Was Gemini completely responsible for Savitri’s death?

03May10

I would say……

50% because of Gemini.

50% because of the ungrateful industry.

She should not have touched even a drop of alcohol under any circumstance in life. No matter how frustrated she was with her life.

ஜெமினி நடித்த சுமைதாங்கி திரைப்படத்தில்  “மயக்கம்மா கலக்கம்மா” என்ற பாடலில் ஒரு அருமையான வரி வரும்.

உனக்கும் கிழே உள்ளவர் கோடி, உள்ளதை நினைத்து நிம்மதி நாடு”

கண்ணதாசன் மிக அழகாக எழுதி இருப்பார். அந்த ஒரு வரியை மட்டும் வாழ்க்கையில் சாவித்திரி நினைவில் வைத்து கொண்டிருந்தால். எவ்வளவு  நல்லா இருந்திருக்கும்!

என்னை பொறுத்த வரைக்கும் அவங்க வாழ்க்கையில் எதை இழந்திருந்தாலும் “சுய நம்பிக்கையை” மட்டும் இழந்திருக்க கூடாது. என்ன இல்லை உண்மையிலேயே அவங்க கிட்ட? அழகு இல்லையா? திறமை இல்லையா? பெயர் இல்லையா? புகழ் இல்லையா? பணம் இல்லையா? கடவுள் எல்லாத்தையும் அள்ளித் தானே கொடுத்திருந்தார். எல்லாவற்றுக்கும் மேல் சிவாஜி கணேசனுக்கு இணையாக கருதப்பட்டவர் சாவித்திரி. “நடிகையர் திலகம்” என்று எல்லோராலும் போற்ற பட்ட ஒரே நடிகை. யாருக்கு கிடைக்கும் அந்த அரிய பட்டம்?!  She was adored by both the critics and audience. அவங்க திருமண வாழ்கை – அவங்க வாழ்க்கையில் சந்தித்த ஒரே சறுக்கல். அதை என்னனு சொல்றது யானை தன் தலையில் தானே மண்ணை வாரி கொட்டிக் கொள்வது போல் அவங்க வாழ்கையை அவங்களே கெடுத்து கிட்டாங்கனு சொல்வதா? இல்லை விதின்னு சொல்வதா?

Gemini and Savitri might have made a good looking pair on screen. But he was no match to her. The age difference between the two was sixteen years! It’s quite unbelievable eh?! Yes, its true Gemini was exactly 33 years old when he made his debut in films. Unlike many actors he never made attempts to hide his age. He was twice married already by the time he met Savitri. Also had more nearly half a dozen children. As he always mentions his life was an open book. She did the biggest blunder of her life when she decided to settle as his third wife. Both did love each other immensely. A few factors separated them.

He married Juliana at the age of seventy-nine. He said he married her because he needed company in one of his interviews. If it was just for that, why couldn’t  have he adopted her as his daughter?!  What a disgusting man he was ! Honestly, she was half his age. Eww!

I have not seen her daughter talking anything remotely bad about her father in any of her interviews. She maintained a good relationship with him until his death and she has a cordial relationship with her half sisters. Rekha was diplomatic and did not badmouth him in the show with rendezvous with Simi Garewal in STAR WORLD. He was the father of six children of Pushpavalli. But doesn’t seem to have cared for them in any manner. Yes he and Pushpavalli may had differences. But still I don’t know how any daughter could forgive such a father.

