Mavelikkara Ponnamma is a yesteryear Malayalam film and theatre actress. She started her acting career during the 40’s and became one of the most prominent supporting actresses in 70’s until 90’s. She belongs to Kerala’s Mavelikkara Palace household. She got married to Raghava Panicker, and they have one daughter named Sushma Padmanabhan. Mavelikkara is a teacher by profession, who works under the Government. However, she prefers acting on stage and films.
She was also one of the leading female actresses, who started her acting career on stage in the 1940s; the time when men normally did female roles. She was the first female actress, who went to Velukkutty so she can get some tips on how to play the role of Vasavadutta (female role) in the theatre play, Karuna. She has acted in over 500 stage drama plays, together with the popular theatre troupes, Kalanilayam and the KPAC. Mavelikkara also had the opportunity to perform with the leading actors of her times like Augustine Joseph,
, T.N. Gopinathan Nair, O Madhavan, and much more. She also worked as a playback singer in few films during the 40’s.
In 1940, she acted in S Nottani’s Gnanambika, but she was debuted in Kunchacko’s Malayalam film, Kadalamma, in 1963. The same year, she was seen in the National Award-winning Malayalam film, Ninamaninja Kalpadukal. She went on to appear in few other films like Devaalayam, Anveschichu Kandethiyilla, Abhayam, Nilakkatha Chalanangal, Oru Sundariyude Katha, Ammanamkili, and Rugmini. During the 90’s, she appeared in Ulldakkam, Aakasha Kottayile Sultan, Valayam, Ennodu Ishtam Koodamo, Thalamura, Samooham, Ponthan Mada, Pidakkozhi Koovunna Noottandu, Kidilol Kidilam, and Sasinas.
Besides acting on the big screen, she also ventured into television and had acted in the television serial, Oru Poo Viriyunna. She died on September 6, 1995, but her memories and great contributions to the theatre and filmdom will remain forever.