Silk Smitha, born as Vijayalakshmi Vadlapati, was an Indian actress who worked predominantly in the south Indian film industry. In the 17 or so years of her acting career, she starred in hundreds of movies, making her debut in 1979 in Tamil movie Vandichakkaram as Silk. She had also starred in Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and a few Hindi films.
Vijayalakshmi had started her career as a touch-up artist, and after she was discovered by actor, scriptwriter, and director Vinu Chakravarthy, he changed her name to Smitha. His wife taught her English and also arranged for her to learn dancing. She later added Silk to her name after her character from the 1979 movie Vandichakkaram.
Some of the Malayalam movies Silk Smitha featured in were Pushyaraagam (1979), Karimbana (1980), Inaye thedi (1981), Theeram Thedunna Thira (1983), Idavelakku Sesham (1984), Revenge (1985), Annoru Ravil (1986), Miss Pameela (1989), Shesham Screenil (1990), Naadody (1992), Saakshaal Sreeman Chaatthunni (1993), CID Unnikrishnan B.A., B.Ed. (1994), Hijack (1995), and Pallivaathukkal Thommichan (1996).
Where Tamil movies are concerned, here are a few Silk Smitha had featured in - Vandichakkaram (1980), Alaigal Oivathillai (1981), Moondram Pirai (1982), Paayum Puli (1983), Neengal Kettavai (1984), Santhosha Kanavukal (1985), Aalappirandhavan (1987), Jeeva (1988), Andru Peytha Mazhaiyil (1989), Adhisaya Manithan (1990), Thalattu Ketkuthamma (1991), Pangali (1992), Sabash Babu (Cameo-1993), Oru Vasantha Geetham (1994), Villadhi Villain (1995), and Coimbatore Mappillai (Item Number-1996).
Silk Smitha featured in a number of Telugu movies too, some of them were Seethakoka Chiluka (1981), Yamakinkarudu (1982), Gudachari No.1 (1983), Rustum (Item Number-1984), Chattamtho Poratam (1985), Kirathakudu (1986), Geethanjali (Special Appearance-1989), Aditya 369 (1991), Antham (Dancer-1992), Bava Bavamaridi (1993), Palnati Pourusham (1994), Chilakapachcha Kaapuram (1995), and Maa Aavida Collector (1996).
KANNADA & HINDI MOVIES:
Some of the Kannada and Hindi movies Silk Smitha featured in were Gedda Maga (Kannada-1983), Sadma (Hindi-1983), Qaidi (Hindi-Dancer-1984), Prachanda Kulla (Kannada-1984), Lady Tarzan (Hindi-1990), Halli Meshtru (Kannada-1992), Alimayya (Kannada-1993), Chinna (Kannada-1994), and Ganeshana Galate (Kannada-1995).
Silk Smitha was born on December 2, 1960 in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh to Ramallu and Sarasamma and she had one brother. Coming from a poor background, she left school at the age of 10 while still in the fourth standard. She was married off at an early age, but due to the ill-treatment she suffered at the hands of her husband and in-laws, she ran away.
Silk Smitha was found dead at her Chennai apartment on September 23, 1996, and is believed to have committed suicide due to financial problems, disillusionment in love and alcohol dependency.
In 2011, a film inspired by Silk Smitha's life, titled The Dirty Picture, was produced in Hindi by Ekta Kapoor. It starred Bollywood actress Vidya Balan and was directed by Milan Luthria. In 2013, a Kannada film titled Dirty Picture: Silk Sakkath Hot, starring Pakistani actress Veena Malik was released. The same year a Malayalam film titled Climax, starring Sana Khan was released.