Her career in the Tamil industry virtually got over by 1965. It’s indeed an overlooked fact. Her film offers started to decline after 1965. She just had a few odd releases like Thattungal Thirakkapadum, Kandhan Karunai, Saraswathi Sabatham etc to name a few. She had actually signed them all before 1965. They were just delayed releases. She did continue to act as pair with NTR and ANR till 1970. She was not paired opposite Sivaji for six years after the release of Thiruvilaiyadal.(1965 – 1971) Praptham (1971) was their last release. They stopped acting after Praptham for reasons best known to them. He teamed up with K.R.Vijaya and Jayalalitha. He also did a lot of movies with Padmini after her comeback in the late 60s as well. (Note: Padmini was five years older than Savitri) As far as MGR is concerned,  no matter how old he was he preferred working only with young heroines. He ran around trees with actresses who were nearly one fourth of his age. Yes, you can say quite pathetic. After Jayalalitha made her entry he even stopped acting with Saroja Devi.  Jayalalitha got replaced by Latha and Manjula later. It was how the Tamil industry functioned in the late 60s. Glamor was the order of the day. Savitri had put on some weight in the late 60s. It might be one of the reasons why she was not able to sustain her position in the industry. Both looks and talent are equally important to survive in the tinsel world. Its an undeniable fact.  The standard of movies definitely started to deteriorate right from the late 60s, that’s a different story. The golden period of Tamil cinema was between 1951 -1965 in my opinion. Even directors like Sridhar started to bad-mouth her. He cited Savitri’s weight as the reason for the failure of Manase Mandiram. Both Nenjil Oru Alayam and Dil Ek Mandir, the original Tamil and Hindi version were huge musical hits. Savitri did look extremely fat in the movie. But the reason for its failure in Telugu is because the overall movie was poor. It was Sridhar who actually needs to be blamed for it . Because his direction in the Telugu version was not up to the mark. I was so pissed off when he gave such a lame excuse. It was ridiculous to say the least. Because both Devika and Meena Kumari were quite obese too indeed. I think Padmini and Saroja Devi were pretty clever because both retired from the movies as soon as they started to loose their market. They knew they would be relegated to do pathetic character roles soon. So did Vyjayanthimala ! She bid adieu to movies when she was at her peak. Padmini quit films in 1971. She went back to America. She did make a comeback in the eighties again. It was due to Fazil’s efforts. Kannadathu Paingili settled at Bangalore.  They all lead a peaceful life. But Savitri on the other hand chose to venture into direction side. I suppose she never wanted to quit the industry and wanted be an active part of it always. There was nothing really wrong with her decision. She was obsessed with the profession. But if she really wanted to leave her stamp as a director, she should have opted for unique stories like K.Balachander and made some innovative and challenging films.  I would have appreciated her more had she experimented. She directed five movies and most of  them were remakes. (Praptham – Mooga Manasulu, Kuzhanthai Ullam – Chinnari Pappalu, Chiranjeevi – Neerkumizhi, Vintha Samsaram – Vietnam Veedu.)  She produced her own movies and burnt her hands severely.

The industry did not lend her the much needed support when she was financially in a low position. It did not treat her kindly and did not even respect her talent. It did absolutely nothing to rescue her. How painful would it have been for her to do all those crap mother roles in the C grade movies in Tamil, especially for someone who has always craved to be versatile. Don’t think I’m blaming the Tamil industry alone. The Telugu industry was equally horrible to her. I reiterate how many movies did NTR and ANR work with Savitri in the 70s? Sivaji, NTR and ANR could have at least cast her in the double role subjects. Couldn’t  have they? Its needless to mention about Gemini; but he at least had a valid reason. They were not able to work together because of their personal problems. He did act in the movie Alaudhinum Arputha Vilakkum where she acted as Kamal Hassan’s mother. But both did not appear in any shot together. If you observe attentively the director would have used some editing tricks. Actually, their shots got filmed separately. I don’t have to mention but it was an unbearable movie.  Same goes to “Sivaranjani”, the Sripriya starrer. The reason I bring them here is both did not have any big grudge against each other. Because there was no necessity for Gemini to do those movies.  He could have easily avoided them.

I happened to read an article from Ananda Vikatan dated 29/11/1981 were Sivashankari has written about Savitri’s last days. It was re-published in Ananta Vikatan recently.  It can be found here. For people who have difficulty in understanding/reading Tamil I have provided a rough translation here.

Even though it was depressing to read about it, contrary to some of the media reports it is evident that she did not die because of alcohol addiction.

To conclude the turn-up of events in her life was truly miserable and unfortunate.



50 Responses to “Was Gemini completely responsible for Savitri’s death?”

  1. 1 kajan

    I don’t know if it is right to say 50% of her death is due to Gemini. As far as I have seen, Gemini-Savithri daughter seems to have had a very good relationship with her father and step-sisters. For a bit, I too hated Gemini Ganeshan, but it doesn’t seem a fair in this particular case. Of course, I am disgusted with him for his affairs, but then, the women involved share blame too.

