Vyjayanthi Mala Bali (born on August 13, 1936), also known by the mononym Vyjayanthimala, is an Indian film actress, Bharathanatyam dancer, carnatic singer, dance choreographer, golfer and a Parliamentarian. Born in an orthodox Tamil Brahmin family, Vyjayanthimala made her screen debut at the age of 13 through the Tamil film Vazhkai (1949) and acted in the Bollywood films Bahar and Ladki. Following the success of Nagin, Vyjayanthimala established herself as a one of the Bollywood's leading actress and a successful actress of Tamil descent. Vyjayanthimala was one the biggest Bollywood stars in a career lasting almost two decades. She was also the first South Indian actress to become a national star and "paved way" for the other South Indian actresses to foray into Bollywood. Her subsequent dance numbers in her films had earned her the title of "twinkle toes".She was also referred as one of the first female Superstars of Hindi cinema and was known as "Numero Uno actress" along with Hema Malini, Rekha, Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit for her "illustrious career in 1950s and 1960s". She left the industry after shooting for the historical Hindi film Amrapali which was based on life of the Nagarvadhu (royal courtesan) of Vaishali, Amrapali, though director Baldev Raj Chopra felt that she could have easily continued for another decade in lead roles. Besides film, Vyjayanthimala's main concentration was in Bharata Natyam a form of Indian classical dance. After quitting movies Vyjayanthimala Bali continued with her dance career. In addition, Vyjayanthimala was conferred with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artists. Born in Triplicane situated near Parthasarathy Temple in a orthodox and religious Tamil Brahmin Iyengar family to M. D. Raman and Vasundhara Devi. Her mother was a leading actress in Tamil Cinema in 1940s where her film Mangama Sabatham was the first ever Tamil film to be declared a colossal hit at the box office. She learned Bharata Natyam from Guru Vazhuvoor Ramiah Pillai and Carnatic music from Manakkal Sivaraja Iyer. She had her arangetram at the age of 13 and started performing all over Tamil Nadu later. In 1954, Vyjayanthimala acted in magnum opus film Nagin with Pradeep Kumar. The film got favorable responses from the audience and becomes the highest grossing movie of 1954 where it was labelled as blockbuster.Her dancing, too, is very graceful, specially in those eye-filling colour sequences and delightful ballets towards the finish" while in The Hindu review by Vijay Lokapally had similarly praised her portrayal "The ethereal Vyjayanthimala, barely 18, illuminates the screen with her stunning beauty, moving around daintily from one song to the other. Post NaginVyjayanthimala had established herself as one of the leading actress in Bollywood through the film's nationwide success. Hemant Kumar's music and her dance accompanying the song, Man Dole, Mera tan dole, rendered by Lata Mangeshkar was one of the highlights of the film. Bimal Roy cast her as Chandramukhi opposite Dilip Kumar in the critically acclaimed Devdas . For Vyjayantimala, the character marked a turning point from glamour to pure histrionics, offering her scope to explore her potential as a dramatic actress without taking away from her, the most outstanding gift she brought to cinema -- her dance".she won Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress but refused to accept it, stating that her role was a leading one - and in equal importance to the role essayed by Suchitra Sen--and not supporting. The following year proved to be very successful for Vyjayanthimala where she signed opposite Dilip Kumar in Bimal Roy's Madhumati in the title role. In 1960, Vyjayanthimala mostly concentrated on Tamil films in order to keep in touch with the industry Vyjayanthimala's political career was initiated in 1984 when she was contested in 1984 Tamil Nadu general election for the South Chennai constituency as the nominee of the Indian National Congress opposite Era Sezhiyan, the leader of Janata Party and seasoned parliamentarian. Actor Raj Kapoor had commenced the filming of Sangam with Vyjayanthimala playing the female lead along with Rajendra Kumar and Kapoor himself as male lead. The filming took four years to finish, during this time Vyjayanthimala is said had romantically involved with Kapoor and almost get married to him. She is married Chamanlal Bali. After marriage, she terminated her acting career and moved to Chennai. They have a son, Suchindra Bali. In 2007, she published her autobiography, titled Bonding, with Jyoti Sabarwal as co-writer.