Soundarya, a South Indian movie star, died on on April 17 in a plane crash near Bangalore. She was 32.
Soundarya recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is seeking another term in national elections. She was traveling to the adjoining state of Andhra Pradesh to campaign for the party when the four-seater Cessna 180 caught fire and crashed minutes after takeoff from a Jakkur airstrip. Her brother Amarnath, BJP worker Ramesh Kadam and pilot Joy Phillips were also killed.
The daughter of the Bangalore-based producer/director Satyanarayana, Soundarya gave up a career in medicine to become an actress. She adopted only one name and made her first film in 1992. Over the next 12 years, Soundarya appeared in nearly 100 movies. Although she avoided racy roles, Soundarya worked opposite leading actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikant.
In 2003, Soundarya won the Nandi Award, the most prestigious prize in Telugu cinema.