    Savithri, as a teenager, made some wrong moves like marrying Gemini Ganesan. Savithri as an adult, made some terrible business/career decisions that affected her in her career and personally. And paid heavily for it in terms of losing a lot of her wealth. Of course, huge wealth came at a young age and she might not have realized its value. Not just wealth, but her relationships in the industry suffered due to it.

    We all wish some life stories ended different, Savithri is one. But then, she has left behind her life and work as a piece of history.

  2. 2 Anjali

    Not only g.g but the entire industry should be blamed for this…love is blind…she loved him so much that no one else in this world had loved anyone…she was so innocent..she truly believed everyone..she never expected that the people whom she believed and trusted would betray her…during her last shooting days….she sent a word to a famous hero’s wife about the jwellery which she previously gave her to take care of…she had a little hope to start a new life again with that jwellery…. but to great surprise that lady came to tell SAVITRI that she gave no jwellery to her….it was from then the LEGEND went into koma….all the people were invovled…all such incidents and ofcourse due to personal problems(ganesh..which made her to develop the habit of drinking…it is due to everyone that we have lost a GREAT(not enough) actress….it is the disciplane that she has given to her children(daughter) that she could maintain a cordial relationship with her father..who is actually not atleat a good father..there are no words in any language know to us to describe SAVTRI AMMA’S ACTING nad to describe her as a PERSON….

    I salute the legend..

  3. //during her last shooting days….she sent a word to a famous hero’s wife about the jwellery which she previously gave her to take care of…she had a little hope to start a new life again with that jwellery…. but to great surprise that lady came to tell SAVITRI that she gave no jwellery to her….it was from then the LEGEND went into koma//

    Anjali, I have also read about it in some website. But I doubt its true.

  4. 4 dev m

    Its real ya so many people cheated her really i am shocked about her story

  5. 5 Anonymous

    YES, ABSOLUTELY GEMINI GANESHAN RESPONSIBLE FOR HER DEATH. ARYA
    A.P

  6. really savitri’s life is pathetic. when she became stout and obesse, she should have retired from films and led a peaceful life either near chennai or at vijayawada without wasting her sources in producing films.
    nagaiah’s life is alesson to us as he, a good person at heart, spent his money in ‘danam-dharmam’ he suffered in his last days accepting minor roles. similarly , life took a bad turn for kantharao,rajanala,padmanabham haranadh producer sankarareddy etc for their wrong decisions.
    savitri also took wrong decisions like marrying gemini, but that also is due to her uncle venkatramayya chowdary’s harrasement.her getting rich at young age and the world adoring her. it all went into her head.
    hence this greek tragedy…

  7. 7 Shaul

    GG was a well known in the move industry for his infidelity. No faithful Hindu woman would be willing to share her husband with any other woman. I am sure GG chasing the skirts, sarees rather in the tinsel town was the primary reason that drove his wife Savithri to find refuge in alcohol. The irony is GG continued to live a life of playboys even after Savithri’s untimely death until GG died of ripe age.

  8. Great article Rinks !you have revealed the truths

  9. 9 diane

    Whatever the reason is the film world has lost a very talented & versatile actress who can live the roles she acted.
    Really sorry for her

  10. 10 Bhavan

    I am really shocked after seeing her Last days pic…… Savithri is a great star.. even she put on weight… she used to look as most beautiful women on screen. Her weight didn’t bring any problem to her carieer but its all due to the Great Idiot i have ever heard Mr.GG…………… what a person… ?? no words to describe HIM……..

  11. 11 latha

    Thanks, nowhere else have I read a more detailed article on Savithri, an actress I adore. To me,she still lives on. Yes, I also read Shivashankari’s article and cried.Savitri was so childlike and innocent.. a great actress. I feel she trusted all the wrong people and lost her life.

  12. It is a sad story even today- young girls from Andhra coming to Chennai for filmi or other livelihood, were easily exploited by people like Gemini Ganesan- who always had a USE & THROW policy till his death. All his illegitimate children suffered immensely because of this fatherly insensitivity. Rekha had to start working in miserable, exploiting Bollywood surroundings at the age of 13. Savitri’s children were so traumatised that despite that untold pain, they don’t even talk of it even today!

