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CM Jayalalithaa Highlighted Rajinikanth as Superstar in 80s

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa aspired to become a lawyer like her father when she was in school. However, she was pushed into the showbiz by her mother Sandhya to deal with family’s financial troubles. This reluctant actor went on to become the uncrowned queen of Tamil cinema until she quit films for good. In spite of scaling new heights and being the highest paid female actor in India of her time, she seemed to still remain reluctant to fully embrace her film career and stardom.

Just a couple of years before she kick-started her journey in politics, Jayalalithaa had written a letter in response to an article, which suggested that she was not getting good offers in films. Her letter to one Piousji of Khaas Baat has surfaced online after she passed away on Monday in Chennai. It was written on a Poes Garden letterhead and dated June 10, 1980, the year superstar Rajinikanth’s blockbuster film Billa released.

She had made it clear that she was not struggling to stage a comeback. “In fact, I have been turning down some excellent offers. Perhaps you don’t know that the heroine’s role in Balaji’s ‘Billa’, opposite Rajinikanth, was first offered to me. It was only after I refused to do the film, that Balaji signed Sripriya for the role,” she wrote in the letter.

“Everybody knows that Balaji is one of the foremost film producers in India today, and Rajinikanth is Tamil screen’s superstar. If I am capable of turning down such a dazzling offer, does that not prove conclusively that I am not in the least struggling to stage a come-back?” she added.

Read full text of Jayalalithaa’s letter.

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