Ganthimathi is one of the veteran actresses of Tamil film industry. Shecould sketch any character given to her due to her training in acting that she learned while engaging herself in theater activities. She started acting at a tender age of 11 and had acted in nearly 500 films. She could speak local Tamil dialects very well and hence was seen in many films of Bharatiraja. Known for her devotion and theater background, she scored over other prominent artists be it Sridevi,
Kamal Haasan or even Rajanikanth.
Virtually, Ganthimathi needs no introduction in Tamil cinema. Although she began her career as a child artist and had acted as a heroine in a couple of films, she did not remain active in cinema for long. She began her career in 1965. It was only renowned filmmaker Bharathiraja who spotted the talent in her when he was in look out for a versatile actress who could play Mayil’s (Sreedevi) mother in ’16 Vayathinile’ (1977) (which is considered to a be a milestone in Indian cinema). The director was in look out for an actress who could speak local Tamil dialects spoken in villages and Ganthimati was the ultimate choice of the director. She had many dramatic scenes with Sridevi, Kamal Haasan, and Rajanikanth. She essayed her character in a convincing manner and drew particular attention to her dialogue delivery and body language. Her other notable films are ‘
Mann Vasanai’, ‘Muthu’,‘Karagattakaran', 'Manickam', 'Walter Vetrivel' and 'Chinna Thambi Periya Thambi’, etc.
For her contribution to Tamil cinema, Ganthimathi was honored with the Kalaimamani Award from the Tamil Nadu government. She is a well-known actress in Tamil cinema who had portrayed the mother and grandmother roles very convincingly for all superstars of Tamil cinema. It may be noted that the actress made her appearance in ‘Iravum Pagalum’(1965) which had Jaishankar and C.Vasantha in lead roles. She also acted in many films of
Sivaji Ganesan, Jayalalithaa, and MGR, which were runaway hits. In Bharathiraja’s movie ‘Mudupani’ she played the role of the madam of a brothel and while in
Balu Mahendra’s ‘Moondram Pirai’, she again essayed a role of a brothel owner. This actress was much sought after actress in 70’s-90’s. She acted in the direction of Vasu, Bharathiraja, Balu Mahendra, Manivannan, etc. She has excelled in doing character roles in every film. After a successful journey in Tamil cinema, she also entered the small screen. She passed away on September 9, 2011, at her residence in Chennai.