  13. 13 Anonymous

    Sad to here the suffering of this talented actress on her final days in life.
    in 1967 my father than the minister of transport ant film producer invited ms Savithir & gg for breakfast to are resident.its sad to no, what a miserable life she as spent in her last days…

  14. 14 S.karthikeyan

    very sad to here the story of ms.savitiri madam, i really pray for her daughters future……

  15. 15 Eswar_SriSri

    Neelanti maro saavitrini a viswabrahma srustistinchagalada..na thaara..
    andhala sithaara..

  16. 16 SAMANTHAREDDY

    savithri madam s he suffered more because of her bad decision taken in her marriage.if she would have married another person she may be at peace by her family members atleast,even she may get problems in her industry she may taggle it.when there is no care in either side .
    what she can do.SOMETIMES GIRLS FUTURE DEPENDS ON HER LIFE PARTNER

  17. 17 Anonymous

    i like the way you bluntly spoke about heroes like sivaji and mgr whom people worship, i feel really sad seeing savithri. whatever her mistake was, how i see it as after her broken marriage to gemini everything just crumbled before her which led to all other wrong decisions in her life.

  18. 18 annesunita

    you are very brave to call a spade a spade when talking about sivaji and mgr. that is 200% true. speaking of savithri, i think all her wrong moves came about after her broken marriage with gemini. i dont think any woman would have even bothered about movies once they are settled. but for savithri since she didnt have a husband, she hung on to this industry which eventually took her life.

  19. 19 Manjula enterpriner

    Savitri un forgettable actor she is really un lucky I am pity sad

  20. 20 Chandrasekhar

    When success goes to head, it becomes a Catastrophe………..

  21. 21 Anonymous

    i recently read this story of savithri death i can say only gemini ganeshan is the responsible for this murder.she made a big mistake in her life married with gemini

  22. 22 Sunitha

    She is really unlucky. Such a great queen born in an dirty world. I really hate GG, NTR, ANR, MGR etc till date they have been praised ( for what ?? don’t Know) like gods they laid a road for there own childrens, grand sons and even there sons will be coming soon :(. But din’t even helped or showed some way to there co-star to live her life. great hero’s.

  23. 23 Jayananda Moses Petla

    Really Madam Savithri is a great and dynamic role model for new coming up acressess, we can not see such a geate personality in future days. I am a favour of her from my child hood. May GOD bless her beloved children and their future genenrations. Mrs. Savithri should not marry Mr. Ganeshan, Marriages are made in heaven. No body can avoid it. Some lives start great and ends very bad. so many times I cried by remembering her. All Tamil & Telugu film industry is responsible for the bad end of Mrs Savithri. It is a big lesson to all people. thank u all

  24. ANY HOW WE HAVE LOST VETERAN ACTRESS SAVITHRI
    SHE WAS GREAT AND UNFORGETTABLE ACTRESS
    I RESPECT HER AND I AM DOING AMAVASAI THARPANAM FOR HER
    MEENAKSHISUNDARAM
    MADURAI
    TAMILNADU

  25. 25 Deepak

    It was Dr. Rajkumar who helped Savithri in her last days by casting her in his movies, in an interview Bhagwan of Dorai-Bhagwan fame disclosed that a closed cover with her renumeration was given to Savithri during the filming of Thayige Takka Maga, the amount was never disclosed but it helped her to a great extent. She acted in 4 Kannada movies with Dorai-Bhagwan in her last days.

  26. 26 mohan

    My god shocking story of savitri,such a nice women,it should not suppose to happen for her

  27. 27 Anonymous

    Felt very bad and sorry for Savitri(really a legend). As far as i know(from many articles) her relation ship with gg ruined her personal life and with her overweight(may be due to stress) she has lost so many films… But industry shouldn’t left her like that as she did a lot to the industry. Even her co-stars couldn’t lend their hand, how sad!!.Today we call so many actors as great, legendarily who are financially strong, why cant they lend their hand when their costars are in damn need…? how selfish this industry is…?

    Rupesh
    Guntur.

