying on the prasadam served at a Temple. However in a press release, Kanchana refuted all this with deep anguish. She cited her existing legal tangles as a reason for reluctance for not suing the magazine.Personal life
The actress later got the wealth of Rs. 15 crores with the Court ruling against her parents. It was learnt that one day her father took signature of Kanchana on a white paper and without her knowledge converted total assets on his name. After a long legal battle she won and regained her wealth.
Kanchana along with her Sister Girija Pandey donated their property in Chennai worth Rs. 15 crores to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) on 25 October 2010.