  28. 28 Anonymous

    Its really very shocking plus hurting to knowing all this :’( this is why i dont trust G** :’( :’(

  29. 29 Anonymous

    To day we all appreciate the works did by the great actress. Each movie is a jewel and no other actress can be compared with her such a genius and beautiful woman she was. Love is blind and many people suffered the marriage life in film industry but they did not suffer and ended in this way . It was the tragedy of her life like the role she did in the film “chivarakumigiledi”. In this film she becomes mad but in real life she went into coma. I feel the then co-stars of her had a sort of jelousy because of her great name and fame and they wanted to show her down to satisfy their ego. Film indstry is full of people like this. that is the reason no body tried to rescue her when she needed most. also it seems except GG no other actor or acress were emotionally close to her to bring her back into normalcy that could be the main reason of her fallout i suppose..what ever the reason was she lost her life at early age of 46 leaving behind two of her children..When i see any of her old moview even today in TV, i forget all my problems and my mind become so peaceful and happy. for so many people she has blessed this happy feeling by seeing her child like, innocent beutiful face, but she could not live her life in peace…she is goddess and she still live among her audience though she is not present physically with us.

  30. 30 Anonymous

    Women in general are much more intelligent than men. But when it comes to sex and selection of partner, 90% of women are foolish and make choice without the slighest wisdom. But among these 90%, about 40% are lucky and luck saves them. 50% women marry much ugglier men and much older men. God has given them beauty but made them very intellighent for useless things and foolish for most important matters. Ultimately they allow themselves to be exploited by men, in spite of the fact that they are much much wiser then men.

  31. 31 Anonymous

    When a person is wealthy and rich,everyone cares, when a person is not in a good position, no matter how good that person is,and even if that person help’s in his or her hardest position, those idiot’s won’t help and those heartless people won’t help,those idiot’s will have the hardest death in their life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. 32 g.kumaran

    I am a great fan of Savithri. Its very sad to read the article.

  33. 33 Anonymous

    idiot gemini

  34. Many stories are heard about the circumstances leading to the MahanaTi’s death!!!Whatever they be, one thing is very clear!!!She blindly loved & believed Gemini towards whom she developed every possessiveness as a typical female love bird forgetting a simple fact that Gemini was married twice already to two women & had more than half a children by the time. She fell in love & went for a clandestine wed lock with such a characterless fellow who preferred to go for another marriage with a girl of his grand daughter’s age on the pretext of having company.”Buddhih KarmaaNusaarini” (Mind thinks according to what is destined) proved very correct & every step she faltered after separating from GG amply proved it.Many people side GG & paint him as one who sympathised with Savithri & took great care during her last moments.But the truth perhaps is known only to Satish,her son who had reportedly spent with her last days.But he never opened his mouth on such sensitive issues..may be perhaps thinking that nothing useful would happen by doing so

    Whatever be the discussions & debates,as one of the great fans of Savithri I only pray God to rest her soul in permanent peace!!

  35. 35 Anonymous

    I only pray God to rest her soul in permanent peace!!

  36. 36 Anonymous

    The pair GG&SAVITRI was a facination for me but came to know of real colour of GG only after reading Shivsankari. As someone earlier said in the comments, it was not a wise decision of respected Savitri to marry him, when had already half a dozen. It is a fate. — maithrivichu34@yahoo.com

  37. I was bit sad with tears to read the article here. I was a great admirer of Savithri & watched many movies of her along with my parents. I never knew her life ended this way. I used to dream that i must find a girl exactly like her in my life. I’m still a great admirer of her & I pray that her soul rest in permanent peace…

  38. 38 yerragudi vasanthamma

    i am also a genuine admirer of MAHANATI savithri. Always feel very bad about her fate which ruled in the shape of Geminiganeshan- the very sadisttic unreliable husband. THOUGH genini ganeshan was extremely lucky to have SAVITHRI as his wife – he left the great heroine to sing the LEELA OF GOD alone without his shehnai surprisingly in a VERY SAD tone. no one can excuse him for this act of ruthlessness. O GREAY LADY – I also did not help you because of my ignorance at that time. Pardon me.

  39. 39 hanumantha kumar

    I never believe that the legendary actress died.She has no death at all

  40. 40 hanumantha kumar

    Srimathi Savithri madam has powerful magnetic attractive face symbolising the virtuous pious charecteristics of ideal feminine qualities of this great country of India

  41. 41 venkatarao.papineni

    savithri chalaa goppa nati ameni cinima endastry chalaa upayoginchukundi (up corce prathiphalam echaaru)antha goppa natiki anyam jaruguthunte kallumusukunda okkoka vyakthiga ayyopapam anukunnaru oka samastaga asamastalo oka mahanatiki jaruguchunna anyayanni adirichalera?edi charithralo indastryki migilipoyina peeeeeedhamacha(cinima vallu ekkada matladina memu chaala scencitive antarukada) ekanundina manasutho allochichandi——–papineni.venkatarao .

  42. 42 Anonymous

    when I read her story I could not read continuously because of my tears.

  43. everytime, i think savitrimaa’s life i cried. if i forget my problems i see savitrimaa’s films. i heard any reason of her, suddenly i sad and cried. savithrimaa, please you born again

  44. savithri!What can I say.Words are insufficient to describe this histrionic genius and the sombre and gloomy life that she had to lead ultimately is a crescendo of sadness.beauty queen she was makes people go into raptures even to this day where pseudo beauties feel they are the most beautiful of all those sent by the creator.Let them sit back and watch this angels sublime perfomances which has no parallels in the history of histrionics..Beauty is what beauty does but the same beauty has been the villan in the piece in her life.Life may have ebbed out but the memories linger on and on and shall be ever remembered as a monumental epitome of the legacy of womanhood .Every movie of hers was defining moment for millions of her fans and continues to be so even in a world where human values have taken a back seat and acrimony is the order of the day.The soul has been emancipated but all our souls are yearning to have a glimpse this divine soul which always viewed filmdom as a whole and achieving many a golden goal.

  45. 45 Swathi

    No other actress can replace Savithri amma…May her soul always rest in peace..

  46. 46 Sri

    I can’t forget her .I want know more and more news about her .I saw each picture. how can I forget. Lakshmi .P.S. Hyerabad.

  47. 47 Saran

    33 years gone…I lost my sleep after reading the article about Savithri ma… Her financial trouble, husband separation, mother and sister death took her to highest depression. As a human GG should have done something to it, but looks hez only an womanizer…Its very shocking to see no one extended great support to her to come out of the situation..She realized something bad would happen and got her daughter married at her young age..His son was 16 when he faced her pathetic life now moved out of India. Let her generation live long. Even after these years, may her soul rest in peace.

  48. 48 Anonymous

    Who made Savitri to loose her confidence.what not she was having?beauty wealth,fame,confidence,good children etc…

  49. 49 Sangeetha (Great fan of Savithiri garu)

    She is a remarkable artist, only last week I came to know about her last suffering days through an article in Thinathandhi paper, from that time onwards I started to do a small research about this beautiful actress and came to a conclusion, a lady should never be an emotional fool in life, and Savithiri’s big mistake was she was very emotional woman, if anyone comes to her for any sort of help she would immediately help them without questioning and she trusted everyone including her husband and more importantly her friend Aarurdas, whome she trusted so much, however he didnt even bother to go to her funeral. Savithiri was so stupid to believe these unfaithful men. All young girls and ladies, please read about Savithiri and how she got betrayed in life by men. She is a great lesson, how much ever you look beautiful or you have lots of talent or lots of relatives, we should have self confidence and live life in peace, and one more message she leaves is once a woman crosses her young age she should try to be happy with what ever she had earned all this while, never to compete with young gals.

    Great Savithiri left great lesson. Long live her fame !!

  50. 50 Sri Ramaranjan

    It is difficult to judge individuals one does not know first hand. Savitri had been easily the most gifted actor to have graced the Indian screen. No one exudes feminine charm and grace the way she did and connected with her audiences like their own kith and kin. From all biographical anecdotals I have read about her, she comes across not just as a great actor, but also as a great human being who would instinctively empathize with those around her. A very rare combination in god’s creation: beauty, talent and humanity in one person. It is difficult to foretell what she would have accomplished had she lived longer, but in the half life she lived, she delivered what all movie goers to could cherish in the lives of those who lived in her time and generations to follow.


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